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How NOT to build a sales team

How NOT to build a sales team

February 21, 2020

How NOT to build a sales team

It’s every business owners dream to replicate their star sales person over and over again to grow their sales.  Many times they mistakenly promote that person as a sales manager and ask them to build a team and mentor those people to become rock star sales people.  Here’s why it fails:


The truth is, all the money is in sales, not management.  When a sales person makes more money actually selling than they can spending time teaching people how to sell, it will fail.  Additionally, if they have zero ownership in the company, they will not participate in the growth of sales and therefore their efforts are without reward. They will understand this immediately, and see right through your motivations. Because equity ownership is not on the table in all organizations, here is what you can do:


Tie them to the company with Golden Handcuffs

You need them and so do your competitors.  By providing and offering an executive compensation package with a vesting schedule, you now have the ability to negotiate a non-compete agreement and give them incentive to stay with your company and continue to be the rock star.  Your goal is to keep them happy and keep them fed, otherwise you could be at risk of losing them if you don’t have any desire to offer them ownership in your business. 

Hire more Rockstars

Successful sales can be taught, but it can take upwards of 5-10 years to mentor and train good people.  This is not only expensive, but also time consuming.  If your Rockstar is unable or unwilling to do this, it now becomes your job.  The alternative is to market the position with outstanding pay and benefits that will incentivize the right person to leave their current position and come work for you.  This person needs to be at the level of your current rock star sales person.  This has a higher immediate cost, but a much better long term rate of return potential.

Once hired, there’s an added benefit to having two rock stars.  Your current sales person is a competitive person and will always want to be the best.  When they realize they might come in second place, there will be a natural competitiveness between the two which will naturally grow sales in your organization. 

Repeat this process until you’ve built the sales team you’ve always dreamed of.  Eventually, you’ll have a business that may be able to run without you.

In today’s employment environment, overpaying for the right people can payoff in the long run.