I have to admit, it’s a little scary to build a sales team AND transition the company’s business model. For the last few months, I’ve been knee-deep in building a 15-person sales force across Atlanta, Asheville and Central Tennessee, developing Online Marketing Products to our portfolio, and continuing to run operations in the Website Design area of the business.
What’s scary about building a sales team is that I know most people are not like me. What I mean by that is, I own the company and I jump out of bed in the morning thinking about what will make the company last in the long-term. I have experience across many different subjects, from cold-call telemarketing and door-to-door sales, to referral-based word of mouth marketing, to accounting, website design… you name it, I’ve probably done it. I’m also aware of every little facet of the business so that when I make decisions, I’m thinking of the whole picture- and I have the knowledge to do so.
When a salesperson (aptly called “Online Marketing Consultant“) applies for the position, they are often thinking something along the lines of “how much can I make per week” and “how hard will it be to make a sale.” (Note: this may not be #1 on their list, but it’s usually toward the top.) So I not only have to find out if they will make a good addition to the team, but I also have to convince them that the job is worth their time. Then, once I hire the person, I have to keep them interested or they’ll quit.
I tend to think of Jaymunda as a really nice company, centererd around the people who interact with us. The people are the Team, our Clients and our Vendors. I used to think that just being nice was enough (a wholly good trait in a company), but I have become wiser through the years. You also have to show them the money- it’s just a fact of life. That brings me to the transition in our business model that is taking place right now.
It’s hard to hire commissioned salespeople when it takes so much training before you can adequately represent website design to your potential clientele.
So we started testing products that could give our clients results. We set them up in such a way that they could be understood easily by both clients and salespeople. We minimized risk to both parties and created a way for our sales team to hit the ground running right after the hire. (i.e. Week 1 = Sales) We also set it up so that if a particular salesperson decided to leave the company suddenly, it would minimize and almost eliminate our potential loss.
Overall, I’ve never been more excited about Jaymunda and our growth potential. I’m a little nervous about building the team, but I guess that’s to be expected. I’ll let you know how it goes over the next few months and I quite expect to be able to write that it worked out beautifully!