By Helen Cartright
Hiring an outside sales professional is a big and risky decision to make, especially if you are just starting out. Businesses grow or contract, the unemployment rate goes high or low and economy, in general, may bloom or wither. Whatever the situation, the tools that are needed to efficiently hire an outsourced professional for your marketing needs have remained the same. They are basically variations of the following list of questions and answers.
Is the professional good enough for the job?
One of the biggest mistakes business owners make is not checking the credentials and reputation of the sales person they are hiring. Some owners fool themselves into believing that cost-effectiveness is the only way to increase their business bottom line. So they turn to someone who will offer the service for cheap. The hard truth is that cheap is not always the best.
The professional you are seeking should be well qualified, and above all have an impressive service record. Are the person’s goals compatible with yours? It is not just interviewing that person but taking time to ‘prepare’ before the interview. It is important to learn about the prospective candidate’s past experience, background and financial status.
Attention to details is routinely ignored by most employers, especially big company hiring departments. Such companies do it in haste and then wonder why the hiring didn’t work out to their advantage. When it comes to marketing, communication is a core competency for any assigned task. It is, therefore, necessary that you assess the candidate’s communication skills. You may also want to obtain concrete evidence that the person has a clear understanding of how he or she will use the skills to make it work for your business.
Will the professional be a better choice than hiring a permanent employee?
Did your business experience high turnover in the past years especially in the marketing area? Are your salespeople a huge burden on the revenue? Will you be better off with outside help or a complete overhaul of the in-house marketing department? If yes, then the move justifies the action. There are undoubtedly times when a business may face a higher turnover rate and the business can no longer sustain with permanent employees. In such cases, outsourced professionals, for instance, cloudtask B2B, can be of great value. An outsourcing partner can help you to complete tasks round the clock and that too without the added baggage.
Will the sales professional fit in with the rest of the team?
The smaller the business, the more important it is to make sure that the person hired from outside can get along with the employees. You don’t want to be so dazzled by the professional’s skills and experience that you fail to recognize that there is no “chemistry”. The professional hired needs to fit in with the business’s culture. They may choose to work independently if the job requires them to do so.
Let us presume you are trying to hire an on the go sales representative whose job is to be on the road all the time and will solely interact with customers. Here, you don’t have to worry about the representative’s relationships with your employees. But if the representative is required to do a lot of interaction at work, he or she needs to socialize with them. A successful candidate is one who knows this reality and will confidently get along with a wide variety of people in the business.
What is the professional going to cost?
This is another matter to focus in detail. How much is the person going to cost before he or she actually start contributing to the business’s bottom line? And what is the cost to get him or her there? You personally don’t believe that an outsourced professional at an entry-level will make a significant contribution to the business from the start. Experience will be necessary, and remote training may also be needed to make the professional product. So, in order to get past this hurdle, it is necessary that you take into account the cost to train and cover for the days he or she is non-productive.
If the professional has already failed to convince that it would cost less than you can afford, you will never consider him. Many professionals think this merely as a deal breaker and simply answer “not much”. Whereas someone offering to complete the task for a lot less than the typical market rate should obviously raise a red flag. You need to know the exact figure to be able to proceed with the hiring.
Why would someone offer more for outsourced service when they can easily achieve the task by assigning to their own employees? In essence, a successful business owner should have done his homework in the cost-effectiveness area.
Helen Cartwright is a passionate blogger, who excels in the Digital Marketing and Technology niche. When not wired in marketing strategies she ghost-write for a variety of authors who have their work published on leading online media channels such as The Huffington Post and Entrepreneur.com.