1 year ago
April 13, 2016

When to Bring on Your First Sales Person

Here are a few ways to determine whether the time to bring on your first sales person is finally here.

Rhys Metler

When is it time to hire your first sales person? The reasons for asking whether the time for bringing on your first sales person has arrived are various, but most organizations know it is the right time to hire a dedicated sales person when the necessity of asking this question arises. Still, bringing on your first sales person represents a major step in your business plan, and you want to be sure that the timing, cost, and ultimately the chosen sales person are appropriate. Here are a few ways to determine whether the time to bring on your first sales person is finally here.

Measure the Need for Your First Sales Person by Productivity

As an entrepreneur or founder, it can be difficult to let go of sales control and trust that a sales person can perform. Yet for every entrepreneur or founder who is a top sales person, there is another whose main strengths are elsewhere. These are important considerations in determining whether productivity demands you hire your first sales person, which can be supplemented by examining:

  • Are there any tasks are being postponed, delayed, or reassigned to the detriment of the business because there is no dedicated sales person?
  • Are any of the employees you have on board now are supporting sales as well as a dedicated sales person could?
  • Are your products or services market-ready to the point that a dedicated sales person could start making sales within his or her first week?

Determine the Cost-Effectiveness of Hiring Your First Sales Person Now

To make bringing on your first sales person cost-effective, you must be sure that there is enough demand to keep your first sales person occupied. Generally, to break even on the cost of the hire your first sales person must sell enough to cover your hiring, training, compensation, and overhead costs within the first year. If your offerings are still in the launch phase, you may want to consider a part-time first sales person. However, be aware that it is harder for a part-time sales person to break even in the first year, and turnover can be higher for part-time positions.

Think About Goals You Might Set for Your First Sales Person

A more subjective way to know when to bring on your first sales person is to think about the sales goals that you would set for him or her to start. How many leads, follow ups, presentations, and sales would you expect this person to make in the first quarter and the quarters following? If your numbers are realistic and you would be making greater profits even after the cost of hiring your first sales person, it is probably time to start writing up a sales job requisition. This is especially true if you know that there are large accounts waiting that your business has not yet had time to pursue, but would be attainable if you had a dedicated sales person.

The Importance of Quality in Bringing on the First Sales Person

The majority of fledgling enterprises fail for one simple reason: There aren’t enough sales to support the business. This can happen when bringing on sales staff is delayed too long, but it can also happen when there are dedicated sales staff but the sales still do not come in. This is why it is critical for organizations to focus on quality of hire when bringing on the first sales person.

Since sales recruiters are working in this employment marketplace every day, they know what the best candidates expect and how organizations can attract those candidates and fulfill expectations in order to add the most qualified sales people to their teams. As you think about whether it is time to bring on your first sales person, give consideration to using a sales recruiter to avoid issues with sales and sales hiring at this important stage in your business’s development.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.