Sales · Entrepreneurship

How to find that right "lone wolf" sales executive for growth?

Anonymous

September 29th, 2016

It seems for any company to continuously grow you need solution and sales. In companies that are self-funded where technology is covered, I presume that you would need 1 lone wolf sales executive who can evangelize the message and help increase the sale and build healthy pipeline. Question is how do you get this right sales executive who is willing to work for equity and potential, most importantly how do you figure out  he/she is really the right person with right skills?

Yaniv Sneor Founder, Mid Atlantic Bio Angels; President, Blue Cactus Consulting, Trustee, ILSE

September 29th, 2016

When all that is offered is "equity and potential", that salesperson is called "CEO".

Zubair Ansari Founder and CTO, CionSystems Inc.

October 3rd, 2016

Jeffrey, Please send me your contact. I wish to talk further

Rob G

September 29th, 2016

although this question (and the mirror to this question - "how do i find a technical cofounder and how do i know they have the right skills") drives me nuts, it is the kernel of both FD and CoFoundersLab and the answer is not all that simple.  CFL does a pretty good job of putting together live events to mix 'biz' and 'tech' people so that's one place to start, assuming they hold events in your area. This question gets asked a lot on FD so sift through other threads on this.  If you are willing to answer some questions then perhaps this will end up as the 'definitive thread' on this subject.  Considering that your post is 'anonymous' there must be some trepidation surrounding your question.  I will say that one does not "find" a qualified 'sales executive' any more than one 'finds' a customer.  Finding a partner to help you grow your business is a sales process.  It is not an algorithm to be codified, although it can be systematized a lot more than has been done thus far.  If you want to sell something you must first solve a pain for a market that you can define and reach - "what is the pain" and "who has it" (ideal prospect).  If you can answer these 2 questions (i feel like Yoda here) then we can get somewhere. Otherwise, not so much. 

Zubair Ansari Founder and CTO, CionSystems Inc.

September 29th, 2016

I am new to this forum. I posted this message since I am new i didn't pay attention to anonymous part. what is the pain" (security) and "who has it" (ideal prospect) (mid to large enterprises in any vertical).  hence we continued to build and are on 3-4th version of the solution. My intention was to find other people experiences. If anyone has tried this approach and share their experience (good, bad, ugly). I think the challenge could be different for funded company vs self-funded company, thoughts?

Zubair Ansari Founder and CTO, CionSystems Inc.

September 29th, 2016

I am new to this forum. I posted this message since I am new i didn't pay attention to anonymous part. what is the pain" (security) and "who has it" (ideal prospect) (mid to large enterprises in any vertical).  hence we continued to build and are on 3-4th version of the solution. My intention was to find other people experiences. If anyone has tried this approach and share their experience (good, bad, ugly). I think the challenge could be different for funded company vs self-funded company, thoughts?

Rod Abbamonte Co Founder at STARTREK / @startupHunter / @startupWay / @CoFounderFound / @GOcapital / @startupClub / @lastminute

September 30th, 2016

Lone wolf is better then pack of wolfs for grow?

Rob G

September 30th, 2016

Zubair, while understanding the market you are going after is helpful, the questions i asked relate to the sales person you are trying to hire.  What pain(s) do they have that you can relieve (solve) and who do you think has this pain (who is your ideal prospect)? 

Jeffrey Pearl Entrepreneur, CEO and Sales Leader

October 3rd, 2016

You need someone with connections and a proven track record. The dilemma is, when starting up, cash is tight and these types are expensive. I have a group of Sales Execs that have done well and are now "consulting/selling" let me know if I can help.

I joined tis group to assist in these kinds of situations.

Jeffrey Pearl Entrepreneur, CEO and Sales Leader

October 3rd, 2016

Zubair, this system will not let me send you my email address. I sent you a request via linked in

my website is www.otgconsulting.net

Christopher Conroy Equity | Inclusion | Humane Workplaces

October 4th, 2016

I can't speak to the premise of the lone wolf strategy but I can explain a little bit about how you could go about finding such a team member. After you screen for previous professional accomplishments and the like, all the following steps are evidence-base methods that need to be combined in order for you (or anyone) to get an accurate read on whether you have found a high-quality employee. In the hiring process, past performance is the greatest indicator of future performance. The problem is that it's really hard to understand how someone has truly performed in the past during an interview process based on their own admission. The key is to build a series of well-structured, in-person interviews with your entire team (maybe even a board member or two) that -- that utilizes a series of prompts that your team prepares in advance and, when delivered in the interview, asks the candidate to describe 1) a previous situation in which they've had to drive sales for a product or service as the role sales representative or lead sales driver and 2) how they would respond to a likely but hypothetical scenario they might face in their current role. You should also engineer a series of quick follow up questions that anticipate the kind of responses candidates might give. In addition, your team and you should put together a scoring rubric that rates candidates on a scale of 1-5 (lowest to best) for 3-4 "must-have" characteristics that you would be looking for in the candidate during the interview process. In this case you might be scoring your candidate based on a set characteristics like 1) self-sufficiency, 2) commitment (to product or service they are selling), 3) persuasiveness, and 4) active listening skills. Your team and you should all score the candidate independently with the same rubric. Lastly, in order to maintain objectivity, the person who will be managing this individual should have input into the process but should NOT make the final hiring decision. A hiring decision made solely on the basis of the hiring manager's opinion will be heavily biased in favor of the candidates likeability and not the objective analysis of the interview group's scores. Yes, it is definitely important to have people you like and build friendships with on your team. However, we naturally assess individuals for that through our interactions with them. We don't need an interview process to figure that out. Likeability is a heavily misleading characteristic, especially among salespeople and particularly with lone wolf types. (Most people would want to believe that they could like and trust the lone wolf.) This can completely distract from assessing a candidate based on their actual skills and potential. A structured interview process can help mitigate that risk but only if the final decision is kept out of the hands of hiring manager and is decided upon based on the collective evidence at hand. If you'd like some additional support on how to prepare for a structured interview process, I'm happy to help.