How to Build an Independent Sales Team

As part of the Franchise Marketing Systems suite of services, part of our organization works with companies to develop independent sales teams to develop a marketing and sales distribution arm of their organization.  Companies have chosen to expand and sell more through independent sales teams because of the cost to implement and the speed to which this allows a growing company to get field representation in front of customers.

Every business likes the idea of building a national sales organization quickly and effectively, but how do you go about initiating this process and developing a sales team without too many problems?

1.  Develop a Solid Sales Process – In replicating a sales process through independent sales agents, I have found that mistakes and flaws in a company’s sales process are magnified when taught to someone outside of the organization.  If you don’t have a really solid grasp on how to sell what you do to customers, don’t try to teach someone else how to do it.

2.  Have a Great Sourcing Process – Know and understand who makes a good sales person for your product or service.  The source for finding and recruiting these sales professionals will be critical to the success of the independent sales team.

3.  Develop a Realistic and Valuable Support Structure – This isn’t about a phone call a week kind of support.  Develop leads for your sales team, provide them with business cards, collateral materials and internal sales support.  Many times, the external sales agents are treated like step children, they should be treated like employees for the company and given whatever they need to be successful.

4.  Build a Comp Plan that Adds Up – A good 1099 Sales person should be able to make $100k-$150k.  They are covering their own expenses and are essentially running their own business.  If they can’t hit these numbers under your commission structure, you are too low on what cut of the revenue you are giving them.

Independent sales teams are great ways to increase sales and develop additional channels of business development.  If the right structure is in place and the process is managed correctly, significant results can be realized.

Franchise Marketing Systems

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