Sales

What points should one consider while hiring sales team for technology product?

Nitul Mehta Co-Founder of Krosswall - Agile Project Management Tool

April 14th, 2017

During recruitment of sales team, what points should i considered? what items should i focus on to get correct candidates for my requirement.

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Dan Catan I grow, organize and fix companies

April 14th, 2017

Here's some questions and considerations:


1. Is the product brand new (making a market) or another entrant to an existing market?

2. How do you envision getting "Suspect" leads (Marketing processes/tools) or References or word of mouth or the situation is so good that the leads come to you?

3. Do you need "Hunter" sales folks or "Farmer" sales folks

4. Is the product offering established or in Beta mode?

5. Will you use a CRM tool to help the sales team track the leads?

6. Is there a link between your Marketing activities and tools and your Sales cycle process and tools?

7. Do you plan to hire one or two people (now or in the future) vs agressively growing a sales team and need a person resp for training

8. Will you have a Sales Mgr whose resp is to grow and nuture the new sales people?

9. Will the sales people be out in the field or on the phone (inside sales)

10. Is there a "demo" aspect to the sales cycle process, and who would have resp for that aspect of the sales

11. Do you anticipate the sales cycle being a simple product sales or more of a larger, enterprise (elongated) sales process, needing interaction with a number of people and depts within the prospect

12. Will you have a Qualifier rep, that hands a lead to a Closer rep?

13. How many deals would you expect a rep to be handling and how many deals would you expect them to close (per Yr, Qtr or month)

14. How sophisticated is the product you are selling (easy to learn, or needs time to assimilate the feature/function and benefits)

15. Is it easy to ID a Prospect's pain points?


There's a bunch more considerations but the answers to these questions will help you determine the type of Sales Rep, how experienced, how much experience you expect them to have coming in to a new job and what the results are expected to be (rev vs exp).


Hope that helps.


Thanks. Dan Catan


Craig Reid 15 yrs tech sales and bus dev. VC and co-founder.

April 14th, 2017

Nitul


Several companies run out and hire either an SDR or an Account Executive rather than a sales leader. The reason they do this is that to launch your company they believe they should focus on growth in sales, rather than taking time to build processes. While this is a common practice, I believe it is penny wise, pound foolish.


On the other hand if you go for a sales leader, they will not have a team to lead, and you might be over paying for skills you don't need yet.


I would search for the right balance of execution and building skills. Many companies just assume sales happens by hiring great sales people. However, building and process definition are commonly overlooked. If are using Lean Startup, then I suggest focusing on someone who understands and can carry out the sales responsibility within the process.


An additional word of caution about overvaluing experience with established companies. Working for Google, Cisco, etc. gives you zero relevant experience in working in a no name company with an incomplete product in an untested market. It is false comfort to value name brands on the resume, but, of course, it is difficult to value the no name experience. You need to get good at asking the right questions and determining how the person thinks and acts. Don't focus on the bio.


Finally, I recommend reading the Sales Acceleration Formula by Mark Roberge. This is the single best book on sales process. There is an extensive discussion on hiring, and Roberge is one of the only authors who describes how he used data to make decisions. You can also get abbreviated summaries of this book for free or check out some YouTube presentations.

Nyasha Muzvondiwa Flexible, adaptive and business minded

April 15th, 2017

Interpersonal skills, a quick assessment will be gestures as one speaks. It's a great judge of interpersonal capabilities. For example someone who makes eye contact comfortably or who gestures swiftly as they speak, great candidate!

K. Robbins Head Moose at Moose WorldWide Digital

April 14th, 2017

Steve's advice is spot on.


To start ask your current customers how they heard about you, and what they like about you. This can be very useful in developing a buyer persona, which is critical in developing a sales process.

Summit Anthony strategic opportunism

April 15th, 2017

I would prefer asking them to penetrate a single geographical location in a specific segment of the market, once the business has recurring customers and a viable growth rate, try to move to different segments of the market however this strategy depends highly on your target audience

Joy Montgomery Continuous Improvement for Cleantech Companies, Connector

April 23rd, 2017

Consider the stage and size of the companies they have worked with in relationship to the stage and size of your own company. As an example, a sales professional from large, well-structured corporate environments usually is not comfortable with the helter-skelter nature of a startup.

Steve Owens

April 14th, 2017

Most important point when hiring anyone is cultural fit - there are many books written on this subject.


Second make sure you really should be selling. Is this your core - the one thing in the world you (your company) can do better than anyone else? If not, look for strategic partners, channel partners and PSF (Professional Services Firms). Only after you have concluded no one else can do it (or some part of it) should you consider developing your own team.


First map your sales processes and test each stage of the funnel. Don't hire anyone until you tested each part, and make sure the overall customer acquisition cost (CAC) is within a range that allows you to be profitable.


Once you have this all working, hire people for the different parts (grouping skill sets with functional roles) and train them on this systems.


Audit them on the processes, use KPIs and KLIs to monitor the processes and continuously improve the processes.


Anish Kumar Rathee Mobile application developer (Android and iOS)

April 17th, 2017

Well, as I feel you know your product the best and it should be the same with your sales team only if you know the product in and out you can sell it team should have much advanced understanding in the technical terms so that they can relate the qualities and the technical advancements of the product to tackle the main reason for a customer to buy the product let me take a simple example here if I want to sell a cycle to a customer who lives uphill then I should be able to tell him that if he takes the cycle with a gear system then it would make it for him to ride uphill but if a customer lives in a area that there s a lot of traffic and walkers then I should go ahead and pitch in for the disc brakes and the probably the customer would go ahead and make a purchase seeing the ease and the safety, but all this would have been a lot more (and I mean a hell lot more ), to sell the same bike if I wasn’t aware of the technical specifications and their use, so I would suggest you to go for someone who knows the technology assWell, as I feel you know your product the best and it should be the same with your sales team only if you know the product in and out you can sell it team should have much advanced understanding in the technical terms so that they can relate the qualities and the technical advancements of the product to tackle the main reason for a customer to buy the product let me take a simple example here if I want to sell a cycle to a customer who lives uphill then I should be able to tell him that if he takes the cycle with a gear system then it would make it for him to ride uphill but if a customer lives in a area that there s a lot of traffic and walkers then I should go ahead and pitch in for the disc brakes and the probably the customer would go ahead and make a purchase seeing the ease and the safety, but all this would have been a lot more (and I mean a hell lot more ), to sell the same bike if I wasn’t aware of the technical specifications and their use, so I would suggest you to go for someone who knows the technology associated with the product.W


Bob Fucci Sales and Revenue Growth, Strategy, Advisor, Speaker

April 18th, 2017

If you were recruiting for sales and BD resources for software development and engineering services, the requirement would be distinctly different than a traditional "product". In either case, I would start by selecting a sales partner - someone that you are compatible with and a person that values building both your brand and revenue. I would start with executing an NDA, reviewing my KPI's with several candidates and asking each candidates to come back with a brief, but detailed sales plan. This process will be quite valuable to you as it will help you compare/contrast several sales approaches.

Amit Dave strategy & financial consulting for startups | FounderCEO.io

April 19th, 2017

Have a word with the team at https://www.founderceo.io/

They are very good with such startup issues.