Hiring Your First Salesperson

Once you raise your Series A, it’s usually time to hire salespeople for two main reasons. The first reason is scale. The founders can’t handle a pipeline of tens or hundreds of deals alone. The second reason is expertise. Strong sales leadership brings expertise in closing deals, building the sales process, and growing a team.

So you decided that you want to bring sales expertise to your startup. Who should you hire? These are the most critical factors that you should consider:

  1. Individual contributor vs. sales leader: hiring an Account Executive vs. a VP of Sales are two different paths. On the one hand, it may feel too to bring on a VP at this early stage, but on the other hand, if you hire an individual, the CEO will have to manage her directly. Therefore, unless the founder has prior sales experience, we recommend bringing a sales leader who can build the processes and the team.
  2. Deal size: if your deal size is consistently over $100K, you need an enterprise sales team. Mid-market is considered less than $100K on average, and below is SMB. Don’t bring someone not a good fit for your deal size.
  3. Domain expertise: having experience selling a similar product or solution will significantly reduce the ramp-up time and drive results quickly. If you can, try to bring someone from the same industry.

Thinking about these in advance will help you grow your startup faster and reach your first millions in sales!

Should You Use a Recruiting Firm? What Is a Startup's Go-to-Market?
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