Before we dive into this topic it’s important to understand that there are 4 key elements of business; Strategy, Marketing, Sales and Operations.
Now, unless you’re starting with a decent pot of capital, some investors funds or a ready made order book with backing from the bank, it’s unlikely you’re going to be jumping straight into business needed to hire people. Most start-ups and small businesses aren’t in a position to be forking out salaries for any staff, let alone expensive sales and marketing people.
This being the case, I believe it’s essential for the business owner/founder to have a good level of understanding and practical experience in all aspects of their business – from sales and marketing, to finance and delivery. Look at it this way – if you’re not yourself proficient in a given task or skill set, then how can you realistically expect to be able to effectively manage someone else working for you in that role.
The other thing is that everyone has their own style as to how they want things done – especially when it comes to marketing and sales. So, it’s important to do this work yourself to find what style suits you and your business so you know what to expect from your staff when you’re ready for them. Grant Cardone is a fantastic example of this…
Can you get people who are multi-talented when it comes to marketing and sales? Yes. Will they be as good as those people who focus on and specialise in just one of these? No. Marketing and sales are two very different skill sets, and so if you want to hire for these aspects of your business you will likely be looking at hiring two completely different people to get the best from each.
I’m a big believer in education and coaching in all aspects of life, but I invest most heavily in my education and coaching around business – and I have one coach who specialises in marketing, and another who specialises in sales and closing (again, sales and closing are two very different skill sets – but that’s for another post). They are that different that I have two completely different people to coach me on each.
Of course, as you grow and your start-up turns into a small business and beyond then you will need to hire sales and marketing people so you can focus on the areas of the business where you really add the most value as the founder and CEO – usually in working the strategy, raising funding and expanding the market share of your business. Here’s the thing; the more sales people you have, the more quickly and sustainably you’ll be able to expand and grow. The great thing about sales people is that although they’re expensive, they (should) pay for themselves – yes they usually command high salaries by the time you’ve factored in their commission, but generally speaking (and certainly in terms of best practice) their take home pay is directly linked to their sales performance – if they don’t sell anything, they only take home their basic, but when they perform and generate revenue for you and your business they should be handsomely rewarded.
Sales is the lifeblood of your business! Invest heavily in it and pay your best sales people well – you won’t regret it!
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