We need a Rock Star

Why do so many companies feel they need to hire “rock star” sales people?

I hear this quite often when companies are hiring sales people.  What does it really mean?  The description the companies give usually goes like this:

• Must have made, or exceeded quota, for the last five years
• Must have a great Rolodex of contacts in [our niche]
• Must be high-energy
• Must be a team player
• Must be comfortable with large amounts of cold calling
…plus several other characteristics…

It seems like the company is hoping that this sales “rock star” (a.k.a. “sales god”) will walk through the door and solve all their problems in one single “bolt of lightening”.  To me, this seems like an abdication of responsibility.

Why should a company need a “rock star” when they understand how sales works in their business?  If they understand their sales process, could they not just hire an “ordinary sales person” (or even “an ordinary person”) and train them to do the job really well?

Shouldn’t a company take the responsibility to nurture relationships into leads in their own market niche?  Why should the sales person have to bring a “golden Rolodex”?  Shouldn’t the company be building that over its years of existence?

If this sales person is so successful over so many years, is the company so great at what it does that this “rock star” is going to want to join?  Does the company really dominate its market or have the next iPod as a product?

Is your company really in the position to pay “mega bucks” to Bruce Springsteen or Bono (and would Bruce or Bono even want to come to work for you at any price) or do you need to hire some “ordinary people” and turn them into great sales people?

One Response to We need a Rock Star

  1. Andrew B March 13, 2013 at 4:36 am #

    Of course you are right, when a company asks for an industry roladex isn’t that stealing, raises a very real question about a companies ethics in business.

    Those same companies will have no competition clauses in their employment contracts…

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