Finding cofounders · Marketing

How to find marketing and sales professionals

M. Dara Duman Technical Co-founder

Last updated on April 13th, 2021

I have a self-funded software company with paying customers. My company develops and sells stand-alone and SaaS-based software covering both B2C and B2B.

I'd like to connect with marketing and sales professionals who are willing to work on a full-commission basis at the beginning. We're open to offering equity for the right candidates on a vested schedule as well.

Any advice would greatly be appreciated.

Paul Garcia marketing exec & business advisor

April 16th, 2021

My advice is not to try to find 100% commission sales. The risk is too high for the salespeople, and they will require commissions probably over 50% to accept that risk. They will likely always feel in a threatened position because you haven't tested and refined your sales process so it is predictably repeatable, so any failure will be their fault, when in actuality it is your responsibility. It's a terrible kind of relationship. Equity is unappealing when you have no track record.

Two things will help you. 1) work on your sales process yourself. The owner is the primary salesperson until they have the resources to delegate the task. If you cannot sell your product yourself and develop a repeatable process that has predictable results, you cannot expect any salesperson to do better. You cannot rely on the early adopters as a model because they're most likely in your trusted network and the experience with them will not carry over to the general business audience. 2) cover the basic needs (food & shelter) of your salespeople. Pay them enough so they aren't starving, can commute to work, and keep a roof over their heads. When they have to worry about those basics, they make badly motivated decisions. The majority of their income can be commission, but never the part that covers the most basic needs of living.

One other thing to help along setting goals, your sales goals should be owned by your sales people. They need to tell you what they will be able to do in what amount of time at what cost. You should push them to do better than that with incentives. But remember that if you set the goals without their ownership of the goals, it's just a tug of war. Salespeople will do the things you (even accidentally) incentivize, so be mindful of what your incentives trigger them to do. Have standards, and then let them commit to how they will exceed those standards.

Good luck.

Shamal Badhe Project Marketing Manager @ Companion ITCS

April 14th, 2021

Let's connect. I'm interested.