Entrepreneurs Fail at Hiring Sales Reps

As part of yesterday’s EO event on hiring, Adam spent a fair amount of time talking about hiring sales reps. Ah, the elusive sales rep that makes an entrepreneur’s life easy, or so you would hope. Previously, I advocated for entrepreneurs to hire a sales assistant to help give them economies of scale of their time before diving into a full-time, quota-bearing sales rep.

Well, Adam articulated nicely why hiring salespeople is so difficult, especially for entrepreneurs. Here are his words why it is so challenging:

  • Great salespeople are always in demand
  • Mediocre salespeople are A-Players when it comes to selling themselves
  • Great salespeople are a product of environment
  • Entrepreneurs get desperate to fill the position

The next time you’re out there, ready to hire your first salesperson, consider why it is so challenging, and look for someone who has the four super-elements.

What else? What are some other reasons entrepreneurs fail at hiring sales reps?

2 thoughts on “Entrepreneurs Fail at Hiring Sales Reps

  1. Nice post David. Entrepreneurs usually hire a sales rep for what they say they have done in the past, and fire them (usually too late) for who they truly are!

    One way to minimize the mistake is to have any prospective sales rep take an assessment. Companies like Divine have offered these for years and boast an 85% accuracy rate. While I don’t agree with 85% hit rates I do think the assessment is a critical step to minimizing a costly poor hiring decision. After that you have to give them the mentorship and culture to truly be successful.

  2. This is also one of my problems with my companies right now. Hiring the right sales rep will allow me to duplicate myself and multiply the revenues. Unfortunately, hiring the right one is difficult. Identifying the commensurate compensation for the sales rep is another issue. Any suggestions?

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