Now that you have acquired your First Few Customers who are paying and have understood the Industries(Segments) you have to focus on, the People(Targets) within these organizations you have to Target and the Benefits (Pitch) you would articulate for them. Time has come for you to articulate your success stories and go after new customers by hiring a sales team and scale up.
Hiring a sales team is a bit tricky as the Founders come in with lots of expectations. The simple fact that the Founding team has built an organization without much of a sales background gives them the hope that the new sales team is going to increase their revenue a few times within a short time.
Unfortunately, this does not happen in may companies. The reasons are as follows:
- JD is changed to suit the person found : The team tries and meets a few people for a few weeks and gives up. They take the list of all the people they have shortlisted and tries to get the best person out of this. The Job Description chalked out is changed to suit the Person where it should have been the other way around (Suiting a person to the JD). A little bit of contextual search would solve this problem
- Sales team is assumed to sell by themselves: Sales team becomes an Island after the first few weeks where the executive support that the first few deals got is no longer provided. The management goes into dealing with other aspects of the organization because they are satisfied that the sales person who has come in will sell by themselves as a base has been created by them in the past. Continuing the kind of support that was given to the initial sets of deals will help scale the organization much better than just letting go of the sales teams on their own
The ways to hire and scale a sales teams would be as follows:
- Find out where you would want help from the sales organization which can complement your skills
- Decide the Sales Org Chart in terms of the skills required for the Sales Head and the number of sales people depending on the markets , revenues and the humanly possible efforts they can put on a daily basis.
- Decide what sort of a sales person is required at this stage of the organization and write the JD
- Search based on the JD and let there be a dedicated no. of hours per day (Hiring for billing or building the product pressure will be there but many organizations fail only because of this and they ignore the sales hire and pick up someone in the last moment)
- Take notes of the past sales and document what is important as skill sets to close the deals for your company
- Interview the person based on those parameters and be a bit hard on the evaluation
- Have a daily or a weekly target of meeting so many people so that you are atleast comfortable that you have met enough no. of people before you take a decision
- Also find out what this person has done in the past. A past track record of having done something similar to this is golden to you rather than having done something not so closer to the situation that they will be in once they join.
A bit of careful search coupled with metricized no. of meetings will help you find the right people and will help you build the right sales team.