This week I've been sick with my annual bout of asthmatic bronchitis - fun stuff - and the question I've been asking myself is, "how long will it last this year?" Historically, it's takes 2-4 weeks for this to subside and it sucks big time during that 2-4 weeks. But thinking about time frames got me thinking about one of the universal timelines and challenges facing companies everywhere.
How long should it take for a new salesperson to become successful and why do so many of them fail?
There are six factors in total but let's begin with those on the client-side:
- The length of your sales cycle
- The length of your learning curve
- A Transition period
If you have a six-month sales cycle, a three-month learning curve and it takes 3 months to transition from their old world to your business, that translates to 12 months of pipeline building before you can reasonably expect your new salesperson to start closing business.
On the salesperson side, there are also three factors:
- Length of their runway (cash or safety net to survive a transition that doesn't guarantee as much money)
- Degree of urgency (how much urgency they feel to get off to a great start)
- The theory of relativity (the more difficult your business is compared with their old business, the shorter the runway becomes)
If your new salesperson has a six-month runway, medium urgency, and selling in your world is more difficult than the world from which they came, there is a negative six-month gap and it's pretty clear that the salesperson will fail.
These factors are but a handful of the factors that go into successful sales selection strategies. If you select the right salespeople up front, you'll experience much less turnover, fewer delays to growing your revenue, and build stronger sales teams.
Objective Management Group offers the most predictive, accurate and customizable sales-specific candidate assessment on planet earth. You can check it out here.
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