Inside the Mind of Your First Sales Hire

(This post is part of the upcoming Inside the Mind course here on SalesDev.Global.)

You’re interviewing to hire your first sales manager. One candidate has demonstrated success at other startups at a similar stage to yours. What is she thinking? What is she looking for from your startup?

  • Comp plan and benefits? She can get paid better at a big company.
  • Friendly, hard working team? This won’t guarantee her success.
  • Low risk? She knows better with all of her startup experience!

What Experienced Sales People Want

Experienced sales people, even those who have been successful with startups, don’t want to start from nothing. They know how hard it is just to get through to customers, let alone go through the entire discovery/diagnosis process on the way to figuring out how to sell a new product from a new company.

What they want is a Repeatable Sales Process as described here on SalesDev.Global. Continuing with our imaginary interview, you present this to your top candidate:

  • Your Beachhead Market: A description of the companies/groups, and why they need your product so badly
  • Customer Hot Buttons: In customers’ own words, describing the Pain you solve
  • Killer Questions that will quickly surface the Pain at customers
  • Your Prospect List, with their measured reactions to your outbound campaigns
  • A tested sales process that gets you in the door fast and grows quickly.

That’s what experienced sales people want.

You can read many opinions on the web about why salespeople fail so frequently at startups. The reality is that without a Repeatable Sales Process like the one described above, they have to figure out everything from scratch. That’s not selling!