In a profession that is taught to look for the error in everything, mistakes can be scary and the one thing to avoid. In fact for some they are so scary it may be years before they try “marketing or sales” again.
Many accounting firms hire a marketing or a sales person with an anticipation of high growth and are often disappointed when they don’t see immediate results. Many firms will have start and stop efforts with marketing or sales professionals with limited success.
Aligning Expectations and Skillsets for Marketing and Sales
There can be many reasons for unsuccessful hires. The number one cause I see are misaligned expectations of success with skillsets of the individual involved. Here is what I mean by that:
Often times, the partner(s) running the firm will have different expectations of “marketing”. One partner will define it as generating leads, while another may define it as building collaterals and PowerPoint presentations. When firms hire an individual to run marketing and/or sales, those people come with unique skillsets. Similar to the accounting profession, there are generalists that do both marketing and sales, and some that specialize in one area or the other. Experience also matters here. If the firm is looking for someone that can set and drive strategy rather than just churn out proposals, presentations and manage ads, that requires more experience rather than less.
How to Avoid a Mistake
Make sure you and your partner group are on the same page with what you want this person to do and how you will evaluate success. Then go out and hire for the right skillsets. Not sure how to define the role? Check out the Association for Accounting Marketing’s Roles & Responsibilities Document.
Once you have the role defined, do a little due diligence on compensation ranges. Once that is done, go out and find someone that fits the role.