This is the top ten list of mistakes made when hiring a SaaS sales team. These mistakes are made repeatedly, make fewer and you will scale faster:
#1. You hire a sales person to sell before you can prove you can do it yourself.
You must prove your solution is sellable first. You can’t outsource this.
#2. You hire a VP of Sales to sell before you prove you can do it yourself.
You must prove the process is repeatable, even if it’s flimsy. Before you crank up the pressure, get 2 sales people up and running – and hitting target.
#3. Your first 2-3 sales reps are people you wouldn’t buy from.
You will never trust them with your precious handful of leads and they will fail. No matter how well they did in previous roles, they will fail.
#4. You focus too much on point #3 after your initial 2-3 hires!
It’s about scale after you first few hires, not your personal dynamic with them.
#5. You underpay.
The best salespeople want to make MONEY! If you under-pay, you’ll pay the penalty for poor quality.
#6. You don’t fire BDMs that fail.
If they can’t close anything in one sales cycle, they most likely never will.
#7. You ask your VP of Sales to carry a quota for too long.
Their job is to recruit a great deal and hit the overall business target. Make sure they own the whole ARR number, not an individual quota for too long.
#8. You hire someone that has not sold similar SaaS products.
This can work later, but not in your first hires. They need to understand how to sell vaguely similar products at vaguely similar price points.
#9. You hire because they worked at Salesforce/Facebook.
Hire because they can close similar products at somewhat similar price points, and have worked in a start-up. They need to know what that means. Being successful as one of 4,000 sales people at Salesforce that sell a product with a proven brand and huge infrastructure behind it, that’s very different.
#10. You don’t aim for 0% voluntary attrition.
Don’t work on the fire the bottom 1/3rd philosophy, that’s for boiler rooms and you’ll get an awful rep. Aim for 0% voluntary attrition. Great sales teams stick together. Great sales teams inspire each other. Great sales team attract a higher and higher quality of reps as time goes on.