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A business owner is often the sole salesperson for the business. When it comes time to hire a salesperson, who should a business owner hire?

In most instances, a business owner’s plan is to hire someone to take on the full sales function, but that approach has several issues associated with it:

▪ Because there hasn’t been a salesperson in place before, nothing is written down. There isn’t a documented sales process. All of the information is in the business owner’s head.

▪ While the intent is to hand the reigns over to the newly-hired salesperson, few business owners can really do it. Many micromanage the salesperson right out of the company.

▪ Hiring a highly skilled salesperson can be very expensive, especially when pursuing those from within the industry.

▪ Just because a small business owner is now ready to hire a salesperson, it doesn’t mean that there are candidates on the doorstep. It could take three to six months to find that salesperson — maybe even longer.

▪ Structuring sales compensation for an initial salesperson is tricky, as it is hard to set realistic expectations. Chances are, someone is going to lose — either the salesperson starves or the company overpays.

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Lee B. Salz is a leading sales management strategist specializing in helping companies build scalable, high-performance sales organizations through hiring the right salespeople, effectively onboarding them, and aligning their sales activities with business objectives through process, metrics and compensation. He is the Founder and CEO of Sales Architects, Business Expert Webinars and The Revenue Accelerator. Lee has authored several books including award-winning,  best-seller “Hire Right, Higher Profits.” He is a results-driven sales management consultant and a passionate, dynamic speaker . Lee can be reached at or 763.416.4321.

  • Harlan Goerger

    ON target as always Lee, yes I’ve seen the “dump” the position onto a new salesperson and it sink into oblivion, cost the company plenty and actually reduce sales. I like your idea of apprentice postions taking pieces, it is less risky and does allow you to find the right people that can perform.

    • Lee Salz

      Thank you, Harlan!