Should I Hire A Salesperson?

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Should I Hire A Salesperson?

LISTEN to the Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast Ep 32 – Should I Hire A Salesperson?

WATCH The Mindwhirl Marketing Podcast Ep 32 – Should I Hire A Salesperson?

Podcast Transcript

Shelly Miller  00:09

Welcome to the Mindwhirl Marketing podcast with your hosts, Mike and Shelly Miller, your source for B2B business building Information where we talk sales and marketing and give you the insider secrets you need to know to grow your business. We want to help you attract leads and sales and show you how to align sales and marketing. So you get more sales faster, with less cost.

Mike Miller  00:28

Yay, and alignment to the key. All right, I said it wasn’t gonna say that anymore. Let’s stop it. Exactly. So how you doing? So?

Shelly Miller  00:37

Oh, great. I realized something today that I feel like a million bucks. And I was wondering why. And I thought okay, well, let’s review the week. So I realized as the week progressed, I got a little more tired. A little more, say cranky and a little more scattered, scattered thoughts.

Mike Miller  01:01


Shelly Miller  01:02

did notice it. But not really until today. When I had a solid eight hours asleep. Nice. And then I went, Oh, that’s been the problem. Yeah, I feel like I could conquer the world today. So ready to go about this podcast? Nice.

Mike Miller  01:14

All right. How about you? Yeah, I feel good, too. You know? So after a week of four hour sleep sessions, be cold.

Shelly Miller  01:25

Well, that’s that’s what our watch calls it sessions.

Mike Miller  01:27

Yeah. You know, I bet someone’s gonna make a an album called sleep session. Why

Shelly Miller  01:33

not? one of our favorites is progression sessions.

Mike Miller  01:36

That’s right.

Shelly Miller  01:36

Let’s have a sleep sessions.

Mike Miller  01:40

That’d be funny.

Shelly Miller  01:41

It would probably be good. Like, we’ll help you sleep will be your sleep master.

Mike Miller  01:45

LTJ Bukem. His 80th year in music, he now has presents.

Shelly Miller  01:51

He went from sessions. I love it. He went from progression sessions to sleep. Okay. ltj if you’re listening, that’d be good. We’d love it.

Mike Miller  01:59

Get back with MC Conrad.

Shelly Miller  02:01

There you go.

Mike Miller  02:02

Alright. Don’t need to work it out. Please. Yeah. geniuses. All right. I love them. People. Yeah, I did, too. I love them too. Still, after all these years, it’s amazing. It is. Anyway, today, the topic is we’re answering the question. Do I need to hire salesperson?

Shelly Miller  02:24

Mm hmm.

Mike Miller  02:24

That’s an interesting question. And

Shelly Miller  02:26

it is, and we hear it often?

Mike Miller  02:28

And it depends. The answer is it depends. And was it depend on?

Shelly Miller  02:36

Many things, doesn’t it? Yeah. depends on your, your your goals for your business? Yeah. Where are you stand with your processes and your sales enablement content, you have that ready to hire salesperson, if you need to outsource. If you’ve been thinking I have enough in referrals, I don’t need a salesperson do I? But, you know, you’re thinking ahead and going well, what if I don’t always have the referrals that I need?

Mike Miller  03:03

Yeah. Yeah, you gotta be thinking about the future. You do? And it depends on what you’re alluding to, is that it depends on the stage your business is

Shelly Miller  03:13

in? It does.

Mike Miller  03:14

Are you startup? You know, have you been going for a while? Are you under 250,000? Are you over 500,000? Are you over a million?

Shelly Miller  03:23

Very good points.

Mike Miller  03:25

All of these things matter.

Shelly Miller  03:26

So and what you said about processes and sales enablement content that plays a huge role in it as well. It really does it, because hiring anyone is extremely time consuming. Yeah. And you know, you’re you’re testing and you’re putting yourself out there, you know, there’s a good chance that the first salesperson that you hire, or the first outsourced sales team that you hire, it won’t work out, right. And you’ll have to do it again. And this takes time. And it takes money. Yeah, yeah, there’s a 50% chance at least,

Mike Miller  03:57

yeah. Which is why if you did it yourself first, and you knew the process, and you knew how it all worked, and you laid it all out, then it would be easy for you to train someone, because you’d say, Okay, here’s the process, you do this, then you do this, then you say this, then you do this, then you say this

Shelly Miller  04:17

beautiful point. That’s exactly,

Mike Miller  04:19

yeah, that’s really the ideal and exact way that you should do it. It is because otherwise you’ve got to hire like a partner, who knows sales, who’s willing to go through all of the trial and error to arrive at a process that works.

Shelly Miller  04:37


Mike Miller  04:38

And really, and that’s what you know, hiring a sales and marketing team helps you with, like, that’s why you would hire us. But let’s say you don’t, and you hire a salesperson. Well, they’re mostly going to fail because they don’t have they don’t know what to do. They don’t know your business.

Shelly Miller  05:01

Right, right. We’ve talked about this many times, even in our podcasts how, you know, a lot of people think, Oh, well, there’s a salesperson. So I hired one, go at

Mike Miller  05:09

it, right?

Shelly Miller  05:10

No scripts, no no content, no direction. Basically, you just have to have this money that you need to get this many sales or we’re going to fire you. Right? And that’s exactly that’s not what it’s about. That’s not how you’ll succeed. So if that’s what you’re going to tell me, you’re not going to do, I’d say don’t hire a salesperson.

Mike Miller  05:27

Right? So right. Yeah. Because you can’t hand them a chair, and a church table, and a Chromebook and, and in a phone and say, all right, start making calls. We’ve seen this before. So yeah,

Shelly Miller  05:42

our examples come from experience. Yeah. Anyway, yeah, seeing

Mike Miller  05:44

people sitting on concrete blocks. But anyway, I digress. The thing is, is that you have to figure out what your sales process is, so that you can then duplicate it. And that’s, that’s one side of sales enablement. Right. So sales enablement to us means content to the fortune 500, or the billion dollar unicorn businesses, you know, startup unicorns that instantly go to a billion. sales enablement for them means the onboarding process, right. And if you take both ideas, the onboarding process for salespeople and the content Oh, wait,

Shelly Miller  06:36

I’m sorry. What the tribal knowledge? Oh, that’s, I’m

Mike Miller  06:39

sorry, the tribal? No.

Shelly Miller  06:42

I’m gonna use that word. Exactly.

Mike Miller  06:43

Well find places for it. Well, I’ve heard that a lot lately. I have do and it still doesn’t make sense. I mean, it does, but I don’t like it anyway. So, um, where was I?

Shelly Miller  06:57

Okay, so so that’s the unicorns out there. their, their sales enablement is onboarding, that’s their process, right?

Mike Miller  07:05

Yes. So if you take both of them together, and you look at them as a whole, you’ll realize that what we’re saying is, you need content as in who’s the ICP? What are the sales scripts? What’s the sales sequence? Does it include emails or postcards or, you know, door hangers? I’m not really saying that, but just saying whatever it is, right? You have it nailed down. And then you can give that to the salesperson and go, Okay, so here’s the process, here’s what you do.

Shelly Miller  07:36

Right. And it’s terminology. So they call it onboarding, we call it I mean, this is the cost, you have to have content and a process to hire anyone,

Mike Miller  07:44

right? And this is it for a salesperson, exactly. But if you want a salesperson to get up and running as fast as possible, then give them all of the information they need, like so. So day one, this is your ICP, this is all of their problems, memorize these nice, the next day, this is our sales sequence. This is your script, memorize this right? Day, three roleplay for half the day, and then sit with another salesperson or the owner of the business who’s been doing it. Yes. And watch it happen. Yes, day four, you’re on your own.

Shelly Miller  08:21

Yes. And I’m going to even go back one, I think in the interview, you should say that our ICP is this person, these persons these personas, right? And I believe, and I want to know, do you have any contacts in those areas? And or do you feel comfortable contacting those people? Right, because, you know, you’re you’re allowing them to decide and make the right decision for them. And a lot of people are, you know, unfortunately, even though they’re salespeople, they’re not comfortable calling certain ICPs. Yeah, so just tell them that at first, that that also eliminates a lot of the headaches.

Mike Miller  08:59

Yes. Yeah, exactly. And I find that for myself, you know, if, if you’re a five person business or 10 person business, no problem. I got no problem calling you. If you’re 100 person business, I am okay. But I’ll call you. But if you’re a 5000 10,000 person business, all of a sudden, I’m like, oh, man, I hope I’m talking to the right person, right? All of a sudden, this, this weight of procrastination comes right. You’re right about that. But the other thing is that people will hire someone who has sold what they sell before. Assuming that those people are going to be good,

Shelly Miller  09:42

yeah, or that they have all of the knowledge they need to sell the product right?

Shelly Miller  09:46

Just because they’ve sold something like it before. And yes, you’re right is a mistake. Don’t assume

Mike Miller  09:51

Exactly. You can’t assume that they know what they’re doing. And that they are going to do it like you want it done. You have to say here Here’s how it’s supposed to be done. Here’s the script. Here’s the process. Here’s the, you know, the ICP material. Here’s all of the sales enablement content. When I say sales enablement content, I mean, you could do battle cards, you could do playbooks. But you could also do all of the content that you’ve put on your blog. So like, your top of funnel content, your middle of funnel content, your bottom of funnel content, right, so if you did a webinar six months ago, but it was on the needs for backing up, you know, so in an MSP space, the needs for backups and recoveries, you know, and to have that nailed down, and you have a lead, who is interested in that right now. You send them that, right, you go, hey, we’ve got something for you that we put together, you let the salesperson know you have that context, so that he can do that. Exactly. So it’s the content offers that help. So let me back up salespeople back in the day, in the 80s, before we had content like we do now, they would call once. And if that person didn’t answer, or you know, they didn’t get a conversation, then they might call back a second time. But after they move through their list of leads, their bosses would say, call them again. Yes. Now this time, they’re like, What do I say? Right? What do I say on the second pass? content takes that out? Take content takes that problem away? Does you have a lot of things to say like did you produce anything this week? Or last week? or the week before? What about a ebook or a guide? Or a white paper or a webinar?

Shelly Miller  12:00

Well, yes. And to that point, so when you’ve aligned sales and marketing, there isn’t there also isn’t any confusion about what content is out there? Or what’s being promoted now? Because really, ideally, at least twice a month, and probably once a week. Sales and Marketing should talk together partner together to see, here’s what we have, you know, talk about the promotions and everything going out here was the new content created. Salespeople, what have you been hearing about this content? How can we change it? I mean, when you continually work together, you make more money. And we’ve heard so many different arguments about that, that, you know, well, that takes up more of marketing and sales time, they’re not, you know, creating the marketing materials, and they’re not making the sales calls. Well, we’re not talking an all day meeting, we’re talking that you can get this done in an hour, right, you know, and then you’re aligned, they’re both align sales and marketing are aligned, so that they both know what they’re doing and how they can help each other, which makes more sales. I mean, that you’re that’s one major reason why your growth continues to climb, because you continually have sales and marketing working together.

Mike Miller  13:05

Yes, exactly. Yeah. And the more they work together, the the there’s this compounding interest that happens, because they get faster, they get more efficient, and more effective. Right, not just at working together, but at the results that they get. And because, you know, there’s an old saying that what gets measured, gets done right and improves, right? So if you just have both teams measuring these things, right, seeing what the other is doing, then just it will naturally increase, it will naturally get better, just because you’re monitoring it.

Shelly Miller  13:50

Right? It’s the truth. And to go back to should I hire a salesperson to this point that we’re discussing. It’s also why a lot of people outsource their part, either all of their sales or part of their sales. Well, unfortunately, one downside of that is then you don’t get to have those meetings with them. You know, a lot of people don’t make them a part of those sales and marketing meetings. Were there a team? You know, you could, if you just, you know, were held bet and determined to outsource your sales. But there are some benefits of doing it in house, or I mean, we could this is a whole nother podcast. But if you split the sales role into two roles, as Mike and I have discussed, you could have the one appointments that are basically the SDR Yes, outside, you could outsource that. And then the internal that’s the one who closes the sales, the AE, right. They could still be aligning with sales and marketing, having the meetings and you’re going through what’s working what’s not right and they could also be responsible for, you know, the meetings and reviews with that outsource team.

Mike Miller  14:56

Exactly. But then that’s an important thing. So you need an outsource. So if you’re going to, okay, so, again, to recap, we split the sales function into two roles, an SDR, sales development representative who’s their job, their job, their goal, their role is just to prospect. That’s all they do all day long is find leads, then once they find someone, they they should have like a little 15 minute discovery call. And if they find that that person is a good lead, then they pass it on to an ad. Right, that he does a presentation creates a proposal closes. Yes, yes. Right. So that SDR role that the AE role has to be in house. I don’t see how it could be outsourced? I don’t either. I mean, you really need to have that in house. Right, the SDR role could be outsourced. But to Shelly’s point, in order to outsource to them, they need to know your script and your process to be able to content exactly they need to sales enablement content just as much as someone you hire in house does.

Shelly Miller  16:10


Mike Miller  16:11

 You know, and there’s pros and cons of hiring, of outsourcing it. And in sourcing it. The biggest con is that they’re not going to use your stuff. And you don’t know what they’re saying,

Shelly Miller  16:25

well, they might not use your stuff. They’ll tell you their use, they’ll use you know, the content that you give them. Right, but you can’t prove that they are. And, you know, it’ll take you a while before you know how good of a job they’re doing. Because, you know, they’re they report to you once a month or once a once a week. Yes. And they’ve already made all these calls. So, you know, I’ve made 200 calls, and I got two appointments for you.

Mike Miller  16:50

Right? You know, exactly.

Shelly Miller  16:51

That’s not good.

Mike Miller  16:52

No, it’s not. And, but that could happen in source too. They could make 200 calls, and they could only get two. But the thing is, is that if you have an employee, you’re investing into that employee, and they are learning and getting better and better and better. And then you can help direct and guide and

Shelly Miller  17:10

at what, which is what you should do. Because if you it’s there, your internal employee that you’ve invested in, and they came to you and said, Oh, I made 200 calls, and I got to two appointments, or actually it probably wouldn’t even get to that because they’re in house. So you would you should be asking them, how are you doing? You know, let’s see, how’s your script going, and they end in at as you constantly work together, you know, you help them with their script, and from what you found out because you tried and and made sales at first yourself, you can help them with this. And if you still can’t figure it out, there’s great there really is great sales trainers, or just sometimes you just need an outside sales coach or consultant that can listen to your script that can make all the difference in the world. So, you know, I’d like to say that our whole everything that we stand for, and we always have for all the years we’ve been in this in marketing is that we want everyone to have the thing that works. You know, there’s always ways to put band aids on things well, or we’ve had people, a lot of people over the years that we’ve I mean, we’ve enjoyed and loved working with, they just never had the money. And always we’re putting band aids on things. And well, I just I can’t I haven’t, you know, created this content, and I have to outsource it. And the problem is, is these companies are still you know, basically, they’re working to give themselves and their three employees a paycheck. Yeah. And while I understand that, and I love and enjoy helping anyone really, I can’t help them band aids will never get you past that point, you’re gonna end up being in the same place 10 years later, and I have I still have clients like, I mean, I, I you know, I hate to admit it, but it’s the truth. You know, I’ve known them for so long. They’re like family,

Mike Miller  19:05

day people, they’re

Shelly Miller  19:05

great people,

Mike Miller  19:06

they just don’t have the business. They don’t have

Shelly Miller  19:09

business drive, they didn’t have a goal well, or their goal, which was identified and this is going off was just to be

Mike Miller  19:16


Shelly Miller  19:16

to be comfortable to pay myself my receptionist and my tech guy. Yeah. Well, if that’s your only goal, then we understand what that dollar amount is. And that’s why you’re not spending any more to grow. Because that’s your only goal and that’s what you’re getting now. So, you know, going back to should I hire a salesperson, what are your goals? What are you trying to do? What are what what do you see in the future that you don’t have now, and and that you want and what more sales would do for you if you did, and when you make that as you create that whole picture. You can better understand why you need to enable all of the things that will help you get there the fastest, instead of going putting a bandaid on it or I’ll hire this company to make appointments set appointments for me. Yeah. And then not telling them what to say or not, you know, reviewing their scripts and not reviewing what they’ve, what the appointments that they’ve set and how many calls you know, that’s, that’s just a band aid and you can’t you have no measurable proof that it’s going to work. Even if you do just hire an SDR outsource firm, you need to still go through the motions with them to make sure they’re going to do what you need them to do to get you to your goal.

Mike Miller  20:31

Yes, exactly. Yeah, you need to use them, you need to manage them, like you would manage an employee an employee you do. And that’s and that brings up sales, management. It does really, so you know, what’s, what’s the role of a sales manager then? So let’s say you have 10 Salespeople, what’s the role of the sales manager, their role is to sit with the salesperson, and listen to them, do their job and watch them do their job and help them be more efficient, help them say things a little different, you know, it’s like, it’s a coaching job. It is more than it is a reporting job, which is what, like most sales managers, they, they do two things they report, create reports for the boss and attend meetings so that they can say, here’s what we’ve done. And then they want to talk to the salespeople every day. What do you do today? Right, yeah. And it seems confrontational, and the salespeople think it’s confrontational. And that’s why you get people going, Well, you need to submit more proposals. And then right salesperson going, I saw this on LinkedIn, the person going? Well, I would, but I find that it works better if I submit proposals to people who want to buy, right instead of just everybody at large.

Shelly Miller  21:59

Right. And that’s a good point. I mean, you know, we another podcast we mentioned, where I used to work, and we were like a regional office, and my boss was Regional Director. So he took care of like 15 branches. Well, it was very interesting to find out that the good sales managers were the ones who weren’t worried about getting their numbers because they got their numbers because they worked with their salespeople. They did what Mike mentioned first, they they wanted, they had hired the salespeople, so they believed in them. So if they weren’t doing good, there were reasons so that that’s the good sales managers would sit down to find out what wasn’t working to help the salespeople, right. The bad sales managers were the ones who were like, I have four salespeople, they were all supposed to get four deals this month, I needed 16 deals on my spreadsheet to give to my regional VP of sales. And I only have 12, who messed up what the hell’s going on? You need more proposals? Yeah, I mean, and those, those branches never did well. And basically, what ended up turning out was the the sales manager was fired. Yeah. So you need,

Mike Miller  23:12

you know, you need to have a good sales manager too. It starts on the first day of the month quota, at the end of the month starts on the first day of the month. So you can’t make it up on the you know, in the last week, right? You know, that’s really difficult. That’s a gamblers mentality. It is we don’t gamble. We don’t need to do everything in our favor. That’s what we’re talking about. Yes. And so if you’re thinking about So, should you hire a salesperson? Yes, you should, you should, but what it’s gonna depend on where you’re at your business is going to depend on several factors, but let me give you a ramp, you know, of what would happen so if you’re just starting out, then you’re the salesperson and you’ve got to figure out how to sell it, how to do it, how to sell it what your sales sequences so that you can consistently put every lead through the same prospecting process all the way to close that’s your goal. The next stage is to the next hire you should make if you’re just starting out the next hire you should make is like an administrative assistant or, or or tech person, you know, someone to help you with the doing of the thing. But the next hire should be a salesperson should be an SDR. Yeah, I agree. Now you can either outsource it or you can insource it, but I find more. It’s I find that it’s more powerful to hire yourself. You get a lot more out of it. Although it does hire an internal employee yeah and source Yeah, hire an internal employee and Teach them how you’re doing it, your return will be better if you do it, we’ll be doing it that you had with sales enablement content, right? If you’ve created the process and the procedures, and you know, the sequence, and you know how it goes together, and you know, the ICP, and you know what to say, and you, you can share this knowledge, this tribal knowledge, then you can, then they will work out. But if you go, I’m really busy, I’ll get to you in the next day or so. And then like three days goes by, and they don’t know what to do, they’re not going to work out. They’re not, you don’t have the processes in place to ensure that they’re going to work out. So then what usually happens is, the business owner complains that it doesn’t work and hiring people sucks. Yes, all these things and, and if you think that sucks, go ahead and outsource it to an SDR company that you haven’t fully vetted or who isn’t familiar with your industry or doesn’t have a really good solid process or hires people from other countries to make these calls. And they can barely speak English, but do outsourced SDR work, you know that you’re going to run into a whole new set of problems there. So once you have hired an SDR, your goal is to hire more SDRs because you as the business owner at a small stage, you’re the closer you’re the you’re the account executive. So then after you hire two, three SDRs, then you can hire an account executive, yes, or this is the ramp.

Shelly Miller  26:40

That’s the process. That’s how that’s how that is the ideal way to do it.

Mike Miller  26:43

Exactly. So usually three to five SDRs can fill a calendar for one. account executive,

Shelly Miller  26:56

good numbers. Okay.

Mike Miller  26:57

So once the once that account executive has more meetings than they can attend, that’s when you hired another account executive. All right, yes. And it just continues that that way. The business owner can be the sales manager at first, after you’ve got to account executives and 10 SDRs, then you should have a sales manager. And then you just continue that way until you’re at a billion dollars.

Shelly Miller  27:25

There you go. And all your dreams are realized. And you

Mike Miller  27:27

can sell your business if you want. Exactly, because that’s the goal, right? You want to sell it and get out and go retire to Florida. You want to live in Naples on the intercoastal. There you go. That’s the dream. That’s the dream, right? So the only way to do that is to Shelly’s point, don’t be the business owner who’s like, well, I can’t spend $3,000 a month on on sales and marketing. I can’t hire another person. I mean, I don’t make enough profit. But that’s limited thinking you got to be expanding, you gotta be growing.

Shelly Miller  28:01

You should be or realize that you’re not an expander or grower and you’re happy with just paycheck for you and to other people exactly. But

Mike Miller  28:09

then you have to think well, would I be better as just a technician working for someone else? Because I apparently I don’t have it. I don’t have the skills.

Shelly Miller  28:17

Well maybe drive

Mike Miller  28:18

but people have all kinds of ideals and goals. So that’s true. That’s true. And I’m not trying to push beliefs on anybody. I’m just saying. If you want to if you want to grow your business, you need to hire a salesperson. And you should start with an SDR. You should start doing it yourself. nail it down. Hire an SDR have them set meetings for you. You close them, and then just grow that way. So there you go. That’s the answer. That’s the answer. All right. Hey, thanks for watching. And as always,

Shelly Miller  28:53

We’ll see you next Thursday. Thanks again for listening to the mind bro Marketing Podcast. Make sure to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google podcast Stitcher, and wherever podcasts are sold. Plus, check us out on YouTube. Grab some marketing tips and insight and subscribe to our channel while you’re there.

Shelly Miller

Shelly Miller

Entrepreneur, marketer and social psychologist - I help you make the most of your business with marketing, online and offline.

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