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Five Mistakes Young Businesses Make When Hiring Sales Staff

Posted by Yemi Branaman

Newly developed businesses have unique and exciting opportunities as they begin to establish their systems and hire their members. This is a time when risks should be taken, but make sure to avoid these mistakes when hiring a sales staff.

  1. Avoid unrealistic expectations- This is imperative especially in situations where relationships must be established prior to significant sales. It takes time to earn trust either in your staff or your company, so make sure your expectations account for the time necessary to create a trustworthy reputation for your company. Unrealistic expectations can cause many issues because they lower morale when they are not reached and create tension within the hierarchy of positions as blame is placed.
  2. Underestimation of the sale cycle- Recognize that commission and other pay may not happen for months due to the normal cycle of how long it takes to establish and make a sale. This goes hand in hand with having realistic expectations; it is great to have goals and to work towards those, but make sure to think realistically when setting goals especially as you start out.
  3. Mistaking aggression for drive- A good salesman will be self-motivated, but will nevertheless be a team player. Enthusiasm is an excellent quality to possess especially when hiring sales staff. This excitement should not interfere with their ability to work with others or their relationships with their superiors. Aggression creates tension within the office and can hurt potential business with clients.
  4. Setting up competition between sale staff- Whether this is done through account assignment, territory assignment, or just contests and competition. Competition creates a winner and a loser when in fact the loser may still be an excellent salesman. When people are labeled as losers, morale is lowered and can cause them to feel that they are no longer able to do their jobs and they will leave. The winners will initially feel motivated through their heightened ego, but eventually if there is no promotion available or they are passed over they will be dissatisfied and will leave. The ideal competitive scenario is to make the workplace like a golf game. The ultimate goal should be to compete against one’s previous work and be better than they were before.
  5. Don’t underestimate the value of experience- Fresh ideas are not the sole property of the new to business. Young workers are often praised for their enthusiasm and wealth of new ideas, but this does not come with judgement or wisdom. Experience does not mean stale ideas and an older employee can have the same excitement for their work when given the proper motivation and chances to prove their knowledge.

Keep in mind each of these common mistakes and take advantage of the wonderful opportunities that are available with the start of a new business.