Hiring Your First Salesperson?

  • RT Marketing
  • 03 Feb 2020
diverse couple with salesperson
stressed out business man balancing books

Maybe you have been your building or remodeling company’s sole salesperson thus far. With business growth comes pressing responsibilities, and you may not have the time or energy left anymore to act as the entire sales department. The first step in hiring the perfect salesperson for your remodeling or building company is to create a well-defined job description.

In order to articulate how your sales team needs to function, you must first develop and hone your sales process, which we will discuss in more detail in our blog later this month. If you already have a lead generation system in place, then your salesperson will already have appointments with vetted prospects. If you’re going to rely on them for leads, then you want them to have experience cold calling and setting appointments. You should also consider how they can achieve the sales goals you’ve set and whether those goals are realistic or challenging enough.

Money Talks: Your Salesperson’s Salary

Question mark made of bundles of 100 dollar bills, white background

Once you have a clear understanding of the duties of your salesperson’s job, decide on their compensation plan. Some salespeople work on commission only pay, while others appreciate the safety net of a base salary plus commission. When deciding on the sales compensation for your company consider that the volume of sales may not be the most accurate metric for determining compensation. If many smaller jobs are sold, the commission paid out may be excessive. Commissions based on dollar amounts are standard and the percentages can be carefully configured so that the company does not lose money, while still adequately compensating their sales team. Additionally, the sales goals and salesperson’s commission may require you to revamp your pricing. Make sure that you take the time to ensure sales commissions don’t cut into your profit margins. 

Finding the Talent: Hiring Outside or Internal Salespeople?

diverse sales team looks at laptop

Some business owners have had success training employees, like designers, project managers, or architects, in sales; this way, the salesperson can draw up plans or make accurate estimates unassisted. Other companies find it easier to train an experienced salesperson in what their design/build or remodeling company does. If you already have a team member who has sales aptitude, it may be worthwhile to nurture that aspect of your employee and promote them into a sales position. Consider that if it doesn’t work out you may lose a quality employee, unless your relationship can handle the awkward transition back into their original job title.     

A Cult of Personality

During the interview process try to determine the compatibility of the prospect with your company culture and suss out some personality traits that make for a strong salesperson:

  • Confidence is a necessity in the sales world, and any prospect you have for a sales position needs to be able to sell themselves.

  • Mutability: they need to adapt to meet the customer where they are, but convincingly.

  • Good with people: from tact, to kindness, to discreet manipulation, a salesperson must have excellent people skills. The best salespeople know how others tick and can persuade them with ease.
  • Tough/resilient: salespeople need a thick skin and the ability to persist.
  • Positivity. Attitude is everything and salespeople in particular need to have a positive outlook, and an infectious sense of possibility that translates into sales closed.

Now that you have a vision of how your sales position can be filled by someone who is perfect for your team, take a deep breath and prepare yourself to let go of being the whole sales department. Once the position is filled, you’ll have more time and energy to devote to your growing business.