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PODCAST: Hiring Sales Talent: Why Would They Want to Work For Your Crappy Little Company?

Do you work for an upstart/startup company?  Are you about to hire your first sales professional?  Do you see yourself hiring sales pros in the coming months and years?

Then you, my friend, need to either watch this video or download the series as a recurring podcast. The show is called This Week in Venture Capital, and the host is Mark Suster, who some of you know from the blog Both Sides of the Table.  

This week's version was about hiring the right sales talent in your company.  My favorite point, which occurs at the 14:18 mark, is where Mark and the guests start talking about whether your small startup should hire a VP of Sales or a regular salesperson as your first sales professional, to which Mark asks the following question related to the conventional wisdom that you need to hire a sales leader/VP as the first person in:

"Why would they want to work for your shitty little company?"

Ah, yes.  Candor.

Fair question, and one that makes you lean quickly to the fact that you need to match talent/attitudes/expectations to the life stage of your company.  Other great points in the conversation include:

16:00 Determining a good sales guy from a bad one

19:00 Never wanting to join a club that doesn’t want them as a member

20:15 Mark’s secret sales interview trick

23:00 Make sure to listen more than you talk

36:00 Sales people only care about money

41:00 Suster: Paying a little upfront and then withholding until they get paid

42:00 The simpler the comp plan, the easier it is to see the shenanigans

47:00 Group pipeline calls and how effective they are

51:00 One more tip from Suster on the sales world

73:00 Staying on top of who is in the sales pipeline

76:00 Mark: “Don’t hire sales people too quickly, don’t hire bigpeople. Be smart, think quickly.”

HR people need to know more about sales than they do.  Even if you think you're an expert, download this and listen.  You'll be glad you did.  It's money.



Great post KD as usual.

I've been a long time listener of This Week in Startups

Thank you for pointing out this gem from the same bunch.

I've also noticed they now have which will be a great place for those who want to learn more about the sales side.

My commuting podcast stable just expanded for the better.


Oh and one more thing...

Jason Calacanis is the guy behind This Week in Startups and the This Week In network - it's worth signing up for his Lunch newsletter. It's infrequent, but very good stuff around startups.

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