Buy or build your sales team? What’s the right decision for your company? Learn how to decide in this episode of the Sales Management Minute.

Hire Right, Higher ProfitsIf you’ve been a follower of the Sales Management Minute, you know of my love for the game of baseball. While I enjoy the game on the field, I equally love the business side. During the off-season, I’m constantly checking for free agent signings and trades as teams try to improve for the upcoming season.

There are two strategies that you see teams use to better themselves. One is to acquire talent which is the primary way the New York Yankees approach improvement. The other strategy is to develop talent from within – like the Oakland A’s have done.

While these two teams have had successes with these strategies, there are also issues with them. When you are solely reliant on acquiring talent, it can be costly for the organization as you are buying top players at premium rates. And, you can’t always acquire them at the moment you need them. When you build a team through internal player development, there are times when you have a need that cannot be fulfilled from within.

Companies are faced with this same dilemma with their sales teams. Do you buy or build? Buying a sales team is expensive and risky. Building a sales team takes time. So what is an executive to do? The answer is that companies need to be adept at both. However, most exclusively focus on talent acquisition and miss an opportunity to become self-sufficient while providing career path for employees.

Oftentimes, a part of the sales function can be carved out and turned into an apprentice sales role. This gives entry-level salespeople an opportunity to learn the business and sales. The carrot for the apprentices is that, by performing well in the roles, they can move into higher level sales positions.

The wins for the company are that these salespeople are generating revenue while learning, they can promote from within, and the company is positioned for scalable growth.

See you next time on the Sales Management Minute.