Top 5 Most Common Sales Hiring Mistakes8:40 AM
Over the past few weeks I’ve received an uptick in requests for advice on building out a sales team...
Over the past few weeks I’ve received an uptick in requests for
advice on building out a sales team. More startups in the community are
finding product / market fit or are past product / market fit and are in
the process of building a repeatable customer acquisition machine.
Once the first 50 customers have been acquired, and things are looking good, it’s time to make that first sales hire.
Here are the top five mistakes entrepreneurs make hiring sales people:
- Culture Fit – Never settle on finding team members that fit the core values and culture of the startup. Too often, startups get desperate to fill a position and start relaxing standards. Don’t do it.
- Lack of a Clear Plan – When a sales person starts it should be crystal clear as to what’s expected of them in terms of role, metrics, and quota. The best sales people are self-motivated and want to know expectations.
- Commission Complexity – Whatever the system for compensation, human nature is to game it and optimize for what’s best personally. As an entrepreneur, the best solution is to keep the commission policy incredibly simple and straightforward. If it can’t fit on one sheet of paper in simple bullet point form, it’s too complicated.
- Cap on Commissions – In the fastest growing startups, the top sales people should make more money than the CEO, and that’s a good thing. Never put a cap on commissions as sales people need to stay focused on what they do best — bringing in revenue.
- Unrealistic Expectations – Top sales people shouldn’t be expected to hunt, farm, support, and exceed quota all at the same time. Sales people should be empowered to do one thing and do it exceptionally well. Limit the number of responsibilities and create realistic expectations.
What else? What are your thoughts on the top five most common sales hire mistakes?