5 steps to hiring the best sales talent to your startup

People maketh the business. If I knew who to attribute this quotation to I would, but I don’t, so I won’t. Even though I cannot cite the author, the sentiment is absolutely correct. You can be solving the most acute and painful problem in business, but if there are no humans talking to other humans about it, how do you expect to grow and make money?

However, hiring the right salespeople is hard and if you haven’t done it before, this compounds into a state of paralysis. Imagine this, you have 10 CVs for 10 salespeople all of who have surpassed their targets, top performers in their industries, have great contacts, etc. but you have one position to fill. How do you choose? Following these 5 S’s:

  1. Scorecard – you should develop a Scorecard that is consistently used across all candidates so you can make a very qualitative process as quantitative as possible. You should include sales competencies like ability to segment a market, prospecting, talking about money, etc. but also cultural considerations that are important to your company.
  2. Source Talent – job boards, LinkedIn Jobs, referrals from your own network are three examples that can really help draw people into your ecosystem. A well-written job description and landing page can make a huge difference to who applies to your company. I would suggest looking at a company like Teamtailor, who offer an end-to-end Applicant Tracking System which makes the whole process of sourcing candidates so much easier.
  3. Selecting – recruiters will help you to source candidates, not select them. It is your job to select the right people, going through a number of different interviews where you should be assessing cultural fit, technical skills, competency and then (depending on seniority) C-level presentation. This is where software can help because you can decide on what skills and competencies are important to you as a company and then every interviewer can assess those same skills and then if consensus is reached, the right hire becomes very clear.
  4. Sell the opportunity – remember, good candidates will have more than one offer. If they are good at their trade, many companies will want them so be sure to sell the opportunity to them in the interview and not fall into the trap that just because they are there in the first place, they will definitely take you up on the offer.
  5. Start – you should now be in a position to have a start date for this new salesperson. Before they start, check you have got them the basics to do their job. A company laptop and phone (if applicable), the right software licenses, email address, etc. Nothing says more than a company doesn’t care if the first day rolls around and nothing is prepared and it almost seems a shock to everyone that a new starter has joined.

Everything above is in your control so worry about that, because to make a great experience for candidates joining your company is straightforward if you follow the 5 S’s above.

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