3 years ago
January 6, 2015

Sales Hiring For a Start-Up Company

Sales hiring is one of the most important decisions that a start-up company makes, and the consequences can hardly be overstated.

Rhys Metler

sales hiring for a start up companySales hiring is one of the most important decisions that a start-up company makes, and the consequences can hardly be overstated. However, there are great numbers of highly experienced and qualified sales people ready to jump at the right opportunity with a start-up company. These sales professionals thrive on challenge, enjoy the entrepreneurial environment, and can deliver the results that a start-up company needs to see in its sales hiring endeavors. The trick for a start-up company is to find these sales professionals.

The Right Mix of Skills at the Right Time

Start-up companies embarking on sales hiring frequently need sales people who understand all facets of sales, from marketing and industry analysis to new business development and direct selling. Sales people who fit this sales hiring profile may come from many different backgrounds, which is an important consideration for a start-up company in an industry that might be new to the world. These companies should consider the experience mix needed to drive success, which comes from the following sources: 

  • University education
  • Industry certifications
  • Business experience
  • Sales experience

Finding a sales person who has lengthy experience in an industry that may only be a few years old typically is not possible, so start-up companies should look to similar industries that draw upon the same skills and adjust accordingly. 

The Right Entrepreneurial Attitude

For the first sales hiring efforts, a start up company must be looking for individuals who are self-driven and understand the entrepreneurial spirit. This is especially true of a start-up company that might not have the budget to offer a standard compensation plan; if your company is looking for a sales person who is willing to accept company stock or deferred commission, you must hire a sales person who understands entrepreneurialism and will work hard for the future reward.

To ensure that a sales person meets this profile, look to whether that individual has experience running his or her own business or working for a similar start-up. To avoid future problems, be sure to investigate the individual’s reasons for leaving that environment, and confirm the reasons given with references.

The Willingness to Work Long Hours

As a general rule, sales people are not afraid of working long hours; very few top sales people consider a forty hour workweek normal, and the ones you want to hire will probably look at a standard workweek as something of a vacation. A start-up company requires a dedication of time and energy week after week to get off the ground, and your first sales hiring decisions must recruit sales people who can commit to working the hours required.

The One Way to Make Sales Hiring for a Start-up Company Easier

Cost effective sales hiring is a primary concern for a start-up company. The cost of making a sales hiring mistake at this early stage can cost the founders their interest in the business. Yet the entrepreneurs building a start-up company might not have the sales hiring experience necessary to ensuring that the hiring decisions are the right ones for the organization.

This is where the assistance of an experienced sales recruiting firm can be invaluable. Sales recruiting firms hire sales people for organizations of all sizes and in all industries day in and day out, and can help a start-up company narrow its hiring focus to the right candidates. The large resources of sales recruiting firms can be put at a start-up company’s disposal, making the hiring process more efficient and cost-effective than would be possible for a start-up working on its own. If you are embarking on sales hiring for your start-up company, take advantage of the no obligation consultations that most sales recruiting firms offer to see how such a firm could provide an advantage to your organization.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.