How would I go about building the strongest sales team?

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Answered by: Thomas, An Expert in the Building a Sales Team Category
There are two different kinds of companies you may want to put together, and they require two very different breeds of salesperson. We need to build the strongest sales team possible. The first type of company that we are going to discuss is fairly short term. This is a company that sells the business to customers. Your representatives may be earning straight commission and so you fly through leads quickly. You are not looking for residual income and once an area is saturated you need to leave and find new territory.

The second kind of business is one that you may envision as a cornerstone of your community. This will be any type of business where your reputation will ultimately determine your success. The type of individual you'll be hiring for this business will differ entirely, in personality and character, than the one best suited to the business mentioned above. You're looking for a charming, decent individual you can trust implicitly. You'll need to trust them from the moment you meet them, and have that trust backed up by their own fairly solid reputation in the community, their achievements, etc. This is the long term employee who cares a great deal about a 401k and health benefits, not someone looking to profit quickly.

Hiring the first type of employee, although it may appear to be a paradox, is easier. These individuals have large personalities and stick out, and hiring them is simply a matter of a bit of poaching on your part. As you go about building your sales team you contact anyone you know in the area, even through social networking, who is employed in the sales field. Do not inform them of your intentions to hire someone. Meet them for a drink, wine and dine them a bit, and then start talking about your own sales experience. You mention the one salesperson who just outsold everyone, hand over fist. Something like "my numbers were good, I mean I kept up, but this guy,"... Everyone has someone like this on their sales team. Your acquaintance will speak about the person on their own. The individual who outsells the average rep five to one. Sometimes there are two or three of these individuals in one company.

Go in for the kill. Now you have a name and employment location of an individual or group of them who can literally make you millions. Ask for an introduction through your intermediary or approach them discreetly, but secure their attentions. Sell them a dream, the best sales people are the easiest to sell but it would help if you could actually pay them far more than their current employer. Repeat this process until you fill out your sales team.

The potential problems for hiring this kind of individual are endless. They are competitive, often not so directly competitive as their trade relies on manipulation. Did i mention that they're competitive? Have you ever seen a gorilla, a chimpanzee, and a lion dropped into the same cage? They will sell a large percentage of individuals based solely on charisma and ego. They will sell themselves, over and over again. The transaction in many cases rarely lasts a full year. These are excellent people for business to customer sales, but they are your worst nightmare if you're at all attempting to establish a twenty-year reputation.

The business to business sales individual will be completely different. What businesses are looking for above all else when establishing a new relationship is someone they can trust. This is also a charismatic individual, but more humble, with strong principles throughout their character. You want someone who will actually abandon a sales pitch if their product does not fit their customers' needs. This is a harder individual to find.

You may find this individual serving some sort of public service, involved in fraternal organizations, etc. Residuals from a long term account will appeal to them even more than fast commissions. It helps if they have some sort of degree which shows stability. You will know it when you see it. It helps if they have experience but you may have to teach them everything. Someone with these character traits will always listen and learn. Recruit through proper channels, family friends, people who want to live in the town your business is founded in forever. A ten year tenure with a company earning a mediocre salary is a better indication of what you want than an excellent sales resume or ambitions that are far beyond ascension to the middle class.

This is how you build the strongest sales team. Obviously there is a sliding scale, some companies would prefer two year relationships with clients, some one hour, some half a decade. Adjust your character choices accordingly. Good luck on your business venture.

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