A common dilemma for home care business owners is determining the right time to hire a sales representative. Do you hire early on while your business is just getting started and use a sales rep to drive growth right out of the gate? Or do you wait until your business has a sure foundation before bringing on a full-time sales rep? Let’s take a look at this dilemma and see what light we can shed on it by reviewing the industry data.
How do I know when I should hire a sales rep?
For the 2016 Home Care Benchmarking Study, Home Care Pulse analyzed data from more than 600 home care businesses across North America. We found that there isn’t one distinct revenue level where most sales reps are hired. Though there is some variation, the two greatest concentrations of hires are in the revenue range between $0 to $249,000 and the range between $1 million to $2 million—26.7% and 26% respectively. Industry leaders (businesses with annual revenue of $2.4 million or more) tended to hire a sales rep early on.
Along with this information, it’s worth considering the median revenue for businesses with and without a sales rep. We found that those who had a sales rep had annual revenue of nearly $817,000 more than the median—a difference that’s grown by more than $140,000 since 2014! The data seems to suggest that hiring a sales rep can have a significant impact on growth. But even after you’ve decided that you’re ready to hire a sales rep, there are still some things to think about.
What attributes should I look for in a sales rep?
Not only is it important to know when to hire a sales representative, but it’s crucial to find the right person for the job. When you begin the hiring process, try to imagine each candidate in this specific role. Do they have the qualities they need to be successful? Here are several characteristics to look for in a sales rep:
Proven Track Record
Your ideal candidate will have a history of making sales, achieving goals, and growing a business. Their track record may be one of the greatest indicators of future success so be sure and do your homework.
Look for someone who is self-motivated and can work independently.
Even more crucial for new businesses, finding someone who can mesh with your current culture and get along with a close-knit group of team members is extremely important.
Confident & Personable in Social Settings
A sales rep needs to be able to start a conversation anywhere and anytime. You want someone who is a good communicator and someone who will make a great impression for your company. Your sales rep needs to be able to connect with various types of people including prospective clients, their family members, and professional referral sources.
Handles Rejection Well
Rejection is part of the job description for a sales rep. You need to hire someone who can get right back up after being pushed down. They need to be resilient and unaffected when they are denied by a potential client.
Industry experience isn’t always a must-have to be a successful sales person, but an ideal candidate will have some experience with the home care industry. This experience will be especially important if they need to hit the ground running and there isn’t time to spare for learning a new, unique industry.
If your home care business is still getting off the ground, your ideal candidate should have some experience working for a new business. You’ll need someone who is familiar with the chaos that inevitably comes with starting and growing a new business.
Maybe they can take rejection well, but can they take your advice and coaching? You need someone who can work with you and adapt.
Your ideal candidate will be motivated by more than just their commission. Find someone who shares your mission—someone who believes in the impact your services have on your clients and has a sincere desire to help more individuals in need receive in-home care. The ideal candidate will share your vision and understand the “why” behind your business.
You might not be able to find a candidate that has all of these qualities, but make a list and determine which ones are most important for you. Defining what you are looking for before starting the hiring process can help you identify the right candidate and weed out the bad ones as you begin working your way through that pile of resumes and cover letters.
Based on the data from the 2016 Study, it’s clear that hiring a sales rep can have a drastic impact on the growth of your home care business, but don’t rush into a decision without evaluating your specific situation, needs, and the numbers that support or go against such a decision. This is the only way to be confident that hiring a sales rep is the right call for your growing home care business.
If you would like to learn more about hiring sales reps, don’t miss this month’s free CORE Webinar. Home Care Pulse Director of Business Development, Dee Armstrong, will be further discussing the impact of a sales rep on your home care business and how to know if it’s the right time to hire. I hope you’ll join us!