This help article includes two video case studies and our own recommended approach to onboarding sales agents that show interest in your sales opportunity (see below)
What does it really take to build a profitable B2B commission-only sales team?
Hint: As you'll see below, it's not as simple as posting a job listing on Indeed or trawling LinkedIn and hoping for the best.
Video Case study 1: Why Sociallyin have never had to hire in-house sales reps
Video Case study 2: Click to watch our $125,000 case study video!
How Sociallyin were able to scale and enter new territories without having to hire a single in-house sales employee
How Pearl Lemon were able to bring in over $125,000 (£100k+) in new business within 6 months of joining
How our clients consistently attract the best sales agents and what steps you need to take to ensure success
What makes a sales opportunity listing attractive on CommissionCrowd (from an agent's point of view!)
Our recommended approach to onboarding sales agents who show interest in your sales opportunity (see bottom of this article)
Initial Sales Agent Outreach Plan
We recommend sending out at least 10 invitations to ideal agents every business day, or 50 per week. Send the follow-up message 7 days after the first message to maximize your response rate.
You should also be reaching out to sales agents outside of your industry to offer referral commissions for opening doors to their existing networks. Even if an agent hasn't specified they want to sell your type of products or services, they more than likely already have relationships with companies who do.
Tell them you would like them to add you to their portfolio and you'll happily speak with any clients they can introduce you to and that you'll pay a referral commission on any newly closed business.
Our recommended approach to onboarding sales agents who show interest in your sales opportunity
If you're receiving applications to your sales listing, it's obvious that you have something sales agents like. However, the onboarding process is just as important to not only save you time but ensure commitment from agents.
Here is the recruitment process we would recommend to save time on anyone who shows interest:
Reach out to agents with an invitation to apply or send a message and make sure to mention something about their profile you like. Or perhaps you've received a message or application from an agent and now it's time to progress the relationship.
If an agent applies directly or responds to your message, be sure to respond quickly and let them know you’d like to fast-track them to a discovery call to determine if you're a good fit for each other. Give them a link to your calendar to book this. If you don't currently use a calendar booking app, we recommend these free ones Calendly or Once Hub
After the first call, only spend time with people who are eager to do the work and show they are keen to learn and grow with you. This is also why you should include a practice pitch in your onboarding process whereby you role play as a potential customer and the agent pitches to you.
Send The Agent Any Materials They Might Require: While sales people already know how to sell, they will still have to learn more about your company and your products / services. You must help them get up-to-speed as quickly as possible.
Send the agent any marketing / training collateral you have. If you don't have any then we strongly recommend putting something together. This may take some time to create but it can be used over and over again once it's done. Remember, there is a training area in CommissionCrowd where you can create training tasks and upload your content.
4. Practice Pitch:
Before allowing an agent to go out there and represent your brand, the first thing you want to do is have the sales agent practice pitch to you or a member of your team. This is to help ensure they get up-to-speed with your products / services quickly and to support them so they can get started earning fast.
After you have sent them the materials they need to learn about your products / services, schedule another call with them.
Tip: Provide the agent with a list of the type of questions that are good qualifiers for your product. If you already know the answer to common buying objections, send these over too.
The outcome at the end of the practice pitch meeting will determine the level of support and training that they will need (if any) before they hit the road and start selling.
Tip: If someone fails to show for the pitch drop them. If they don't show for your meeting, you don't want that person representing your company.
5. Sign A Contractual Agreement
If the practice pitch goes well and you're happy to welcome the agent onboard, now you need to have a legally binding contractual agreement in-place.
CommissionCrowd makes it easy to create or upload an existing agreement. To read more about our Contract Manager please read this article: How to use CommissionCrowd's Contract Manager
6. Set The Agent Up With A Company Email + Access To Marketing Collateral
There's nothing more unprofessional than receiving an email from a company but the sender's email ends in Gmail.com
Make sure you set your agent's up for success by giving them a company email address which they can use to properly communicate with their prospective buyers.
You should also ensure that your new sales partner has access to any marketing or product related collateral to make the sales process as easy and smooth as possible.
7. Allocating Leads:
If your company has inbound leads that you're happy to share with agents, we recommend drip feeding these over time to see how that person performs. You can let them know you're happy to supply more over time but need to see their level of commitment and ability to close first.
Above all else, give your new sales partners the support they require. While being autonomous, they should feel connected and supported at all times. Make sure they are able to communicate with the departments and people they need within your company to ensure their clients are properly looked after and the sales process runs smoothly.
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