The top five reasons you will love your first sales hire are:
- Money. I mean, that’s why you hired them, right? They will bring in new revenue.
- Expansion. They will help expand your company’s reach and help identify new markets.
- Thought partner. They will get critical feedback from customers and help think of new ways to serve them.
- Builder. They will help you build a profitable, scalable, predictable and repeatable sales process.
- Enthusiast. Like B2B tech founders, the first sales hires is driven by more than money—they are excited to be part of something new and exciting.
Those five things are true, if you get the first sales hire right, which is really tricky.
Based on our extensive experience in the startup space, interviews with entrepreneurs, and qualitative research we have found a pattern for what constitutes the right mindset and skillsets for the first salesperson for a B2B tech startup. These are the Pathfinders.
Pathfinders have the requisite sales (and marketing) skills together with the proper mindset to be successful in this key role.
We understand that when B2B tech founders are at the point where they need to bring in their first sales hire, there is a lot of mixed emotions. There is the doubt: will you two get along over the long term, will they help you achieve your business goals, and will it even work out? There is the dream: they will make it rain money, they will be a new friend and confidant, and they will help you grow the company in new ways.
These feelings, along with anxiety, hope, and a bunch of others, are a normal part of the process. So, we wanted to give some encouragement on how you will love your Pathfinder salesperson. Expanding on the above:
- Money: There are a lot of reasons why you started your company. You had a vision for a new product, thought you could do something better than someone else, had a desire to build something, thought there was a clearly defined opportunity in the marketplace, and you wanted to make money doing it. Your Pathfinder salesperson will help you bring in the revenue you need to achieve your business goals.
- Expansion: As you are freed up to focus on other things, your Pathfinder will do just that—find new paths for your company. They bring a necessary creativity that will help identify new customers and markets that you can explore and fuel your growth.
- Thought Partner: While it is not likely that your Pathfinder salesperson will have your level of technical expertise, they can help you think of new offerings and strategies while being an excellent sounding board. Their time with clients and in market research will prove to be critical.
- Builder: One of the key tasks of the Pathfinder salesperson is to help you build your company. The pathfinder has a willingness and an excitement around building the processes and procedures necessary for a successful Sales operation as an organization scales.
- Enthusiast: Look, it can be lonely and exhausting to be the CEO. We’ve been there, we know. Like you, the Pathfinder is motivated by more than money. They are excited to be part of helping create something that didn’t previously exist. Having more people excited and enthusiastic about the process, can make the long days a bit easier.
How does The Right Five help you get your Pathfinder salesperson?
Here at The Right Five, we have codified the skills required for the first Sales hire in a tech startup to be successful. We’ve then developed an online assessment and rules engine that classifies candidates as a Pathfinder (meaning they will be successful) or a Non-Pathfinder (meaning they won’t).
You just have your applicants take the assessment (we provide a unique url) and then you choose from those identified as Pathfinders and interview the ones who best fit your company/sector. That means you save time and money while massively reducing the risk. Why pay 30% of base salary to a recruitment agency when you can get it right for $997?