How to hire a freelancer to help you manage your sales

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Do you need an extra person to manage your sales for a short-term project? Or do you want to try to test drive a sales manager before fully committing? Then hiring a freelancer to manage your sales instead of a full-time employee is a good idea. A freelancer can be just as helpful as a regular employee, while the price is much lower. But you have to put in the work to find the right match.

photo credit: LinkedIn Sales Solutions / Unsplash

Look out for the most important professional skills

When looking for the perfect freelancer, make sure you know what qualities they need to boost your sales. If you have the list of relevant skills in mind, the answer to the question of how to hire freelance writers like content writers for a sales job is right in front of you.

So here are some of the most important professional qualities to look for:

  1. Knowledge of your product (or at least willingness to learn about it). If you need a person to help you sell your app, it’s not a good idea to hire someone who has only sold “traditional” products similar to cars or furniture. Find someone with experience in sales in the same or similar industry as yours.
  2. Understanding of Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Building and maintaining customer relationships is the most important skill a sales manager must have. So ask the freelancer you’re considering about their training and experience with CRM.
  3. Exceptional communication skills. Active listening, rapport building, confidence and other communication skills are the foundation of sales manager success. Review the candidate’s resume for them, and note their communication skills during the interview.

Decide what you are looking for

Unless your business is small, one person cannot be in charge of everything when it comes to sales. Instead, you want a few sales reps and a manager to oversee and guide their work. So it might be a good idea to create a list of things you expect the freelancer you will hire to do. This way, you will be able to compare their skills and experience with their work at your company.

Employers who have yet to gain experience in sales themselves are better off seeking professional advice first. This could be someone at your company who used to work as a sales manager, a friend with relevant experience or a career expert. Ask them all the right questions (related to what your goals and expectations are) – and they’ll help you come up with a list of things to prioritize in candidates.

Use trusted freelance platforms to search for candidates

There is no shortage of online freelance platforms where you can find a skilled sales manager. But unless you have used one of them before and were satisfied with the result, it is better to stick with the most famous and reliable. Start with this:

  • Work up needs no introductions – you can find an experienced and skilled freelancer for almost any job there. And they have lists of the best freelancers in every category (including sales managers), so your search becomes even easier.
  • Fiverr is an excellent alternative to Upwork, but it is mostly for short-term projects. So if you are looking for a sales manager for a long partnership, Fiverr is not the best choice.
  • skills hub may not be as well known as Upwork or Fiverr, but you can find an excellent sales manager here for a fraction of the price you’d pay one of the top Upwork professionals. And the talent pool is narrower on Skillhub—you can avoid choice overload.

… Or rely on networks

If you have trouble trusting strangers, that’s okay. An alternative to using freelance platforms is to ask around. If you have a lot of friends in the business world, one of them might be able to connect you with a perfect freelancer for your needs. Or one of the sales managers you know may be newly out of work and would like to take on a freelance project for a change.

By the way, no matter what your industry, never take networking lightly; LinkedIn can help you stay in touch with everyone who could potentially help your career one day. Just make sure you text them every once in a while to avoid being known as that person. The one who only texts their friends and colleagues when they need something.

First, schedule an interview

Freelance platforms do a good job of vetting freelancers, but it’s never enough. If you really want to find someone who will do what you ask of them, you need to interview candidates. Make sure that their vision of their job as a sales manager matches yours, that they are driven, and, most importantly, that their communication skills match what their resume promises.

Some employers are reluctant to interview freelancers because the stakes are lower compared to recruiting regular employees. But if you trust a candidate without first talking to them, there’s a huge risk of hiring someone who has no idea what they’re doing or whose vision is the opposite of yours. And you will have no one to blame for the poor outcome but yourself.

Negotiate the payment

Finally, be sure to discuss how you will pay the freelance sales manager you hire. Sure, the best way is to pay for sales, which means they work for the percentage of the revenue they bring to your company; however, it is a great way to motivate a freelancer and maximize their productivity.

But if you’ve been recommended a perfect candidate with excellent reviews and relevant experience, you shouldn’t pass up the chance to hire them just because of the pay. They can request a guaranteed fixed amount of money above the percentage of sales. So if you feel their expertise is worthwhile, take them up on the offer.

An afterword

Hiring a freelancer to manage your sales is easier than ever thanks to the plethora of online freelancing platforms. Upwork, Fiverr, and Skillhub are all great places to search for candidates and different freelance tips like how to write content that sells. But to end up with a perfect person, set your expectations, evaluate their skills and don’t hire anyone without an interview. Strength!

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