Let me make this very simple: No! An IT support company that sells IT services to local small businesses, and is itself a very small business, should definitely not attempt to hire a commission-only salesperson.
While I’d love to stop the blog post right here, the typical reader clicking through on this post has already made up his or her mind that hiring a commission-only salesperson make sense and that it’s just a matter of finding a website or resume of someone ready to jump at this opportunity. But not so fast!
Here are six big reasons why an IT support company should not hire a commission-only salesperson:
The founder or co-founder must establish company culture and processes for recruiting and onboarding major accounts – A commission-only salesperson, who’s only out for their own short-term personal financial interests, is definitely not the person you want setting precedents. In the early days, until an IT support company has the resources to hire a very seasoned salesperson on a salary + bonus arrangement, a founder or co-founder will almost certainly take on this role himself or herself.
Don’t delude yourself into thinking this talent comes cheap. Since a highly-experienced salesperson who’s worked for another IT support company may command an annual salary of $80,000 to $100,000+ plus bonus incentives and benefits (or your local currency equivalent), it’s very unlikely that your company will be able to afford to hire at this level until your company is already generating at least $1,000,000 in annual revenue.
Re-think whether you actually need a salesperson at this stage or just closed sales (revenue). For the very small IT support company, there are often much more cost-effective ways to facilitate sales. For example, a full-time marketing coordinator or even a part-time marketing intern can create a lot of visibility for your company through simple tasks like managing your social media and blog, attending local organization meetings, planning and moderating webinars and off-line webinars, and managing follow-up campaigns to keep your name in front of targeted leads. From another angle, a full-time customer service person or office manager can help qualify leads, answer basic pre-sales questions, schedule appointments, and follow up on open proposals.
A commission-only salesperson can do massive damage to your company. If he or she will literally say anything to close a sale, you could end up with a client base of those who were lied to or deliberately misled. Not exactly the best way to build your company’s reputation.
A commission-only salesperson may end up on a collision course with everyone else you’ve hired. Why? Huge conflicts of interest will lead to behaviors so despicable that your best, honest, hard-working employees will be repulsed and demoralized, and may even quit.
A qualified candidate won’t accept a commission-only job unless there are ulterior motives. As mentioned above, anyone who has the technical knowledge to sell IT support to small businesses, plus the sales chops, won’t come cheap. So it makes you wonder, if someone were qualified and willing to work completely on commission, it makes you question their motives. Perhaps that individual has a material connection to a direct or indirect competitor and just wants a foot in the door to literally siphon off your best leads and lure away your best clients.
Do you still think it’s a good idea to hire a commission-only salesperson for your small IT support company? State your case in the Comments section below.
And to follow-through on the tips introduced in this short article, be sure to download your free copy of the special report on 7 IT Sales Secrets for Attracting High-Lifetime-Value Clients.
Creative Commons Image Source: flickr petesimon