This is one of the single most important things entrepreneurs need to understand when they hire salespeople to grow and scale their business. During a first meeting with an entrepreneur, I often ask what is the profile of the ideal salesperson for their business, and I usually hear the following:

  • Knows my industry and understand my business
  • Has contacts with prospects for my business
  • Very autonomous, no need to be managed or motivated
  • Ready to take risk and accept a large portion of commissions – if they are good they should not hesitate… because my product is great

What was just described is the profile of an entrepreneur! Essentially, entrepreneurs are looking for people like themselves to fulfill the sales roles they have in their organization. Although this profile of an individual is great, finding this exact individual is more of a challenge. Why you may ask? Well, because they do not exist in great numbers, and they usually already own a business or will seek to own or start one shortly. Even if you have the chance of finding such an individual, you probably will not have that same chance consistently. Very rapidly you will need to revert at adopting what fast growing companies do:

  • Define the DNA of the ideal sales candidate (might not be from the industry)
  • Evaluate at the beginning of the sales process with a sales specific assessment
  • Audition the salespeople – do not interview them
  • Trust the process for the first 75% of the hiring, and develop your instinct to make the final decision of who will be the best fit among the best candidates that the sales specific hiring process has selected for you
  • Create a awesome and detailed on-boarding plan that will answer all your new hire’s questions

Stop looking for somebody like yourself when you hire sales people, create a reliable, consistent process that will produce a predictable outcome.