How Maverick Entrepreneurs Build

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How Maverick Entrepreneurs Build Non-Maverick Sales Team. So many entrepreneurs are mavericks. It’s partly what gives them the confidence and drive to set up a business in the first place! However, that gives rise to a number of challenges when it comes to building a sales team. Here’s how to overcome those challenges. 

Are you a maverick?

Let’s start with a bit of introspection. Are you aware that you’re a maverick? If so, how does that impact your ability to build a sales team? 

These are questions that can be tough to answer, as it’s hard to pin down exactly how to identify yourself as a maverick. When it comes to sales, though, there are some questions you can ask yourself: 

  • Can you explain your own success in sales? Does your explanation include the line, “I just get on well with people; they like me and they’re happy to work with me”? If so, you’re probably a maverick.
  • Have you hired salespeople before and asked them to shadow you as their main learning process? Then chances are you’re a maverick. 
  • When hiring those salespeople, did they regularly fail to work out because they couldn’t match your sales style and success? Yes, you’re probably a maverick. 
  • When hiring salespeople, do you hire mostly on likeability alone? Yup, probably maverick again!

If you answer ‘yes’ to all four of the above questions, you’re definitely a maverick! But that doesn’t mean you can’t build a sales team. Far from it! There are many different ways that mavericks can successfully build non-maverick sales teams. Just be sure to avoid the mistake that most entrepreneurs – mavericks or not – tend to make when they recruit their first salesperson: looking for ‘another me’. This approach almost always fails. 

Scaling sales 

To scale sales teams in a way that provides a high chance of success, you need a structured sales process that can be easily explained. That process needs to cover how you take Prospective Client A – who has never heard of you – to Actual Client A who has been contacted, intrigued, qualified, matched and closed. It also needs to look at the structure of the conversations that your sales team is having. Sales calls and meetings should never be scripted. However, a basic, consistent, flexible structure will help enormously.

Implementing a clear sales process and structure makes your sales function scalable for one simple reason: it makes sales trainable. Once you have a clear sales process and structured system of sales conversations, you can build a training programme. And once you have a training programme, you can isolate the parts of the job you can teach. That then allows you to identify the traits you need to hire. 

Building your future

In most cases, it’s best to hire attitude and train skill. Of course, everyone wants to find the perfect salesperson, who has the right attitude and proven skills, but they’re very hard to find. And they tend to be expensive!

By building a sales process, it’s not only easier to train but also easier to recruit. That means you can build a solid foundation on which to grow. Without the ability to recruit well, your growth plans are going nowhere. 

Decision time 

Unless you have a clear sales process that you can easily explain, you’re probably a maverick. That means you have three options when it comes to building your sales team:

First, you could carry on and hope it turns out well. It might do. I’ve seen it happen. Occasionally.

Your second option is to take time out to assess your sales process, document it and create a repeatable, teachable sales structure. This is a solid approach though it takes time. 

Finally, you could get an expert in. You can either hire a senior salesperson who can build the process for you (though they are very hard to find, usually expensive and rarely successful) or seek out a sales growth expert who you can hire on a short-term project to build the process for you. This latter option still isn’t cheap but it’s faster than doing it yourself and carries less risk than hiring a senior salesperson. Something to think about as you plan your future success. 

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