When it comes to hiring people for the job, the first thing that companies and employers look for are skills, experience and educational background. This is true in any type of setting, and even when you are building a team of salespeople.
Sales could be a very daunting department. Most of the time, companies prefer people who already have experience in this area because not too many people can survive the stresses or even reach the sales quota required for the job.
Some companies however are also open to train willing applicants who have the grit and motivation to pursue a career in sales, but it also comes with a variety of risks – such as uncertainties in the hiring process, and costly trial and error blunders.
At the outset, it seems like hiring people with actual sales experience to be part of your team seems like the most viable option. You don’t have to waste time and energy to excessively train them, all you need is an orientation for them to be familiar with your products and services. The higher track record, the better.
However, it is not actually a good idea to pool all the top salespeople you can find in just one team, this is because of the following reasons:
- Stiffer and Unhealthy Competition
Top salespeople are on top of their game because they are most likely the ones who reach their quota consistently. Most of them are smooth talkers and can easily lock in deals by intuitively knowing what the customer wants to hear from them. Hiring a group of them would surely boost your leads and sales conversions, right? But it would come at a price.
Salespeople, especially the very experienced ones are naturally competitive. Although healthy competition is great, but pitting highly competitive people against each other is not a good idea. Everyone will feel like they are in a pressure cooker, and this might ultimately affect their mental and emotional health – resulting to decrease in productivity and unpleasant attitude towards their co-workers and even to prospects.
- Leadership Issues
Because everyone knows they are ‘good’ or even one of the ‘best,’ each of them might go about their own techniques that already worked great for them in the past. Although it is good to have employees with a high level of initiative, the problem starts when no one is regarded as a leader. Top salespeople can be persuasive at times, and if no leader can put them to work together, the company eventually suffers because of lack of direction.
- Unnecessary Drama
With all the pressure and issues around, people will normally cause some drama within the team. This could be detrimental to the job, and you might even lose good employees along the way. Most of all, many people can’t work in a toxic environment, so might as well at least avoid nurturing office drama by hiring too many ‘top’ salespeople.
- Failing to be Proactive
Since your sales team will be constantly embroiled in a day-to-day competition, they might fail to develop a forward-thinking mindset because their energy is wasted on present day challenges and issues. Clear up the air, and you will be able to hire people with greater talent potential and better vision for the future.
- Neglecting Actual Teamwork
With all that “every man for himself” attitude, the essence of teamwork might be lost in just a matter of time. Instead of trying to build up the others to become better at acquiring sales, they get lost in the pit and will later fail to realize their most important skills and potential. This is a waste of talent, and a loss to the company who could have benefited from them.
So what should be done? If you are planning to build say, 10 people to form your sales team, make sure one could be designated as the team leader (the most experienced and versatile one), while at least 2 to 3 are well-experienced people in the field that can help mentor the rest (first-timers, fresh grads and the like) to become better at the craft. This way, you don’t just get to nurture and tap potentially greater talents, but you will be able to create a healthy working environment as well.