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.