How Do I Make My First Sales Hire?

Steve LudwigHiring ChallengesLeave a Comment

picture of screwed up piece of paper and a paper plane - how do you get from one to the other?

When you started your company, you didn’t say to yourself, “Boy, I can’t wait until I need to hire my first salesperson.” 

We’ve been there. We get it. 

You want to spend more time developing your product or service and satisfying your initial customers. It’s highly unlikely you started your company dreaming of the moment you could make your first Sales hire. 

So, that brings up a number of questions?

  • How do I get through this process as quickly and painlessly as possible? 
  • How do I hire my first salesperson and have them have a fairly quick on-ramping process?
  • How do I reduce the risk, getting the hire right the first time? 

The Right Five is designed to help you find the right first salesperson the first time. We call this person a Pathfinder. They have a unique set of skills and attributes that have been proven critical to be successful as the first Sales hire for a B2B tech startup. You could say that their DNA is different to that of most other salespeople.

The good news is that these skills (along with the blocking and tackling of sales and marketing) have been codified and an online Pathfinder assessment and rules engine developed by The Right Five so that a mass of applicants can be automatically reduced to a handful of Pathfinders for interview.

That will help address most of your concerns:

  • You will get through the process painlessly and quickly because The Right Five is automating candidate assessment/scoring/communication leaving you simply with the selection of those Pathfinders you want to interview.
  • Because your fist Sales hire needs to be a Pathfinder (the clue is in the name) their need for on-ramping is minimal. It’s their job to develop the repeatable Sales process that will allow you to scale, so they won’t be expecting red carpet treatment.
  • The Right Five reduces the risk for you because our online assessment/rules engine identifies Pathfinders, i.e the candidates who will be successful as the first Sales hire.

But, for that process to be successful you need to get people to see that you have a job opening. How do you get the candidates to your job application? 

An excellent job description is critical. You need to ensure you capture the company culture, values, and is welcoming and inclusive in tone. 

While the rules are still being written about hiring in the current job market, before the great resignation many of the people that find new work were not looking for a job. Someone reached out to them. That still holds true in many cases. 

That means you have to be smart about how you find people to apply for your position. 

Each of your current employees need to reach out to their network asking if they know people that might be interested, post on LinkedIn and other social media sites, and for people that are known that could be a good fit, a direct invitation to apply. 

This holds true for the members of your board of directors or advisors. They need to work their network as well, turning over stones to help you find the talent you need to succeed. That should just be part of their service as a member of your board. 

It doesn’t stop there, your team should be letting people know in their extended networks. This includes your professional organizations, friends at former employers, social groups, and others that you have been connecting to. You never know who might know the right someone. 

As there is a lot of competition for talent, so you want and need to cast a wide net. 

With The Right Five, you should direct all candidates to your unique application url so they can take the proprietary assessment. You then use your own Client Dashboard to review and compare your Pathfinders. Who might dovetail best with your existing experience? Who has the most relevant sector experience? You decide those you want to interview and, ultimately, you choose the right one. 

Client Dashboard - Comparing two candidates

It’s that person’s role to develop the Sales and Marketing Playbook that brings bring your company to the next level of growth.

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