This week I was happy to lead a session at the Innovation Factory Sales Peer to Peer in Hamilton. We had an almost record attendance for our session on Growing Your Sales Team. It was a hot topic for our crowd which was a mix of companies with modest sales forces and entrepreneurs looking to make their first or next sales hire. If you are in the Hamilton area look at the events page for our monthly interactive topics. We had a lot of interaction from the participants in our session based on their experiences and questions.
Times may be tough in a lot of industries in Canada, but good sales people are hard to find. The group talked about finding applicants from business partners and finding good employees working for competitors. There was also considerable talk about hiring juniors candidates. The mindset that most sales and business leaders should have is to always be recruiting.
This was probably the most talked about topic of the session. There were many points of view, but most talked about a mix of commission and salary. The days of 100% commission seem to be over, with just a few people with this as a sales plan. One component that I believe in is paying some variable compensation based on commission. This is especially beneficial when you have junior sales reps in a new territory.
Our group talked about a few different options that they use. One that was new to me was a one on one beer or coffee meeting on a regular basis. This informal setting was for the reps to be made at ease. The main types that I like to include are management by walking around, joint customer calls/meetings, team meetings, and individual meetings.
If you would like some more ideas and details on growing your sales team check out our white paper.