Answer – Once you have proven you can sell your product multiple times.
The actual number will depend on your deal size, but you need to prove it can be sold and it works. Even better if you have evidence of genuine renewals to provide you with great case studies.
I’m not talking about POC customers here, actual paying clients.
This is not the route or thinking so many start-ups seem to take. I have worked with many early stage companies over the years and there seems to be a consistent theme of thinking that hiring the first person is the answer to their prayers.
Sales people do not possess Jedi like skills!
If you are a founder or CEO of an early stage business, there is not likely to be any better advocate of your product than you.
Equally, by getting out and selling your product you will gain so much valuable feedback from the market that will increase your chances of a successful hire.
This repetition will enable to roughly figure out what your sales process looks like. It doesn’t need to be perfected, hiring the right person will help you do that, but it will enable you to get a view on key factors involved in securing a deal, examples being:
- What are your lead sources?
- Have you clearly segmented your target market?
- Whom are the buyers involved in a decision?
- What objections/buying signals?
- How long is the sale cycle?
- Do you have an implementation plan that works?
You won’t gain a rounded view of this type of knowledge without repetition. Close, rinse and repeat. For a typical mid-tier MarTech business, this might be ten, maybe even twenty deals. If you are an Enterprise level platform, most likely less.
I can say with confidence this knowledge will make a massive difference on the profile of the person you hire. Armed with this info you will increase your chances of a successful hire.
You will have a much better idea of what a realistic target looks like, how to compensate them correctly, and therefore how to scale your sales model.
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