Many entrepreneurs share a common experience of starting off as the primary, (and in many cases, the only,) sales person for their company, and after achieving some success they hope to hire a professional sales team that can take the baton and continue the surge forward. The CEO is excited about getting off the road, and being able to spend their time at the office while the sales team interfaces with customers. Unfortunately, many find that their new team doesn't succeed and their next move is to assume that they hired the wrong people and therefore is to fire the first team and attempt rehiring a better staff. Even the sales people themselves are stymied as to why they aren't able to succeed.
But the problem may not be related to their abilities. Entrepreneurs who are talented enough to start their own business are often "jacks of all trades," and in addition to technology, are born salespeople. Their success is based upon their ability to "work" a customer into a position of agreement and then to deliver the promised product that is partially created during the sales process. And, while a "professionally trained" salesperson may be better at selling, they don't have the resources and controls on the rest of the organization that are available to the CEO. They frequently have a product that isn't quite ready for mass distribution and they are left in a position where they can't quite talk the customer into moving forward, nor can they reinvent the product so as to make the sales process easier, as the CEO might have done in their place.
So, the problem lies in the fact that the product really isn't ready for prime time and the success of the CEO in early sales was to often achieved through customization of the solution or the deal, based upon the observed problem at a particular customer.
The solution lies somewhere between an independent sales group and the CEO continuing to own the sales process. The CEO must create a process by which their ability to manage a customer and change the product is amplified by the new sales organization's ability to reach a greater number of customers. Unfortunately, the CEO's desire to get off the road, is precisely the wrong direction to be moving. Instead, the CEO is going to increase their travel, by reaching out to a greater number of potential clients, being actively engaged in each sale, until the product stabilizes and the sales people can come to closure on their own.
The only way to know when this occurs is to allow each sales person to segregate a small portion of their customer base, for whom they attempt to work the client on their own. This not dissimilar from the standard approach taken by mature telemarketing and infomercial companies who reserve 15% of their media budget for experimentation to see if they can improve their customer acquisition cost through innovation in the advertising or sales processes.
As well, in a small company, it's not unusual for one of the sales people to be markedly more successful than others, and the CEO's responsibility is also to identify the more successful methodologies and make sure that they are shared with the rest of the sales organization efficiently.