Does hiring trained salespeople, work? What do you think?
To begin with, thinking, ‘How much does it cost to hire a salesperson?’, some companies seek plug and play salespeople. They want fast food. Not to slog away buying the different ingredients from the different places. Then, again, slogging away in the kitchen, mixing a bit of this and a bit of that ingredient, to make a delicious meal. In other words, such companies don’t want to be involved in the messy, costly and lengthy process or sourcing, recruiting, and training salespeople. They want convenience. (Who doesn’t?) Yet, despite the seemingly logical convenience, does hiring trained salespeople, work? Walk with me.
Selling is fraught with dynamism
First, as we said here, entrepreneurship doesn’t exempt salesmanship. That, logical at it seems, externally sales-training a novice force tends to work against the nascent business. Why? With no feel of the field, the salespeople absorb the information theoretically. If, on the other hand, they were being trained after three to six months of active selling, they are much better placed to relate the theory to the practical. And, therefore, fill the gaps they have experienced. This is like someone who has learnt on the job, and then opts to formalize the learning with a Diploma or degree. Further, the return on investment for the employer is comparatively higher than training greenhorns who fail to survive the inevitable storming (pushing and pulling) stages of team formation.
Hiring trained salespeople off the shelf
Next, speaking of storming, ‘buying off the shelf’ salespeople pre-supposes they will naturally adapt to the culture of the institution they are going to sell for. Is the assumption valid? Anyone mature businessman will tell you how they once strained their wallet to hire a competitor’s stellar seller in the belief that he will come in and blow their sales out of the water. Only for the plan to backfire spectacularly. Same seller, markedly different results.
And why? His superb performance was facilitated by the team performance, the team itself having ‘stormed’ and ‘normed’ to perform successfully. Are ‘canned’ salespeople capable of immediately performing in step with the team they find themselves in? With the sales training happening in a firewalled lab, are they able to fend off the flurry of viruses that suddenly attack in the live sales process? I’m not convinced. Incidentally, team here is not just other salespeople but ‘slow’ back office , suppliers and any party involved in completing the sale. Including the prospect.
Anticipating calibre of prospect
Finally. And this is the third thing. Calibre of prospect. I wonder whether hiring trained salespeople prepares them to meet their optimal prospect with whom they are intimidated. Yes. You could train me till I’m brimming over with B2B selling ‘tips and tricks’. But, is it of much value if I am intimidated by, say, the architect, I’ll have to face? And if it is, then all the sales training comes a cropper. And the employer is back to holding my hand and walking me through the ropes, teaching how to do it, whilst wondering, “Was the ‘fast food’ really worth it?”
What do you think?
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