You’ve hired your first salesperson, and business is going well. But you know the only way to grow your revenue is to find more prospects. And the best way to do that is hiring a salesperson. So is it time for you to make your next hire?
Consider the Demand for A New Salesperson
First, consider your supply and demand. If you have enough supply, then you need more demand. Maybe the demand just needs to be notified that you have the supply.
In B2B sales, this usually requires a representative — a person who knows all the features of the products. This rep can show your product to prospects, answering their questions and teaching them how it works for their organization. So how do you find more demand?
1. ID the Marketplace
What type of prospect is your salesperson missing? One person can’t reach your whole market. So identify the areas they aren’t reaching.
2. Segment the Field
Then decide how to divide the territory. Do you want to segment your salespeople based on types of industries, types of sales, size of the organization, or location?
3. Run the Numbers
Hire the right number of salespeople to reach your market. On average, a sales rep should have about 500 prospects to target in a year. So, if your marketplace has 2,000 prospects, you’ll need four strong salespeople.
Are You Ready for Another Sales Rep?
Before you hire your second salesperson, ask yourself these questions.
1. How many prospects are there?
Run the numbers to calculate your prospect to salesperson ratio. Remember 500:1 is the average ratio. If you only have 50 prospects, you don’t need another sales rep.
2. What’s the buying frequency?
Your specific ratio will vary based on the product and sales cycle. If you’re selling a commodity that’s needed every month, you’ll need more salespeople. After all, you have multiple opportunities to sell to the same client. If you have a contractual service where clients sign up for a year or two (i.e. health insurance or satellite providers), you may not need as many reps.
3. Can you afford to hire two salespeople?
Add to your sales team in pairs. Don’t just hire one person at a time. Instead, hire two, knowing you’ll only keep one. Only rarely will they sell the same amount. Rather, one will overachieve — and you’ll know who’s better. It’s easy to see a winner and a loser when they do the same work.
And, if you hire two competitive people, they’ll win over tons of business trying to beat each other.
How to Hire Salespeople Starting Up
If you’re just starting your business, don’t hire only one person. Hire as many as you can afford for the first two months. If you hire just one person, it’s tough to gauge how well they’re doing. You’re going to go through sales reps anyway. So begin with too many reps, and you’re more likely to find that rock star salesperson early on.