A lot of start-ups think that they need to hire Sales people very early in the game not realizing how this tends to have a very adverse effect on the development of the company.
Most start-ups correctly depend on the CEO for being the best, and only, sales person in the beginning of the company’s existence. The CEO usually knows the product or service and possesses the fervour to communicate the solution to potential clients. The CEO is usually the most cost effective alternative for most start-ups. CEO’s are multi-tasking, making sales calls on extensively qualified and targeted prospects.
An equally essential consideration is the fact very early stage companies are typically still finding out just what the right positioning for their products/services really should be. They’re typically still seeking to find out which segment of their target market they ought to be focussed on to start with, and are also identifying the minimum set of features that will provide their first sales. Concentration is extremely important as start-ups normally do not have a great deal of time for getting some initial sales revenue coming in the door.
Putting anyone in between probable buyers and the President has got the consequence of cutting him off from the precious comments which will be extracted from initial phase buyers, information and facts which will determine product or service development along with marketing and sales strategies.
Start-ups normally do not have a lot of cash readily available and cannot afford to squander it by having costly and, initially, non-productive resources. “But they’re professionals” you say. That might be but they are unfamiliar with your product or service. It will require a long time to enable them to reach a similar degree of understanding as the CEO.
Hi-tech start-ups can also be susceptible to somewhat of a dichotomy. They truly require a knowledgeable and verified sales person that will fully grasp their intricate product or service in a short time which enables them to work together with the company to formulate a successful approach inside the current market segment which was decided on. This sort of individual is not cheap. You could be looking at target cash of 6 figures here, and the first number, based upon your industry and location, is not (1). These kinds of individuals also have to be assured they have a high probability at earning money at your specific start-up. Attempting to entice them to a start up company with an unproven product or service will certainly be a difficult task, if not virtually impossible.
However, you say, “I can get somebody really cheap.” I’ll bet you can, but they also probably won’t match the qualifying qualities that I just explained. Commission only? Not a chance with a skilled sales person. Outsourcing? Same issue isn’t it? The quality of the individual that you require is not very likely to be obtained in this environment.
So when would be the best time? Once you have a defined, effective and repeatable procedure which is scalable and could be taught to a newly hired salesperson together with properly designed sales support tools.