43 replies
I'm looking for a good sales person for my marketing business. They'd primarily be selling web design and SEO services. Their main job would be to follow up and close qualified leads. So this person would have to be a good closer. Most of it would be done over the phone. But for local leads, it could mean some face-to-face presenting and selling.

For those who have had experience working with sales people in your business, how do you pay them? For me, they would need to be a contractor. Should I pay them an hourly rate plus commission, or commission only? What should these amounts work out to be?
#hiring #people #sales
  • When we've used others for sales, we've treated them as independent contractors and paid them commission only.
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  • Profile picture of the author Transcripts
    There is a telemarketing forum of John's that might help you if you can't find it here: The Telemarketing Forum - Index&

    I also know several work at home parents that do this if you are interested.
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  • Profile picture of the author iAmNameLess
    Originally Posted by Pointer View Post

    I'm looking for a good sales person for my marketing business. They'd primarily be selling web design and SEO services. Their main job would be to follow up and close qualified leads. So this person would have to be a good closer. Most of it would be done over the phone. But for local leads, it could mean some face-to-face presenting and selling.

    For those who have had experience working with sales people in your business, how do you pay them? For me, they would need to be a contractor. Should I pay them an hourly rate plus commission, or commission only? What should these amounts work out to be?
    Start putting some ads up, commission only sales. Get yourself some interns too!
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    • Profile picture of the author jsherloc
      I have worked with a handful of people here locally, selling various stuff but mostly SEO/website development/video related packages.

      I recommend looking for people that already have a huge local network (think local insurance salesmen, etc) and see if they are looking to make some extra money. I've had the best luck with "part time commission-based" ads and "middle aged" people in general for this type of thing so far. I'm finding that some of the younger people I sent out are certainly more tech-savvy and understand the sales material better....but they are lacking that "closer" mentality that only experience can bring.

      People just generally look at younger people walking into their business and think "please don't try to sell me something" IMO. A local guy that knows the town and the people knows how to speak to a lot of these business owners a lot better than a teenager at his first sales job.

      My only other tactic to attempt is to go for the young female saleswomen approach. It is certainly a bit "sexist", but there is a reason why a lot of the major companies out there employ good-looking college aged girls to sell their stuff. I figure it is worth a shot, as I would also increase my dating prospects at the very least.
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      • Profile picture of the author zackpow
        If you have leads I can close them. I'm great on the phone and love internet marketing. I would prefer to outsource all the work and just make the sales. I have a girl that seems to have a knack for getting leads but hates the sales process. I have been closing her deals for her and we split the profits. Let me know if you would like to outsource the sales and we can discuss.
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        • Profile picture of the author jtlucas2511
          Originally Posted by zackpow View Post

          If you have leads I can close them. I'm great on the phone and love internet marketing. I would prefer to outsource all the work and just make the sales. I have a girl that seems to have a knack for getting leads but hates the sales process. I have been closing her deals for her and we split the profits. Let me know if you would like to outsource the sales and we can discuss.
          I would like to take you up on this, I can't pm you but just post back here if you would be interested.
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      • Profile picture of the author Pointer
        What type commissions have you guys given to your sales people? I'd expect this would be different if the sale was brought in through a lead you provide vs.from their own prospecting/lead.
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        • Profile picture of the author edakehurst
          Originally Posted by Pointer View Post

          What type commissions have you guys given to your sales people? I'd expect this would be different if the sale was brought in through a lead you provide vs.from their own prospecting/lead.
          All of my salespeople are commission only. They provide their own leads.

          I teach them how to get their leads and what qualifications I am looking for, but it is up to them to actually go out and get them.

          I offer numerous products/services, but I always have them lead with one specific product. Currently it is mobile-friendly websites.

          For the lead-in product, I pay them $100 (my basic mobile-friendly sites sell for $350 - $500). Then I pay them 10% of any backend products that come from that customer at any point now or in the future regardless of whether they close the backend product(s) or I do.

          I bump that 10% by as much as double based on the amount of production they do in a given calendar month. The extra commission based on production comes in the form of a bonus at the end of the month.

          Hope that helps.
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          • Profile picture of the author Pointer
            Ed,

            Sounds like you have a good sales process. How many salespeople do you have?

            What lead generation methods have worked for them?

            Do you have your sales people maintain the accounts they get, or do you do that?
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            • Profile picture of the author edakehurst
              Originally Posted by Pointer View Post

              Ed,

              Sounds like you have a good sales process. How many salespeople do you have?
              Thanks. It fluctuates. At the moment I have 1 full timer and 4 part timers. It fluctuates. I just ran another ad - I would like another full timer and maybe 2 more part timers.

              What lead generation methods have worked for them?
              Based on our focus at the moment, I teach them how to go online and sort by industry looking for local merchants that have a web site but not a mobile-friendly one. When we were using general web sites as a lead-in, we were looking for companies that did not have a web site (or had a really bad one with only a page or two) but that were running ads in the yellow pages or the newspaper.

              I do not restrict how they get their leads, though. Most of the time, they use my methods. One of my part timers just does FTF cold calling with no prior research. Not as effective, but if they work harder (which she does) they can make it up.

              Do you have your sales people maintain the accounts they get, or do you do that?
              I maintain all accounts. Their only task is to get the initial order. My full timer (of his own initiative) always calls back to make sure they are getting what they ordered, and all of them send thank you notes (my requirement).
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              • Profile picture of the author Pointer
                Ed, What kind of turn-over have you had with your sales people? Are you able to keep them selling for you for a while, or do you find yourself looking for replacements frequently?
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                • Profile picture of the author edakehurst
                  Originally Posted by Pointer View Post

                  Ed, What kind of turn-over have you had with your sales people? Are you able to keep them selling for you for a while, or do you find yourself looking for replacements frequently?
                  Usually, they last a while. Recently, I've had more turn over than usual.
                  Fortunately, it doesn't take long to get them up to speed and out the door.
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              • Profile picture of the author Dar2Live
                Originally Posted by edakehurst View Post

                Thanks. It fluctuates. At the moment I have 1 full timer and 4 part timers. It fluctuates. I just ran another ad - I would like another full timer and maybe 2 more part timers.



                Based on our focus at the moment, I teach them how to go online and sort by industry looking for local merchants that have a web site but not a mobile-friendly one. When we were using general web sites as a lead-in, we were looking for companies that did not have a web site (or had a really bad one with only a page or two) but that were running ads in the yellow pages or the newspaper.

                I do not restrict how they get their leads, though. Most of the time, they use my methods. One of my part timers just does FTF cold calling with no prior research. Not as effective, but if they work harder (which she does) they can make it up.



                I maintain all accounts. Their only task is to get the initial order. My full timer (of his own initiative) always calls back to make sure they are getting what they ordered, and all of them send thank you notes (my requirement).

                Ed,

                Thanks for your input on this.

                Are your sale reps doing telephone sales or face to face selling?
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                • Profile picture of the author JayBay
                  Originally Posted by Dar2Live View Post

                  Ed,

                  Thanks for your input on this.

                  Are your sale reps doing telephone sales or face to face selling?
                  Also wondering this.
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                  • Profile picture of the author LasseKohau
                    I too vote for Roberts WSO or John Durhams telemarketing forum.

                    They are both great resources.

                    When implemented - be SURE, that you are ready for business, cause it will flow...

                    LASSE
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                • Profile picture of the author edakehurst
                  Originally Posted by Dar2Live View Post

                  Ed,

                  Thanks for your input on this.

                  Are your sale reps doing telephone sales or face to face selling?
                  I let me reps sell in the format they are most comfortable with. the breakdown is approximately:

                  Phone 20%
                  Face To Face 80%

                  The Face To Face appointments do MUCH better - not only are the numbers higher, but when we get the sale, the ones we met in person first always seem to buyer higher packages.

                  95% of all deals get closed face to face, even if they started online or by phone.

                  Hope that helps.


                  I also have one disabled rep who does all online. He finds "weak" websites and makes 3 - 5 minute personalized videos showing some things that could be improved on.
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  • Profile picture of the author bombasdeagua
    there's a lot of offer of outsourcing in india. The main advantage is that they speak english.
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    • Profile picture of the author SamyE
      Try Craig's list. Consider some one older or semi retired who really knows the local business community. They were brought up in sales very old school and are used to rejection and have years of closing experiences. They are under employed due to their age factor and as such make good candidate for independent contractors. Especially if you have internet buddies that also want to "share" your sales rep for non competing services.


      The suggestion of a local insurance rep is good. I would also add in find some one who is already selling to the local business community, wants extra money, is not selling web/seo/internet services and wants more action in the sales game.

      Also look for older guys that have been divorced several times and are supporting multiple families and have child support payment commitments.

      There are also lots of older women coming into the job market yet have family responsiblitys one the kids get back home. Also older "empty nesters" who are getting back into the job market should be considered especially if they have previous sales and customer service job experience. Juggling household and kids is just as hectic as dealing with sales prospects.

      Commissions
      Pay them for performance. No Performance no money. This will weed out 80 percent of the candidates. Any strong sales rep who is confidant and believes in your products and services will not wilt and weep at this. They will say OK where my list of prospects and hit the phone/road/main street. Older folks were brought up on cold calling and walk in cold selling so training will be less involved.

      You can pay them 20 percent and up, plus bonuses and spiffs of what ever the front end work sold. Keep them focused on front end work to keep the sales funnel full and working. Spiff or bonus them for continuity if they are actively involved in keeping and managing the continuity. Many don't even give commissions on continuity only the front end.

      Hope that helps.
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    • Profile picture of the author krzysiek
      Originally Posted by bombasdeagua View Post

      there's a lot of offer of outsourcing in india. The main advantage is that they speak english.
      India is good, and finding them is easy on oDesk. However, I would say don't go for an Indian (nothing personal) but for perhaps a Philippino they tend to sound more American and a lot of them have very neutral accents.

      However, be warned: you will need to keep them on their toes because I find the performance has not always been that great. If you could find an affordable US based caller then that would be better, I would imagine.
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    • Profile picture of the author renangll
      I recommend reading this report to anyone looking to outsource.
      http://www.uobim.com/virtual-assistants-personal-employees-direct-save-money/#renan
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  • Profile picture of the author roypreece
    Put an ad in your local paper or craiglist for people who have sold advertising space.

    There are a lot of women who were great at it, and then became Moms. The can pitch and close, and are comfortable on the phone. They want to work from home with flexible hours so they can continue to look after their kids

    The usual rate selling ad space on commission-only is 35%. If you can offer them that, and have SEO selling for several hundred dollars, you could attract some expert sales people.
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    • These are all really good ideas. I have found that while younger sales reps understand the product better, they need more hand holding. The process is not yet ingrained in them so you end up spending half your time making sure they are taken care of.

      Middle aged and older salespeople are able to deal with rejection, get past gatekeepers better, and have more in common with most of the business owners. And they have bills that they have to pay so being driven seems to be a given.

      Anyone have any good training programs I can simply turn over to a new sales rep. video and print based, to get them started selling SEO or Websites? Everything I have is designed for the Business Owner and unfortunately that teaches them to go out and start their own business.

      If anyone is interested in talking about putting a product together to do this let me know. Maybe we can make a WSO out of it.

      Boss
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      • Profile picture of the author Pointer
        Good idea about finding a training program that could get new reps up to speed selling web sites and SEO specifically. I'm also interested in anything that might be out there. I've talked with people who can sell, but it would take considerable time to get them educated on our industry and services.

        I think there are plenty of "young professionals" in their late 20s-30s that could make good sales people while also having decent knowledge of what they're selling. They should have enough experience selling. Many will have families and also the drive to succeed. However, I think as we're seeing, there are qualified sales people from all different age groups.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dr Dan
    Robert is selling a WSO right now that has scripts, templates, and even the ads to post when looking for superstar salespeople. http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...18-months.html
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    • Profile picture of the author BrashImpact
      Originally Posted by Dr Dan View Post

      Robert is selling a WSO right now that has scripts, templates, and even the ads to post when looking for superstar salespeople. http://www.warriorforum.com/warrior-...18-months.html
      Dr. Dan,
      thanks for the Plug in Brother, and am So Happy you got so much out of the Hiring Super Stars Manifesto. Thank You Sir


      As to Responding too O.P. Hiring a Sales Super Star is the One element you can do to triple or Quadruple business fast. Let's face it, most IM folks, and even Most sales Folks, don't have the Skills to be a sales Super Star...If you have Questions, the link is in my SIG.

      To Your Continued Success,
      Regards,
      Robert
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      • Profile picture of the author Dr Dan
        Your welcome brother and I am about to post my first ad on craigslist using your template. I have ran ads in the past but most of the applicants just sucked. It will be nice to finally have a sales superstar!

        Originally Posted by BrashImpact View Post

        Dr. Dan,
        thanks for the Plug in Brother, and am So Happy you got so much out of the Hiring Super Stars Manifesto. Thank You Sir


        As to Responding too O.P. Hiring a Sales Super Star is the One element you can do to triple or Quadruple business fast. Let's face it, most IM folks, and even Most sales Folks, don't have the Skills to be a sales Super Star...If you have Questions, the link is in my SIG.

        To Your Continued Success,
        Regards,
        Robert
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  • Profile picture of the author Bruce NewMedia
    Some of the best ad sales reps I've ever seen were or are selling radio advertising.

    You might see if you can make contact with some of them by calling and asking about rates etc. You might also, just let drop in the conversation that you've been looking for a sales rep, just in passing. Not to waste their time, but just to put a feeler out there.
    ______
    Bruce
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  • Profile picture of the author Deepikarajpal
    you are planning right its better to outsource as if you are hiring proper dedicated sales person then you must need to give him fix salary plus incentive so its better that go with outsourcing
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  • Profile picture of the author RogerAderholdt
    I believe in paying for PERFORMANCE.

    Have always paid my sales force well... at least 50% commissions on what every we are selling.

    A lot of people will NOT work for 100% commissions. That's o.k. becasue they don't believe in their ability to SELL. Keep looking. If you have a GOOD Product and a Good Sales Script that's PROVEN to make money... you want have problems finding good sales reps.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pointer
      Originally Posted by RogerAderholdt View Post

      I believe in paying for PERFORMANCE.

      Have always paid my sales force well... at least 50% commissions on what every we are selling.

      A lot of people will NOT work for 100% commissions. That's o.k. becasue they don't believe in their ability to SELL. Keep looking. If you have a GOOD Product and a Good Sales Script that's PROVEN to make money... you want have problems finding good sales reps.
      Roger, A 50% commission is really good. What products/services do you sell and what are the common price points?

      Do you provide your sales people with leads, or are they responsible for generating their own leads and then closing them? Do you give them a sales process to follow, or are they basically on their own when it comes to both lead generation and sales closing?

      Good point about good sales people will work on 100% commission. They just need to believe that your product/service will sell at the price offered.
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  • Profile picture of the author Cameron Nabeel
    I think a small fix pay is a must to motivate and safe a sales person from any loss. If they feel safety of getting a particular fix amount at any cost, this can result in good results i believe. Normally people use contractors for this purpose.
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    • Profile picture of the author Stephen B
      If you are providing a qualified lead you have already done the majority of the work and I would outsource the closing to an experienced semi-retired person who is used to dealing with people.

      The fact that the lead is qualified means they are only approaching the prospect for the face to face meeting to close the deal and collect the check.

      I would make this commisiion only and make them a contractor.
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  • Profile picture of the author RWhite
    I would even look into an intern possible and look at getting them college credits.
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  • Profile picture of the author mrktxprt
    I'd look for people who have their own network of people and would use your services to make extra money. This would be warm lead marketing to them. Are you planning to supply leads to your sales people?
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    • Profile picture of the author Pointer
      mrkxprt, it sounds like you're talking about setting up referral networks which is a great way to generate leads. I do this and pay a commission on sales I get from the leads referred to me.

      This method usually isn't as proactive as having a sale person who's out there actively marketing your services. But it is another good tactic to add to your own marketing mix.
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    • Profile picture of the author Pointer
      Ed, That's good you've had decent retention with your sales people. How do you usually find your sales people? Do you post ads on Craiglistlist or do you purchase ads on jobs sites like CareerBuilder?
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  • Profile picture of the author ebizman
    Pay $25 and post a job ad in one of the major cities on Craigslist. You should definitely get good resumes.
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    • Profile picture of the author johncm
      Depending on the product or service you may want to pay them up to 100% of first month.
      I wouldn't do it in the first month, I would break it up in 3 or 4 payements. As you get paid.
      The Insurance industry work on this exact same model.
      As earned: monthly as they get paid.
      Advanced: 6-9 months up front and then as earned.
      Accomplishes a couple of things. 1) they get paid very well 2) they make sure client is happy and stays on the books 3) if they leave, they leave residuals.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jungle123
    Edakehurst - Would you mind to share detailsfor - I also have one disabled rep who does all online. He finds "weak" websites and makes 3 - 5 minute personalized videos showing some things that could be improved on. -

    It seems that I am looking for such kind of person.
    Of course if that's ok with you!Please pm me...
    Cheers
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    • Profile picture of the author edakehurst
      Originally Posted by Jungle123 View Post

      Edakehurst - Would you mind to share detailsfor - I also have one disabled rep who does all online. He finds "weak" websites and makes 3 - 5 minute personalized videos showing some things that could be improved on. -

      It seems that I am looking for such kind of person.
      Of course if that's ok with you!Please pm me...
      Cheers
      I originally learned of the technique from a WSO here on WF - I think from Chris Jenkins, I am not sure. I was looking for a link, but can't find it now. I do not want to give away details that I bought here no the forum, but I'll type something up giving brief outline later today (getting ready to leave - have three FTF appointments today - pizza shop, chiropractor, and alarm installation company).
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  • Profile picture of the author Pointer
    Ed, Do you have any sample contracts for hiring salespeople that you'd be willing to share?
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  • Profile picture of the author Angela Marshall
    @zackpow

    Could you PM with your email address? I'm actually looking for a strong closer at this time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Jeremy Raglin
    I would say pay them commission only but offer a bigger piece of the pie like commission on renewals and the ability to upsell new products and services to customers that they bring in.

    Don't get greedy with commissions. If you reward your sales people well and give them lots of opportunity to make big money they will stay loyal and help you grow your business.
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