No matter what type of product or service your company offers, making additional sales is a key way to increase your revenue. A common method of bringing in more revenue is to hire additional sales staff. While you can take this approach, adding staff isn’t always in your company’s best interest.

When You Should Expand the Sales Team

It seems logical that if you have more salespeople calling on potential customers, you’ll bring in more revenue. Of course, this works best when you still have an untapped market available to your new sales force. Signs you should expand the sales team include:

  • Consistent exceeding of sales goals by existing sales force, no matter how high you set the goals
  • Existing salespeople have difficulty covering their current territory on a timely basis
  • New product lines are on the verge of release
  • Sales team lacks members with specialized knowledge necessary for breaking into a new market

In general, you can often expand the sales team when what your company offers is in high demand and has little competition. Otherwise, paying careful attention to the workloads and stress levels of your sales team will tell you when they’re near the collective breaking point. If you can afford to add an additional team member before they hit that point, you can avoid the unplanned absences and downtime that comes with overworked employees.

When You Should Not Expand the Sales Team

It’s easy to confuse an overworked sales force with an underperforming sales team because they can display many of the same behaviors. Although you have the potential to energize your team with a fresh perspective, you also run the risk of letting your current team’s lackadaisical attitude infect your new hire. Before you expand the sales team, consider:

  • How much effort the current sales force puts into sales calls and revenue generating activities
  • If you have any open territory, or territory you could move to your new hire
  • Whether hiring a new person would add new skills or knowledge the team needs or if it would duplicate what you already have

When you expand a sales team that’s in a slump, it can have a negative effect on morale. People who worry whether the new team member is their replacement may gain a renewed interest in making sales, but it’s negative motivation. In this situation, a better strategy could be to create positive motivation for your current sales force.

Is Expanding the Sales Team Right for You?

Ultimately, only you can decide if expanding the sales team is the right move for your company. If you have the opportunity to pick up relationships with new customers by hiring a certain salesperson, it could open revenue streams your business wouldn’t otherwise have, making it worth consideration. Also, if your business is in the midst of an expansion, adding new team members is often the appropriate course of action. Whichever route you decide to take, remember that a happy overall sales team will work harder to meet your sales expectations.

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