When Experience Hurts Sales

Steve LudwigPathfinder SalesLeave a Comment

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We all want the person with the biggest bat. It’s normal. But that instinct—which is a huge bias—can hurt your efforts in hiring your first salesperson. 

We understand the tendency for B2B tech startup founders to look for their first sales hire to have a long resumé, a huge contact list, and swagger. From the outside, that appears to be the secret sauce to help grow the company. 

At The Right Five, we deliver candidates for interviews that we know have the skills required to succeed as the first sales hire. We call them Pathfinders. They have the right mix of vocational skills and the proper mindset and approach to work to be successful at a B2B tech startup.

While someone that has a long track record in sales might be that person, it’s often not the case. The challenge is individuals who have been doing sales for a long time are often “over” doing what a first sales hire needs to do. For where they are in their career and their extensive experience, that might make sense for them. But that is not what you need. 

A first sales hire will need to develop a predictable, repeatable, scalable, profitable sales model. The key word here is “develop.” They have to create it all from scratch. This includes: 

  • Develop all the sales materials. 
  • Build the sales funnel.
  • Build the sales process. 
  • Help build ways to get and synthesize customer feedback. 
  • Help build and test marketing messages and tools. 
  • Determine the right target market for the product.
  • Work closely with the founder and the product team on possible product enhancements to expand market reach.
  • Work the web/phones/industry events or whatever else is needed to create awareness, generate leads and close deals. 
  • And so much more.

In our experience, and with many startup founders we have spoken with, too many people with enormous resumés and huge contact databases are simply not interested in that type of hustle at that stage of their career. 

That’s why having Pathfinders to interview is so important for B2B tech startups—which is why we developed The Right Five.

We have developed a proprietary online Pathfinder assessment and rules engine so that a mass of applicants can be automatically reduced to a handful of Pathfinders that you can interview.

This process allows:

  • Quick and painless hiring process: The Right Five automates the candidate assessment/scoring/communication leaving you simply with the selection of those Pathfinders you want to interview.
  • Fast on-ramping: Because your first 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 expect red carpet treatment.
  • Reduced risk: 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.

To learn more about how The Right Five can help you get your first Sales hire right, please contact us here.

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