In this two and a half minute video I discuss hiring your sales team.
It’s hard to hire good salespeople. It’s actually harder than you think it would be. There are a lot of sales folks in the market at any given time. Most of them are usually not real good. They’re not going to be a great fit for your company. So when I set up a hiring process, I like to ensure that I get several people on my team involved in it, and that I give the sales candidate the chance to actually perform. So typically what I like to do is write a job description that’s realistic, not full of too much fluff, have comp that’s at the market level, I’m not trying to chisel guys, and get that out on Craigslist and LinkedIn and the Ladders, other places. Then as candidates respond, the first thing we’ll do is run a phone screen, and that’s a 20 to 30 minute call with at least 2 of my team. Three is better. And that’s mostly about you pitching your opportunity to the sales guy, because sales guys like to be sold, and it’s really important for them to feel pumped up about you’re doing. I have evaluation criteria everyone agrees on. They record that. It can be as simple as recording it on a Google doc so you can share it. Bring him in for a live or I may have live or deeper phone interviews that go into much more depth about who they are. Then from a short list that I’ve generated from those second sets of interviews, I’ll actually set up a scenario where they have to sell me my product. I give them some tools, and I help them think through who I am, and I may even give them access to a demo site so they can do a simple demo, and I have them perform. By the way, part of that performance also is written material, because I want to see how well they can write. You know, a good sales guy can really sell you about how great he is, but it’s really good to get him in the room selling your product to you to see how he performs. I always do background checks. It’s just amazing what you find with guys when you get in the weeds. I’ve had cases where I’ve hired guys who had great resumes, great backgrounds, great references, and turned out to be fraudulent. I almost started a guy once who it turned out he’d just been convicted by the Department of Justice for tax fraud. Kind of a problem. You don’t want him in an orange jumpsuit coming to work every day. So a background check will often flag issues for you with sales folks.