Pearl Lemon has reached an interesting juncture in it’s journey.
Now several years into it – I’ve got part time, full-time and commission only sales people all within Pearl Lemon.
Part-timers are people like Andrew who is only calling for 2 hours per day. Mika whose calling for 4-6 hours per day. Adam who calls for 2-4 hours per day as well.
Then I’ve got full-time sales people such as Krystel, EJ and Vasco
Then moving further down the line I’ve got commission only sales folks such as Daniel, Ion, Jude and Matthew.
So….now several years into our journey – we’re at that place where understanding what’s the best approach has now become important to the business.
I guess one way of looking at it is perhaps understanding what do most conventional businesses do?
And they have full-time salaried stuff…
It’s a difficult consideration trying to understand which path is best.
Pearl Lemon have the luxury of being able to generate inbound leads via Google. Consequently we generate leads like ‘clockwork’ and they book into the calendar’s of our sales team.
This means a model based around our sales team being commission only can actually work because we generate enough business to support them making a viable return on their time.
Our top sales performer Ion – closes 4 or more new deals per month at the moment. Jude and Daniel are looking to close 1 or 2 per month at the moment.
With the full time guy – Vasco – well he’s at the start of his journey and it’s too early to say.
But he’s making a big focus upon appointment setting and doing outbound – which is a very difficult skill to achieve mastery over
So hoping to see some progress from him as he grows and develops.
Outside of this – what’s been interesting is seeing some of the (to include Vasco) new people come in – and to witness how hungry they are to succeed.
That’s been absolutely brilliant and tells me that there’s a much stronger chance of their success.
I love people that ‘want it’ – and as we come across more and more of this calibre of person – it makes the overall team more and more competitive.
Which has left me pondering? What happens if you take someone who does hardcore outbound (a higher order skill) – and then over time switches to inbound.
This is exactly how my journey started back when I was at university.
I was 18 years old and selling my CDs to random university students. That continued during summer holidays when I moved into shopping centres and started selling to total strangers (and doing pretty well through it).
It all boils back down to one of the central points of my thinking:
- Outbound appointment setting is really bloody hard
- Learning how to do this is much harder a skill (IMHO) than dealing with warm prospects who have already expressed an interest
- You get found out really quickly when you’re trying to book appointments over the phone
So then – what about building a team who work with outbound appointments as a means of training – like a 4-12 week gauntlet of outbound appointment setting and then when they’re ready – switch them over to inbound?
This is a though I’ve had recently that I’m really contemplating.
There are obviously advantages in both ways in that there’s no fixed cost base when it comes to a commission only sales team Vs a salaried team.
However – there is predictability of leads when it comes to inbound leads – and ultimately if this dried up…well then you’d need to let people go if you couldn’t afford to keep them on….
So in either event you’re protected and therefore ONCE you reach a point of success with a commission only sales team – you switch to a salaried team.
Of course – at the moment this is purely theoretical because I don’t know how this will play out in practice.
Thankfully though I shall have the opportunity to test this out.
We’ve got Vasco who is our outbound guy – and we’ll see what he delivers over 3-6 months. I’ve asked the Philippines team to identify another outbound cold caller who then can be trained on our inbound products.
This is another consideration – that you CAN find amazing people in the Philippines who have excellent English and that can be trained up to be excellent callers.
So I guess these are my overall thoughts:
- Start making sales yourself (and if you can’t do that – learn – and if you CAN’T do that – then well….)
- If you can’t make sales yourself it’s simple – you need to hire a sales person
- Once you generate leads – you can find a commission only sales rep OR get a full-time person….
On balance – if I could do it all over again – I’d probably have gone the full-time route.
In any scenario – I WILL finish by saying – finding a great time – no matter WHAT the engagement looks like…is HARD!
They need training, support, tools, nourishment and all of the like 😛
So whatever you do – good luck!