Should I Expand My Salesforce?

A client asks, “I am considering hiring another sales representative. What criteria should I use to make this decision? What do I do if I decide to proceed?"

Determining whether or not to hire an additional sales representative is a critical business decision and involves research and thought in several key areas.

Ask the Right Questions

Before you contact a recruiter or place an ad on, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is my current sales staff able to contact all of the prospective customers in their geographic or vertical territory?
  • Are they maximizing the amount of business from current clients?
  • Does my company’s financial situation allow me to comfortably afford a new sales representative?
  • How much sales revenue can I expect the new hire to produce in the first year?
  • How much potential sales revenue am I losing by not hiring an additional sales person?
  • Will hiring a new sales representative impact the earnings of my current staff?
  • Will I be able to scale my company’s product or service delivery to accommodate the additional business a new sales representative will bring in?

Plan a New Territory

If the answers to the questions above lead you to decide that it is in your company’s best interest to hire an additional sales representative, you need to assign them a territory. It is important to do this before proceeding with hiring so that you know where you’re going to hire the new salesperson and what you want them to do. Ask yourself this set of questions before you start to source any candidates:

  • Does my current sales staff have territories that are too large or too small?
  • Are there geographic or vertical territories that aren’t being covered at all?
  • Do my sales representatives spend too much of their time in cars or on planes getting to customers?
  • Do my sales representatives have enough time to cold call to identify new customers?
  • Do they have enough time to service existing customers?
  • Are my top ten customers getting the attention they need?
  • Are the rest of my customers getting the attention they need?
  • How many industries do I really sell into?
  • Which industries account for the majority of sales?
  • Is this an opportunity to break into vertical territories?

Based on the answers to these questions and others you think relevant, develop a plan to assign the new sales representative an as-yet-uncovered territory or to adjust existing territories. Either way, you are now ready to start the hiring process.

Next month I will discuss involving your current sales staff in the search for a new sales representative.