In order for your business to be attractive to buyers, you must have a solid team in place.
From your management to your administrative staff, you need people who are good at what they do and can keep things running in your absence. So if you're considering selling your business, you might have to do some hiring. Be sure to take the time and effort required to make sure you get the right people into the right roles.
Plan First, Then Hire
The first thing you need to do is define what a successful hire looks like. A candidate’s track record is clearly very important, but zeroing in on just one measure of success can spell catastrophe if you don’t look at the larger picture.
Let’s say you take inventory of your staffing and realize you need to bolster your sales team. Before you begin interviewing candidates, define what your business needs. What kind of culture do you have or are you trying to create? What do you want to be known for? How do you want this person to interact with your present and future clients? Finding the right person will likely mean opening up the pool of candidates beyond whoever was number one in sales last quarter. This does not mean settling for subpar salespeople. It means finding the best of the best for your company, and that often can’t be done by relying on a single measure of success.
Does the candidate's personality, culture and their record of accomplishments make them a good fit for your business? It’s tempting to sum people up in easily quantifiable numbers, but these are only part of the picture. If a promising candidate wasn’t number one in sales last month, dig a little deeper and find out why. Sales rank, quotas and other common ratings are often skewed by a combination of factors.
The Bigger Picture
Imagine two candidates come in to interview for your team. The first was the top salesperson for the quarter at their last company. They may have burned through a long list of leads, put minimal effort into individual relationships or leveraged discounts inappropriately, but they made it to number one. Let’s say the second candidate ranked lower, but cultivated solid relationships, put a tremendous amount of time and effort into serving each client individually and closed a far higher percentage of a very short list of leads. Which of these candidates is going to more effectively drive your long-term success? Which will build your company (and its reputation) and directly contribute to steady, consistent growth? Which person is going to help build the kind of culture you value? Who would a buyer rather work with?
Digging deeper when you hire is going to take time and energy. Just keep in mind that hiring may be the most vital aspect of your plan to build value in your business and commit to doing whatever it takes to get the right people on your team.
Transition with confidence.