- Posted by Mark Elliott
- On January 29, 2019
- 0 Comments
Hiring for sales can be hard. Hiring your first B2B sales rep can be very hard. The cost of a bad, first B2B sales rep can be very high. It is not just the compensation paid, but also the opportunity cost to your business, specifically, missed sales in that time frame. One of the keys to hiring your first B2B sales rep is understanding what you need in a sales rep. There are many different types and structures for a B2B sales rep including BDR, SDR, AE, and much more. This blog will help you determine what you need for your first B2B sales rep.
Think about the sales tactics that you will need your first b2b sales rep to do. It could involve cold calling, going to trade shows, networking events, and other related sales initiatives. Make sure as part of the selection process that you talk about the expectations for the role. In the past we worked with a client that planned on hiring an industry-experienced candidate. After our conversation, they then added what expectations are needed for the role. The candidate expressed that did not want to do some of the sales tasks our client needed and that they wanted to present versus do the sales work required. It’s safe to say that our client avoided a bad first sales hire for both them and even for the candidate.
You may or may not need an experienced sales person. Having an inside rep or BDR could be a great first sales hire. Understanding what you need the rep to do and how much money you have available will help to drive this decision. The other factor to consider around experience is that you will need to support your first B2B sales rep. The less experience your hire may have, the more effort that needs to be invested into the on-boarding process, training, and supporting their overall sales efforts.
Do you need your sales person to have in-depth knowledge of your industry? In some cases, yes, but in most cases, no. The founder can still be a subject matter expert in the sales process and the new sales person can learn with training. Be careful not to over value industry knowledge.
The first part of determining the sales compensation plan is understanding how much you can afford to pay. You will need to understand the revenue per sale/customer, margin, sales cycle, and your cash flow available. You may need to hire a less experienced sales person because you cannot afford a more experienced hire. There are many ways to create a sales plan. We would suggest a plan that includes salary, commission, and activity targets.
For more insight on compensation and sales plans, read our previous blog post, “Startup Sales Compensation Plans”
Your first B2B sales rep could grow with the company. Hire for today, but also with an eye on tomorrow. You should focus on two important questions: What do they want to do overtime? How coachable are they?
If you need some help planning for your first B2B sales rep, let’s talk!