To make your business as attractive as possible to potential buyers, you must have the right people in place. To get the best people, you have to offer them what they want in an employer.
Let’s look at sales, since your sales team will have such a profound effect on the growth and value (and therefore the allure to buyers) of your business.
Great salespeople are expensive and some companies are leery of making an investment that 1) is a considerable percentage of revenue and 2) requires a high return to justify the cost. If you’re nervous about investing so much into one person, consider your options.
1. Lower the compensation—and get what you pay for
Yes, it's possible to offer a smaller compensation package to your sales reps. The trouble is that while it may feel less risky to hire someone who will sell for less, you’re actually increasing your risk of building the wrong team and thereby hindering the growth of your company. Give outstanding salespeople an outstanding reason to work for you. This doesn't mean you have to break the bank. People choose where to work based on many factors, so consider the whole package. Look at your benefits, work environment and the cause(s) your company champions, in addition your compensation. Your offer needs to align with the needs of your business and satisfy what your best candidates are looking for.
2. Settle for less experience—and take on more risk
If you’re not ready to aggressively pursue salespeople accustomed to a high salary, it is possible to attract promising, brand new professionals just kicking off their career with a lower offer. Just keep in mind that companies with a lower tier compensation model often have higher turnover. So chances are good you'll spend more time, money and energy hiring and training new people on a regular basis. You’re opening yourself up to the poor morale that comes with high turnover, and raising the red flag for any potential buyers in the process.
It would be better to pay out a higher salary for proven, high-performing sales reps who are in it for the long haul than to pay lower wages to multiple employees who may or may not deliver as they pass through your revolving door. You might find a diamond in the rough, but hiring is a lot like drafting athletes—if you’re seeking talent in the fourth round, you’re probably going to get fourth round talent.
Compensation and hiring is only part of the overall plan to build value in your business. Be strategic in your decisions, and you can build the successful, talented team that will help draw serious buyers in your direction.
Speak with an expert about transitioning your business.