When To Hire a Sales Team for Your Small Business

Not sure if it’s time to hire a sales team yet? Take a look at some cues that it may be time to hire sales professionals for business growth.
Reading Time: 7 minutes

Lead generation is a crucial part of predictable and sustainable business development, and it can’t be done by one person alone. 

As a small business owner, you have a lot of tasks on your plate, so lead generation may be an afterthought. How do you know when it’s time to hire a sales team to bring in new business opportunities? Well, we’ll cut the chit-chat and jump into it.

In this blog, we’ll cover the following topics:

Cues It Might Be Time To Hire Sales Professionals

Every company can benefit from hiring a salesperson (or team, for that matter). Some small businesses are slow to start hiring professionals for many reasons. It could be a lack of financial resources, very few leads rolling in, etc. So, it may be time to consider hiring sales professionals if:

You’re in the Early Stages of Developing a New Business

If you’re a startup company, you probably have very few clients starting off. However, there’s no reason to be concerned or worried because this is a normal phase for any new business. 

Startups often rely on referrals to build their business because they don’t have the resources or expertise to tackle lead generation. Once you get your feet on the ground and business starts running reasonably smoothly, it may be worth considering hiring sales professionals. While it may be more money than you’re willing to spend, hiring people for sales development helps you bring in new potential business opportunities without relying on referrals.

Don’t get us wrong—referrals are a great way to get new leads through the door. However, relying on referrals as your core sales method isn’t sustainable. Hiring salespeople enables you to have a predictable lead generation strategy that yields more significant results. 

You Want To Grow Your Business

You may not be a startup company, but what if you just want to grow your business? Hiring a sales team empowers your business to grow both externally and internally. As a small business, you’re probably always looking to generate more revenue, and hiring a sales team is the best first step. As a result of your business growth efforts, you can bring more employees to your team so you can take on more significant business opportunities.  

You Know the Value Your Product or Service Holds

As a business owner, you know your product or service’s impact on other businesses. Hiring a sales team allows your company to effectively pitch the products or services you offer, showcasing your company as the best possible solution for buyers in your target market. 

Great salespeople know how to present products or services in a way that attracts the attention of potential buyers. When sales reps have a firm understanding of the target audience and their buyer personas, they can contact them through the right platforms to discuss content that’s valuable to them. This includes sharing case studies about clients who have experienced similar pain points and marketing collateral that effectively highlights the core benefits of your company’s product or service. 

You Have a Sales Process Without the Expertise To Put It Into Action

While you may have a sales process in place, you may not have the right people to implement this plan. Hiring a sales team is vital for streamlined sales development processes because you have all the team members you need to contact prospects and build strong relationships with them. 

When you rely solely on account executives for business growth, you risk poor customer service to existing customers. This is because they tend to be too preoccupied with finding the next big business opportunity to provide customers with the attention to their accounts they deserve.

Things To Look for When Hiring Your First Salesperson

Believe it or not, not everyone has a knack for sales. Therefore, when you hire your first salesperson, you must consider their characteristics. Here are some traits to look for when hiring your first salesperson: 

Genuine Curiosity 

When interviewing salespeople, pay attention to how many questions they ask. The more questions they ask, it’s likely that they’re curious to learn about the role itself. If they show genuine curiosity in the role, they’ll be more likely to present the same interest to prospects in the sales pipeline. And when sales reps ask prospects questions, prospects become more comfortable with your business, increasing the likelihood of them making it to the end of the sales funnel.

People-First Mentality 

All salespeople should have a people-first mentality. This means that everything they say, ask, or do puts the prospect at the focal point of the conversation. When salespeople put the prospect before anything else, they have a greater opportunity to build valuable relationships that are likely to convert into leads. 

Having a people-first mentality could include asking open-ended questions about a potential buyer’s wants, needs, and pain points when it comes to having a potential B2B partnership. It also includes active listening, which is vital for holding a conversation with value. Active listening ensures that sales reps aren’t talking just to boast about your company but to provide decision-makers with insight into how your company’s product or service could benefit their everyday operations. 

Easy To Coach

Since sales best practices are changing all the time, salespeople must be easy to coach and open to adjusting their sales approach. A good salesperson is always looking to accelerate their sales skills because this means more revenue for your company and more commission in their pocket. As you interview potential salespeople to join your team, ask them about their track record of when they’ve made changes to their approach and how they reacted to this change. If they responded positively and their change provided better results, they’d be a great asset to your sales team.

Adaptable to Different Sales Scenarios 

No lead in the sales pipeline is the same, meaning conversations salespeople have with potential buyers should differ depending on their needs. When hiring your first salesperson, it’s essential to consider how they’ve adapted to different scenarios in their past sales experience. To be a good salesperson, they must be willing to change their pitch at the drop of a hat to align with the wants and needs of the potential buyer. 

Ambition to Continuously Grow

When interviewing your first salesperson, you must ask them where they see their sales career going. If they discuss wanting to grow within their role and your company, you know they’re ambitious to present your company with great success. To achieve these results, they must work hard and consistently adjust their strategy if they do not see the impact they want. When a potential hire says they want to be a sales manager or even a VP of sales at some point in their career, you know they have the drive to work towards their goals. And to get to these goals, they must prove themselves to be a reliable addition to your company. 

Good Time Management

Last but not least, when hiring your first salesperson, you must have a good understanding of their time management skills. With all the different prospects and leads in the sales pipeline, it can be hard to track where they’re all at in the sales cycle (especially when they have a wide range of sales metrics to hit). 

Luckily, there are a lot of solutions to help sales reps maintain good time management, such as company CRM software. As you’re interviewing them, ask them how they handle juggling various tasks and responsibilities at once. This can give you an inside look into how they manage their day-to-day actions. 

How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Sales Rep?

According to Built In, the average salary of a sales rep in the United States is $53,879. However, this only considers the SDR’s base salary and doesn’t include overhead costs, benefits, and additional sales compensation.

When companies consider hiring sales reps, they often forget the cost of all the necessary sales tools and technologies for a streamlined sales process. This includes your company’s CRM, prospecting tools, and more. As you add up all the costs of these sales tools and technologies, they often cost more than the price of the sales rep’s salary.

Today, more and more small businesses choose to hire outsourced sales development companies to assist with their business growth efforts. When you hire externally, you have the opportunity to save a significant amount of money and time from interviewing, hiring, and onboarding new sales team members. This allows you to dedicate your resources to more pressing business matters that lead to longer-term success. 

Key Takeaways

When it comes down to it, there’s no clear picture of the right time to consider hiring a sales team. There are a lot of things to consider, such as your budget, availability, etc. While hiring a sales team is vital for long-term business growth, many small businesses don’t have the bandwidth to handle it internally. When they don’t, they look to outsourced lead generation experts to give them a helping hand.

At Sapper Consulting, we collaborate with small (but growing) B2B companies around the nation to help them build their sales pipelines and secure high-converting sales meetings. If you need help creating and implementing a sales development strategy that yields long-term results, contact the experts at Sapper Consulting!

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About The Author

About Sapper Consulting

Sapper's sales prospecting team becomes a natural extension of your existing sales efforts, helping you find new leads that are a great fit for your business.

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