Questions

Generally bootstrapped startups should avoid salespeople, for a few reasons:
a. they typically can't afford the base and overall comp required to attract sales people who can actually sell / or afford to support them with marketing, management, etc
b. it will be very difficult to find the rare person with the right mix of sales and startup DNA along with the critical domain knowledge, consequently the startup is likely to settle
c. the founders need to be very involved in the selling and customers will demand it

That said, if the plan is still to hire a salesperson, find someone who has demonstrated sales success in startups and is excited by the early stage in company building. Create a comp plan heavily leveraged on sales results (unless you are in an industry where 100% commission is a common practice, would recommend against $0 base as this creates the false impression that your hire isn't passing time with one company while looking for another job with a richer comp plan - you want your rep focussed). Sell the vision and opportunity to be part of a growth story.

I have written a several blog posts on hiring sales people into start-ups. You might find these useful:
http://www.peaksalesrecruiting.com/ceo-question-should-i-learn-to-sell-or-hire-a-sales-person/
http://www.peaksalesrecruiting.com/start-up-sales-and-hiring-advice-dont-stop-selling-once-you-hire-your-first-sales-rep/
http://www.peaksalesrecruiting.com/hiring-start-up-sales-reps/
http://www.peaksalesrecruiting.com/startups-and-salespeople/

Good luck!


Answered 7 years ago

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