Many small business owners feel that if they could find a sales person or people to sell their products or services, that this could make their small business grow and flourish. That sounds great and seems very logical. However, if it was that easy why have you and thousands of other small business owners not done it yet? If you are reading this blog, you must feel there is a need for you to hire one or more sales people, but you are hesitant and rightfully so.
You have dozen of questions to answer about hiring a sales person. Who is going to do your sales training? How long will sales training take before a salesperson becomes productive? How much are you going to pay them? Are they going to be paid only commission, only salary or a combination of both? Who is going to monitor and manage their work? These are only few of the questions a small business owner has to ask before going forward and hiring a salesperson.
Is there another way for the small business owner to achieve his objective? Yes, there are two other ways that can be considered 1) distributors 2) independent sales reps. I am not very enthusiastic about distributors for a couple of reasons; the biggest is that they are another layer between you and your customer. If you are selling small business to business, using a distributor puts extra layers (you to distributor, distributor to the business, the business to the consumer) between you and your consumer. In this instance, the purchasing cycle is not fast enough and you just cannot be that removed from your end user (the ultimate customer). I am not totally against using distributors; there are many circumstances where they are a major asset. I have used them internationally, in specific markets. However for my core business I used my own sales people and relied heavily on independent reps.
Yes independent reps are a way to get professional sales people selling your product or services. Every field of business has independent reps and if you understand that: 1) They are independent; they are a small business owner similar to you. They pay their own travel expenses, office expenses etc. They only make money if they sell something and receive a commission on that sale. 2) They work with many different companies. The companies that are prepared (train the rep and pay their commission more often than not) get more of the independent rep’s time and effort.
We have put together a Special Report Working with Independent Reps that gives the small business owner a way to accomplish their goal of making their small business grow and flourish through using independent sales reps. This report gives you some insight on how to work with, train, find, and evaluate independent sales reps.
Regardless of whether you hire your own sales people or hire independent reps, there is a considerable amount of work that has to be done prior to hiring and after they are hired.