When Is It Safe to Hire?

Incentive programs are common in the software industry, where, instead of relying on a direct sales force, corporations like Sage Software often turn to small resellers to pitch their applications to a vast market of customers. Incentives as extensive and generous as Sage’s are rare, however. For the past three years, the company (formerly known as Best Software) has invested $1 million a year to provide 100 resellers with $10,000 each to hire a salesperson. The initiative, which Sage calls the 100/100 program, provides interesting insights into why entrepreneurs delay recruiting salespeople–sometimes until their companies falter–and what mistakes businesses make in the hiring process.

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