Why Five?

Neil HartleyHiring ChallengesLeave a Comment

Many people making up the number five

Conventional wisdom suggests you should screen all your candidates for a given role and then perform in-depth interviews with 3-5 of them and, hopefully, make your selection from there. However, does that conventional wisdom apply to B2B tech founders looking to make their first Sales hire?

In any area of business, you would imagine that most hiring managers have a clear understanding of the goals of the role they’re hiring for. Right? But, is that the case for for our B2B tech founder and their first Sales hire role?

What is the goal of that first Sales hire? To generate revenue? Of course. What else?

As bootstrapped companies travel up the value creation journey, whether enabled by external investment or not, the transition from founder-led sales to standard ‘playbook’ sales is critical and that transition is the responsibility of that first Sales hire – the Pathfinder salesperson – and their role is to develop a predictable, repeatable, scalable, profitable sales model.

Startup Valuation Curve

Without that understanding, how are you meant to even create a job spec for the role let alone understand the types of salesperson best suited and the requisite skills for the role? In reality, and history shows that, without an understanding of the role, B2B tech companies will cycle through multiple ‘first Sales hires’ and fail to add significant value to the business.

Even with an understanding of the role, the B2B tech founder may still face a mountain of candidate applications, likely doesn’t understand the skills needed to be successful in the role let alone be capable of assessing them.

So, what happens? How does the busy founder deal with this? Screening the multitude of applications relies on some time-saving filter (just choose surnames beginning A-M?); lack of knowledge of the skills required pushes those likely to have the largest rolodex to the top of the pile (but are they the right Sales type?); while an inability to assess skills leaves the founder to select someone most like themselves at interview.

The chances of a Pathfinder salesperson being hired using this traditional approach are minimal, if not zero.

At The Right Five we have developed the only sales recruitment technology focused on the unique requirements of the first sales hire of B2B tech founders – the Pathfinder salesperson. Years of start-up experience has enabled the definition of the role of the Pathfinder, the skill sets required to be successful in that role, together with the development of an online assessment tool that identifies Pathfinders as distinct from other, unsuitable, types of salesperson.

Further, the assessment process is automated such that all the founder has to do is paste the assessment url in the job ad and The Right Five system takes care of the rest, delivering the right five Pathfinder candidates for interview such that the founder can select the right one.

All of that initial screening – done for you. Specifying the right skills to identify a Pathfinder – done for you. Assessing candidates against those Pathfinder skills – done for you

All you have to do is to interview the five and make your selection, secure in the knowledge that those five candidates sat in front of you are all Pathfinders. You can choose the right one based on location, fit, maybe just who you liked best. The risk is gone.

So why five? If every interviewee can do the job then seven is too many (not a good use of your time), and three is not enough. Remember, they have to like you and what you do too.

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