My web company has been in business for close to ten years. We sell a digital product. I bootstrapped the business and for the longest time we saw steady growth. I had experience in web advertising and that is what I pursued. Bringing people in to us from the web.... One thing I never did is hire sales people to go out and try to bring in bigger clients who would purchase larger amounts of our product. (And our business model is the type that would sustain this.) At this point, we have gone through some tough stages and money is tighter than usual. We are down to only a few necessary employees. I am wondering if there is a process for a company at my stage to find and hire salespeople. I honestly don't even know where to start. I do believe that if I had someone who could regularly hit up various companies, etc. that we could grow, but right now we don't have the budget to just hire a full time sales person out of the door. I know I can do this job as well and have been doing it as my time allows, but I only have so much time to devote to it. Thanks for any help or advice!

Finding good commission salespeople is almost impossible. I've hired companies who supposedly specialize in this, and no results.

Base+Commission is probably the best you're going to get. The base has to be slightly less than what the salesperson can survive on, which will induce them to go get sales. But your commission % must be high: at least 30%. Or competent salespeople will laugh you off as they walk out of the interview.

Honestly, though, and this isn't going to make you happy to hear, but as the business owner if you can't sell your own products or services, you're not going to make it. Nobody believes in your business as much as you. Nobody cares as much as you. Not your significant other, not your employees. And if you can't do it, no one can.

In your situation, which is essentially a startup in the rare situation of having some case studies to point to, YOU need to be spending at least 70% of your time on prospecting for new business. If you're programming, or supervising, you're putting your energy into the wrong thing. You need revenue. Now.

Answered 8 years ago

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