20 Statistics You Need to Know Before Hiring Your First Salesperson


Salespeople are an asset to any business, but only when the time is right and the need is there. Thanks to technology, companies today have a lot more options when it comes to getting help. If you’re considering hiring your first sales employee, you might want to do your homework first. 

Here are 20 statistics that will change the way you think about hiring your first employee, and probably the rest that come after that, too. Some include a little additional explanation, while others are pretty self-explanatory, so they’re left as-is. In any case, you might be shocked at what you learn. 

The shocking stats about sales you probably don’t know

1. It’ll cost you 1.2-1.4 times their salary to bring someone on board, according to the U.S. Small Business Administration 

So, let’s say you start your entry-level salespeople at a rate of $40,000 per year. So, 1.2 to 1.4 times that $40,000 base salary would mean that in your first year, hiring a salesperson for your team would cost you $48-$50K, or an additional $8,000 to $10,000 to cover things like training and onboarding, overhead, payroll taxes, benefits, etc. 

2. Only three percent (yep, 3%) of all consumers trust sales reps

The only less-credible professions in the eyes of the public are automotive sales, lobbying, and politics. Do you have the time to cultivate that kind of rapport or teach a new sales agent how to do it themselves? If not, an outsourced sales outreach team may be the way to go.

3. Those sales emails? Only a mere 24% are even opened 

If you’re not sending the right message, it’s never going to be received. Sometimes, it’s best to pick up the phone. And if you can’t, hire someone who can. 

4. The average salesperson will make 18 calls before connecting with a buyer

That’s a lot of time not talking to prospects and customers. Do you really want to pay someone a salary to do that when there are better options?

5. A study by PointClear puts the average cost of an inside sales call at $50, while an outside sales call costs about $308

6.40% of those surveyed said that prospecting is the most challenging aspect of their job in sales 

Why make it harder than it has to be?

7. 92% of all customer interactions happen over the telephone 

Do you need an employee for this, or could you find a better way?

8. The most successful cold calls are made between 4:00 and 5:00 P.M

9. 85% of all customers and prospects say they’re dissatisfied with the interactions they have with sales reps over the phone 

Do YOU want to take your chances with unhappy customers?

10. It costs about 150-200% of a salesperson’s salary to replace them

11. There are currently millions of sales jobs open in the United States and this isn’t expected to slow down anytime soon 

Even finding a good fit could prove to take tons of time, money, and resources. 

12. Burnout is among the top five reasons that salespeople leave their jobs 

13. According to a Gallup poll, the bottom 50% of the talent pool of salespeople won’t benefit or improve with additional training or support

Sales is a talent-driven field. Some people have it, some people don’t. That’s really what it comes down to. 

14. A vacancy in the sales team costs the average company around $20K per week

This isn’t pocket change even for a larger company. Fill the vacancies faster by considering alternatives like outsourcing. 

15. The average salesperson will only make two attempts to reach a new prospect before giving up 

Two calls are not enough. And yet, who has time to spend making follow-up calls all day? It’s a double-edged sword, for sure. 

16. The average salesperson spends about 25 hours of their month leaving voicemails for various prospects, or about 15% of their time during the day

That’s valuable time that could be spent in front of customers or qualified prospects. When someone else is handling the prospecting, you’ll utilize your time and resources better. 

17. As many as 50% of your prospects aren’t a good fit for what you’re selling

Do you need your top producers weeding out the bad leads? They should be focused on the deals that are being closed. 

18. 8 of 10 consumers prefer email over any other medium, and email is as much as 40 times more effective than Twitter or Facebook for acquiring new customers

Ok, so we mentioned earlier that not a lot of emails get opened. But, for the people who want them, emails can be a great selling tool. 

19. Six of ten people in sales will figure out what works for them, and never change

Business is always changing. Today, it’s changing and evolving faster than ever before. If your sales reps or other front-line agents aren’t able to evolve with it, your sales are going to be impacted.  

20. Salespeople only spend about one-third of their actual day talking to prospects 

That’s not a lot of “selling” for someone who’s supposed to be paid to make sales. The rest of the time they’re writing emails, entering data, researching new leads, going to meetings, and scheduling calls, or handling other admin tasks.

If it’s not yet time to hire, consider partnering with Smith.ai instead

The costs of hiring an employee are daunting. Of course, so is the cost of leaving the position vacant for too long. If you’re not capable of adding a salesperson to your team or even if you just don’t think it’s the best use of your resources, ask how a partnership with Smith.ai can help. 

Our dedicated virtual receptionists can deliver 24/7 support for all of your inbound and outbound sales calling needs, along with plenty of other solutions for scheduling, lead intake and qualification, live chat support, and so much more. Your follow-up will be more effective and your team will be free to focus on other tasks. Plus, we’ll deliver a summary of your calls via email every day. 

To learn more, schedule a consultation to ask how the virtual receptionists at Smith.ai can serve as your company’s outreach team so your own team can stay focused on the tasks at hand. You can also reach us at hello@smith.ai or (650) 727-6484.

Business Education
Sales Tips
Written by Samir Sampat

Samir Sampat is a Marketing Manager with Smith.ai. He has experience working with businesses of all sizes focusing on marketing, communications, and business development.

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