There are several things that need to be in place before startups hire sales people and definitely before hiring a VP of Sales.
Jason Lemkin cautions against hiring sales people or a VP of Sales prematurely. Listen to his advice as to what founders should do before making these critical hires.
Let’s break that up between a salesperson and a VP of sales. I think in an ideal world, you as the CEO or a co-founder should close the first 10 customers him or herself. Ideally at least the first five of those 10 unaffiliated customers, you’ve got to go out and close them. Otherwise you don’t know. You cannot even hire the most junior sales rep if you haven’t done it before, that’s a recipe for disaster.
So close 10 yourself and as soon as you are comfortable that you know how to do the next 10, hire two reps. Go out and hire two reps, and don’t hire one because you have got to AB test especially if you haven’t done before. So hire your first two reps at 10 customers, and then hire your VP of sales that you can wait once it’s repeating, not necessarily repeating at the world’s fastest rate, but every month it’s repeating. Usually that is somewhere around 1 million, 2 million in revenue. So it might need to push it to 500K in revenues and maybe you have deferred to 2 million. But don’t hire the VP of sales before there is at least some engine going, because the job of the VP of sales is to make that engine run faster.
Published Date: Jul 31, 2015
Author: Michael Krigsman
Episode ID: 243