Should I be looking for a marketer or a salesperson for my business? And how do I go about finding a good one?

by CaliBounded. Posted on Sep 10, 2020    4    25

I'm a software developer with a background in the fine arts, so that also includes all aspects of a business that require art and design (logos, pamphlets, video editing, photography, etc.). This allows me to create a company's website, automation, and branding as a one-stop shop. I've had my first few major clients, and I'm ready to get serious - I got my business license at the beginning of this year, and 'm hoping to have my portfolio together by the end of this month and launch my company publicly. Being a software developer means regularly developing new skills, so I'm literally always studying for my 9-5 as well as my business, so I don't have time to really learn marketing.

I have a few ideas for organic marketing, but the dream for me is to pay someone to go out and make my sales/get me sales, while I just do the development, design, and consulting parts. I've considered hiring on-commission sales reps for competitive amounts, but from what I've heard from salespeople, commission alone isn't enough of an incentive. I don't have the budget to hire someone for thousands a month or as a full-time employee...

So here are my questions:

1.) What kind of help do I need to hire here?

2.) What is the benefit of a salesperson versus a marketing specialist?

3.) How do I go about finding/vetting a good one? I want to do so by the mid-point of October, ideally.

4.) I've heard of hiring a marketing specialist on retainer - how much does this usually cost, and when should I expect to see returns?

5.) Do marketers ever accept a percentage of conversions as payment rather than retainer? I'm still willing to pay a retainer if this isn't the case, but I'm just curious, as this would be the ideal situation for me.

Thank you all for your assistance in advance.



Hey There.

I understand exactly what you're talking about... I would say;

  1. You need a Targeted Sales Funnel Created & Copywritten for you.
  2. A salesperson will only focus on Sales CRO (Conversion Rate Optimization) whereas a Marketing Specialist will Focus on your Entire Funnels CRO as well as Customer Value Optimization. This allows you to have a better, more long term relationship with your prospects. There are pros and cons to both.
  3. There are a lot of ways... You could ask around for any recommendations, referrals, look around Social Media (Reddit), reach out on Marketing Job boards and interview applicants, etc. There are a lot of channels for this.
  4. Retainers work well when you have found a good marketer and you want them to fully deliver the value they have to offer to your business without worrying about the Feast and Famine cycle. This can help a lot if for example your funnel still has to be created from scratch, Market research still has to be done, implementation & a lot of testing... This could - If done effectively - last for about 2 - 3 months for you to get your ROI back or at least break even. I've seen this cost between $600 to $2,500 per month for a Marketing Specialist & $1,000 to $4,000 for a Marketing Specialist with Sales Funnel Direct Response Copywriting experience depending on the size of the project/business of course, and how much work is required. It is an investment after all and you definitely make your money back.
  5. Yes, of course. But this is usually above a base retainer.

    I hope this will help you in some way.

    A few questions just to understand your position a bit better:

  6. Is your business a Sole Proprietary business or private business with more than one person?
  7. What is your marketing budget (Investment)?
  8. Do you have an already existing funnel to capture and retain leads and what does this look like.
  9. How much - on average - do you make on 1 Lead?
  10. And what is the Lifetime Value of each lead?

  CaliBounded 2

Thank you so much for the detailed response! I'd be happy to answer any questions.

1.) I'm a sole proprietor with an LLC.

2.) My budget is pretty small right now, since most of the work can be done by myself - I do my own graphic design and write my own articles (I'm totally cool with longform articles, and a large part of my dayjob is actually writing tutorials and documentation for a Software As a Service). Any ads, videography and photography, logos, webscraping for email lists, etc. can be done on my own, so I'm looking to spend no more than $300-400 a month, but I'd need to get at least a few warm leads the first month in order to consider going in for a second or third month.

3.) Kind of - I have a LinkedIn account with around 4,000 - 5,000 followers, a not-insignificant amount of whom are business and startup owners. At present, most of my inquiries come from here. I've been very intentional of who I connect with, so I have tons of high ROI businesses added. I have a blog that I've been building out, and a backlog of about 110 long-form articles that I plan to start posting twice a week having to do with my field of expertise.

4.) $1,200 on the low-end and the upper-limit is a little hard to say. One of my more expensive clients has been about $2,600 so far for around a month of work (it was only so low because this individual is a family friend - I would have charged $3-4k if I didn't know them well), but I also have a client who I have an income-share agreement on since she works eCommerce. Risky, but I chose her because her product is ground-breaking. Ideally, I'd bring in clients at $3,000 - 5,000 per site, as I don't just build sites, but automate processes, build in the ability to take payments, etc., and do the branding of a business. Tbh, I'd love to team up with a marketer, as a lot of my clients have asked if I do that part of the business, and I don't.

4.) I'd say each lead has a huge potential for lifetime value. I've had an easy time with upselling warm leads - A basic site would be around $1.5k - 2k (What I've charged so far), but add-ons as far as blogs, building out email campaign graphics, etc is usually $300-400 extra per service. The clients I've had so far have already expressed interest in adding 2 to 4 more custom services in the future, and graphic design work can persist for the lifetime of the relationship of the client. So I'd say anywhere from $5,000 - $10,000 LTV. There's no end to what can be automated either (one of my services is web-scraping).

I hope that helps! By all means, please feel free to PM / chat me if you have any more questions!

Fleon007us 1

I would do the sales on a commission. I'm the VP of Marketing and Sales for my MSP and I close over 2.5m+ in new business each year.


The only condition I would have is this. Get PPC in place. You need a mechanism in place for your sales funnel to be filled. I would have to do this PT, but working from home allows me to have a flexible schedule.


My PPC strategy generates leads every day. We are on track to meet with 400 CEOs in 2020.

brandontrefonas 1

It sounds like you need a business partner with experience in sales, rather than an employee at this stage.

Two-cents; You don't want a marketer (as they will focus purely on generating leads) and you don't want a salesperson (who are typically lazy when they need to do their own lead gen), you need someone with a Business Development background (who should have experience in both).

If you have a website, company information, or collateral, I can take a look and send some recommendations. (here or via

[deleted] 1

A great Marketer will lead the sales to you. I think you should hire one person to do both. The Marketing leaders I have worked with understand the sales process really well and can either be sales and marketing or help you with scripts and a process to manage sales.

astillero 1


My advice for this: pick a tight niche, one you have a case study (proof) for. Pitch 100 of them in a very personalised way. In fact pitch is the wrong word, show them your proof and offer them something they can’t say no to. THEN get them paying.

Well said u/dboz1981

OP, I am kinda worried that you don't mention the word "target market" or "niche" . Web design is highly competitive. I would say you need to prioritize your niche(s) first. Otherwise, in 2-3 years time strategy-wise, your business could be here, there and everywhere. You could be doing a website for a baker one minute and a travel agent the next. This can result in a business choking in complexity issues and never gaining any real momentum. You need to specialise. Don't get me wrong, having a salesperson on the ground can be key but you need to work out what industry sector you're going to target FIRST. This will determine the type of salesperson you hire also.

  CaliBounded 1

So far, I have an idea of a niche - my IDEAL client is a specific set of veblen products, but I've found myself building sites for white-collar types: A marketer, a therapist, a life coach, and a branding coach. I'm currently building one for a multi-state construction company as well. So mostly very "corporate-looking" clients.

kevbot_robot 1

How did you get your first few gigs?
It might be smart to figure out the easiest way to get new clients by yourself first —like maybe through word of mouth (referral) from past clients.

  CaliBounded 1

One of them was my boyfriend's brother, who is an very high position (on the board, basically) at his company. The next was someone who reached out to me through LinkedIn looking for a web dev for his marketing agency. He asked me to build him a site as well as sign on to create sites for them should they create more sites (which is the plan). Finally, the last is someone I approached who had an impressive product that I proposed an income-share agreement should she create her project. she was interested.

dboz1981 1

Look up “account-based marketing”, it kinda fits the two together (marketing and sales).

My advice for this: pick a tight niche, one you have a case study (proof) for. Pitch 100 of them in a very personalised way. In fact pitch is the wrong word, show them your proof and offer them something they can’t say no to. THEN get them paying.

It sounds counter-intuitive to hit so few people, but in b2b you only need 2-3 clients per month to stack up a real solid business. This is the best way of achieving that imo.

Note: you always get a better return by adding calling to your campaign.

A $500 campaign on this is money better spent than some freelance marketing person on $300 per day rate telling you how many clicks and likes they got you. I do digital marketing and ABM, in some cases digital is great, this is my advice for the case you stated.

There is also a sales process for getting from lead to sale, but I’m babbling on now so I’ll stop.....

  CaliBounded 1

Could you elaborate on what a $500 campaign would entail? Are you referring to targeted click ads or something else?

dboz1981 2

My favourite sequence: a letter, email & LinkedIn follow up with personalised video message + phone call follow up.

Copy needs to be very good, there may be additional cost here if you can’t do it. Get that wrong and it breaks it. Tip: only talk about THEM and what you can do for THEM, succinctly.

  CaliBounded 1

I like this! You're the second person to tell me that I NEED to go with some sort of physical mail as a part of my strategy. I'll be thinking about how to implement this asap.

dboz1981 2

It sure stands out in today’s world, and helps calls to get taken. “I wanted to check that <name> received the letter I sent last week” is more compelling to the gatekeeper than “I want to sell my stuff to <name>, can I talk to them please?”.

We typically get 1x or 2x replies to letters per 100 sent, 2x email replies on a short sequence to the same 100 and anything from 2-10 from the follow up calling - the calling is key booster. By replies I mean appointments/demos.

  CaliBounded 1

In this case, I suppose a salesperson could come in handy? If I've, say, sent our letters to 100 individuals, they're not totally cold leads, and I could then have that marketer reach out to them?

dboz1981 1

Yes, a good telemarketer who can call on your behalf. Getting through 100 dials is 1 day of work though, certainly not a full time job on 1 campaign! You want to try them at least 4 times in total.

100 dials a day is a good benchmark, though Jeb Blount pushes 250 dials per day, which seems crazy high to me.

  CaliBounded 1

This is the part specifically thst gets me cold feet, so if someone else could do it, that'd be great. Do you have any recommendations on finding a good salesperson to accomplish this? And who should I speak with on writing a good script, or should I roll my own?

I'd you can't (or don't want to!) answer those questions, I really, truly appreciate all the time you've given me all the same. :)

dboz1981 1

Yeh good telemarketers are hard to come by - you may have to kiss a few frogs. And guide them, the first 10 seconds of a call is everything, it should match the boldness of your copy.

Copy - it’s hard and takes loads of practice to get right. Some people never get it right. And there are so many “experts” who do bad copy. It’s hard, as an entrepreneur I would self-learn this part if possible but your first 5 efforts will be rubbish (and that’s fine!). Read Evaldo Albuquerque as a good starting template - follow that and you’ll be on the right track.

  CaliBounded 1

Thank you so much! I'll be doing some research on that this week. :)

astillero 1

Will you talk about their industry sector as a whole?

dboz1981 1

Maybe, more about the specific evidence I have that will make a difference to their business. Otherwise too vague to speak to me.

Example: I reduced overhead by X or leads/sales by Y by doing <my service> for a company just like yours.....

Getting that copy right wins.

That versus “I’m really good at the automotive sector, honest” vagueness is the difference between it working or not.

Specificity and proof.

astillero 1

So case studies using a Challenge-Process-Concrete Results type formula?

dboz1981 1

Yes, though bear in mind I only have last week’s campaigns in my head, so perhaps not always. Usually case study involved with specific evidence. Challenging and tone pretty direct & no-nonsense.

Along the lines of: I’m bloody good at doing X for businesses just like yours, here’s the evidence, do you want some?

Letter + video outreach + caller follow up (doesn’t need to be you, could be an experienced telemarketer calling on your behalf) really works if you have any “what’s in it for me?” message, a good and convincing one.

My view: case studies are the easiest way to convince and provide proof. And give a good service, because the more of a niche you do the better you get at it - sensible way to scale a business, requires discipline though (I often get distracted by shiny things).

astillero 1

> (I often get distracted by shiny things).

Yes, some of management teams of the worlds biggest multinationals have also got distracted by shiny new things resulting in near their collapse.

Strategic discipline is under-rated!

MaxPast 2

Here is how I approached the problem in the past: I hired a marketer after I made some sales, teached him how to do it in a way I did, paid him a minimum salary plus 10% of all sales we made. Then, after he got used to the product and its marketing, grew sales a little more I offered him a choice between this minimum salary plus 10% or 20% without the salary. He made the choice, so I got a kind of a partner with 20% share in the sales which was definitely worth it.

On the other hand, I kept control over the business because he had a share of sales but no control over strategic decision making. Yes, I always asked for his advice when it came to marketing decisions but everything else was my responsibility.

The only drawback of this approach was that he wasn't motivated to grow the business after he made enough money to live a comfortable life, so he ignored all my requests to scale. It was still my responsibility to find new ways to grow and this time I met a resistance when it came to something new to him like marketing channels that were uncomfortable to him. And, because I paid him 20% of all sales, I had less motivation to do this work on my own which is clearly not a good strategy in the long run :)