How To Start & Grow Your Business

Should Startups Hire Veteran Salespeople or Rookies?

From the Editor's Desk
Sep 14th, 2015
  • Estimated reading time: 2 min read
  • Hummy's

    1Consider training costs and timeline. 2Newbies can be molded more easily. 3Millennials have a higher turnover rate.
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Human Resources-We are hiring! on blackboard Photo Credit: docstockmedia Shutterstock

Conventional wisdom says it’s best to hire seasoned sales veterans—people who bring years of expertise and a proven track record to the table. Yet, Chris Cancialosi, contributor to, says it may be time to consider the upside of bringing less experienced salespeople on board who can be trained and molded from scratch to form a dream team.

Cancialosi recognizes that seasoned salespeople have a lot to offer, but sometimes it can be worth it for startups to “take a gamble on salespeople who are still a bit green.”

Here are some points Cancialosi suggests you consider before hiring your seasoned veteran or less experienced salesperson:

1. Your resources. Bringing on new salespeople requires you to invest time and money into training. Consider this strategy as a long-term investment in building a successful sales team. In the future you will reap the rewards, but be sure you can afford the upfront costs of hiring a rookie.

2. Your timeline. Many new companies want to bring in revenue as quickly as possible. They understand that salespeople with a track record often produce results from the beginning that help “jump-start” their companies. However, while developing a team of inexperienced salespeople takes more time and money initially, it may pay off in the future if you have the resources to wait.

3. Consider turnover. Take an honest look at what your company’s tolerance for turnover is, and what the realistic turnover rate for your industry is.

“Examine similar businesses and the state of the market, and don’t forget to account for the growing rate of Millennial job-hopping. This trend could severely impact your turnover rate if you hire younger salespeople,” Cancialosi warns.

It’s possible sales rookies may not stick around after you’ve invested in their training. On the other hand, he says you may find these hires will develop company loyalty and will help you “build a powerful sales team.”

4. Brand consistency. Veteran salespeople often have entrenched ideas about sales and their habits may not conform to your vision or company brand. Hiring rookies who become loyal to your brand has its advantage. Cancialosi points to research that shows “that given sufficient time and development, new salespeople maintain higher rates of performance than their more experienced peers once they hit their stride.”

“Put your company’s needs first when staffing your sales team. Whether you hire sales veterans, rookies, or both, they each offer unique advantages that can help drive your company into the future,” Cancialosi concludes.

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From the Editor's Desk

This article was written by a bizHUMM Staff Writer. We aim to provide practical tips that help solve your burning small business questions. If you have any suggestions or ideas for articles, please email them to: