Blog Post

Keys to Sales Success in the Payroll Industry


Guest Author Robert Yegehaiaian, President and CEO of SourceOne Payroll in Lancaster, CA

For twenty years I have owned payroll service bureaus and operated payroll software.  While success in payroll certainly requires keeping up the ever changing rules, regulations, and technology, the one constant to success is closing new sales.  Successfully growing a payroll business requires selling and closing new clients.  What I’ve learned over the years is that sales success requires sales process.

Apex asked that I speak on my sales approach next week at their inaugural Selling Skills Summit, S3.   As I prepared my session content I thought about what I’ve learned over 45 years in sales and specifically 20 years in payroll sales.  Bottom line, you will be successful in closing sales if you are consistent, structured and confident.

Now I realize that’s easier said than done.  It’s akin to saying you can be a Super Bowl quarterback if you simply throw touchdown passes.  So, let me add a bit of specifics to my statement.  Consistent and structured really comes down to having a sales process.  There are dozens of sales process methodologies and literally hundreds of books, videos, and online training courses.  Honestly, there is no single, silver bullet.  Each one can work if you apply the principles and most importantly apply and adhere to their process.  So, what do I mean by process?

Process is simply a mapping of the stages the sales journey.  For example, stage 1 is building rapport.  Seems simple but if you follow process, you don’t begin “selling” until you complete stage 1 and build rapport.  Understand the personal side of the prospect, share your personal side, and build trust.  Maybe it takes 3 minutes, maybe 30 minutes, maybe it takes a month!  But, only then do you proceed the stage 2 and learn about the customer’s pain.  Where do they need help?  What problems can you solve?  Again, don’t begin “selling” until you complete stage 2 and understand their pain.   Next stage, stage 3, you need to question the prospect about their budget.  No sense in “selling” to someone with no approved budget or too little budget.  When you’ve established rapport, identified pains, and confirmed budget, now you’re using a sales process and you are ready to prepared to beginning “selling”.

I mentioned confidence as a key to sales success.   Not only do you perform better but the prospect can immediately sense when you have confidence or not.  Knowing your process and the direction you want to take the conversation inherently gives you confidence.  Every sales call involves stepping into some level of unknown.  But by having your sales process clearly in mind you become in charge and confident.

Will a sales process guarantee you to close every new client opportunity?  Obviously not.  But, I can, confidently say, that once I discovered my own process, and oriented my selling around that process, my success rate improved dramatically.


Robert Yegehiaian is President and CEO of SourceOne Payroll in Lancaster CA.  Robert can be reached at and will be speaking about selling payroll software and services at the Apex HCM Selling Skills Summit in Atlanta GA July 19-20, 2018.