When you are on your own working on projects and assignments for customers, the ups and downs, feast and famine, and peaks and valleys of when you are busy or not are fairly predictable. It can be relatively easy to withstand a famine when it is just you on your own, but when you have employees who are relying on you to keep steady work for them, it is a whole other ballgame.
You may still be in a position to sell for your company either out of necessity or because you like to. Either way, forecasting, resourcing, and knowing when projects begin and end and will help you keep consistent workflow available for your employees. If and when you grow beyond the capabilities of one sales person, hiring a new business manager makes a lot of sense. This is someone who can sell the heck out of your services.
The new business manager will take over the day to day of sales and make sure that your business is running steadily no matter what. They should get the feel of your pipeline and how much time it takes to close a deal and how much effort they will need to put into a customer’s account after a deal is closed.
Are you looking for a strictly sales-type person? This will be someone who is only interested in closing deals and moving them to the appropriate account manager. While they may have an interest in the account and the customer’s well being, most of the time they will be moving on to the next lead in order to drum up enough business for you to keep your business moving steadily. You also need this person to be aware of how much they are selling and what your business is capable of taking on. At some point, hiring more employees to absorb the work that a salesperson is bringing in is not the worst thing. Straight commission into a draw account is probably the best and most streamlined way to pay this type of salesperson.
The Sales/Account Split
Maybe you are looking for sales to be more integrated into the whole approach of your business. At this point, it makes sense to have folks running sales stay with their clients. This helps on several fronts. First, your clients have someone internal to your business who advocates for them. Second, this way of selling tends to be more hands on and educational: instead of churning through leads, there is more personal stake in each sale for each salesperson. You will probably want to consider a salary that is at the low-mid level range supplemented by commission on their sales in terms of compensation.
Regardless of who is selling your business, they will be the public face of your business when they network, or when they pursue a lead, or when they mention your business to anyone. It is a good idea to equip them with everything they need to be successful because your success depends on theirs.