Sammy is the Managing Director and Cofounder of Blossom Street Ventures. Email him directly at email@example.comRecently I read “Hire Right, Higher Profits” by Lee Salz which focuses primarily on enterprise sales rep hiring. Below are some of the key points of the book along with my commentary.
You’re always hiring. “executives know that only searching for talent when they are staring at open seats on their sales team can result in poor selection decisions. Instead, they are perpetually on the lookout for talent and always have prospective candidates in the pipeline.” Sales people are the only employees in an organization which are profit centers, so you should never not be hiring (great reps generate at least 3x to 5x what they’re paid).
The rule of five. “five percent of salespeople will exceed under any circumstance. Five percent of salespeople will fail no matter what is done for them.” This means the other 90% have a shot if you can give them the tools and onboard/coach them appropriately.
Titles matter. “when a salesperson is handed her title, she immediately derives a message from it and so will her clients.” Account Executive is the minimum prestige of title for someone that is client facing.
Industry experience is over-rated. “Executives make three mistakes when they pursue candidates with industry experience — the assumption that these candidates will have a fast ramp and the misconception of guaranteed success are two of them. The third mistake becomes apparent when the starry eyed interviewer looks at the candidate and asks ‘how much business can you bring with you?’ This is an awful expectation to set for a prospective salesperson and creates an ethical dilemma. In addition, it’s not easy to move a mass number of clients from one supplier to another. When a salesperson has left your company to work for a competitor, how successful was she at taking her clients with her? She probably wasn’t very successful.” Don’t hire reps because you think they’re going to come with clients, because they won’t. A rep sells the product, but the product is what keeps the client, not the relationship with the rep.