No matter how long your company has been in business, in order to maintain status quo or grow, you should consider investing in a sales team. Every industry is increasingly competitive and your sales force is an important aspect of keeping a competitive advantage. These are a few things to keep in mind when hiring and retaining a sales group for your company.

Job Description
Before you engage in any hiring, take the time to make a list of all the qualities you are looking for in a salesperson. What kind of background information should they have? How long have they been in sales? What are the types of responsibilities they will have and what are your expectations in how they fulfill them? Fleshing out all of the details will help guide the type of salespeople that you want to apply for the job. Furthermore, it will help flush out the sales people that you do not want on your sales force.

Be Selective
There might be a slew of people who appear qualified on paper, but will not fit in with your company’s culture. They could have a personality that does not mesh well with their co-workers. Conducting phone interviews before having them come in for a face to face will narrow down the field. A good salesperson should have a professional phone demeanor. When you have them come in, introduce them to the rest of the sales team to see how they interact.

Once you have created your sales force, it is never a good lose them to a competitor. Promote a welcoming atmosphere, one that lets them know they are a valuable member of the company. Let them know they have the ability to advance within the business. Create attainable goals for them to achieve. If they feel the environment is overbearing and has no direction, they will jump ship very quickly.

Not only do the salespeople want to feel needed, they want to know they have been doing a good job along the way. Reward the small actions that lead up to the sale. Closing the sale is not always the end game. If they have improved in some aspect of their prospecting, recognize the advancements, too. You must be prepared to motivate your sales team with rewards, further education through seminars or workshops and constant positive thinking. If you are not prepared to provide motivation, do not expect as much from your sales force. Consider unique ways to motivate your team like hiring a motivational speaker or providing motivational materials to them on a regular basis.

Every company has a different method to fostering referrals and converting leads into a sale. Even though they might have been a fantastic salesperson at their previous positions, their technique might not work in your environment. Keeping the sales team up to date on the latest methods and evaluating their usefulness will ensure a successful working climate. A sales coach or sales trainer can do wonders for your sales force.

It is scary to essentially put your company into someone else’s hands to increase business. Having a good backbone in place for hiring, retaining, motivating and training a sales team will make customer acquisition a smoother process and allow you to reap the benefits. Investing in a sales team should be an educated and thorough process that ensures you are hiring and retaining the correct force for YOUR organization.