You finally found that sales star who will help you take your company to the next level.
Even that $100K base salary almost seems reasonable considering their extensive industry experience, proven track record, and large rolodex.
Your star spends six months getting up to speed, reaching out to their network and leveraging their existing relationships. They even suggest some strategic partnerships and share thoughts about how to make your product or service better.
By month nine with little revenue to show for your investment, you begin to have doubts.
Did I hire the right person?
12 months in and far short of plan you wonder if the deals that have come in would have happened without the star. Still, you write off the first year as a learning experience and re-set expectations.
By month 15, you have serious doubts and begin to micromanage everything
At Month 18, you let them go or they resign having found a better opportunity
Does any of this sound familiar? Where did things go wrong?
More importantly, how do you feel about the $150,000 you just wasted?
Whether its $100K or $60K base salary, the problem is the same. You made the mistake of assuming success in sales is possible without a clear plan and ongoing oversight.
Revenue does not happen by magic. Closed won deals are the result of specific and measurable effort overtime. Most CEOs don’t understand the formula so they close their eyes and hope everything works out in the end.
The formula is simple:
– Phone calls result in first meetings
– Meetings result in mutual agreement to pursue Discovery
– Discovery leads to creation of an Opportunity
– Further conversations yield Qualified Opportunities
– Qualified Opportunities contribute to the total pipeline
– Closed Won deals are the result of working your pipeline over time
Once you understand this formula, you need define the volume of activity necessary to achieve the desired result and manage to that expectation.
Ask your sales star to present a detailed success plan before you hire them. The plan should be specific and measurable – Calls per day, 1 meetings per week, new opportunities created by month, etc.
If your ‘star’ can’t build a plan, what does that say about their chances for success.