My web company has been in business for close to ten years. We sell a digital product. I bootstrapped the business and for the longest time we saw steady growth. I had experience in web advertising and that is what I pursued. Bringing people in to us from the web.... One thing I never did is hire sales people to go out and try to bring in bigger clients who would purchase larger amounts of our product. (And our business model is the type that would sustain this.) At this point, we have gone through some tough stages and money is tighter than usual. We are down to only a few necessary employees. I am wondering if there is a process for a company at my stage to find and hire salespeople. I honestly don't even know where to start. I do believe that if I had someone who could regularly hit up various companies, etc. that we could grow, but right now we don't have the budget to just hire a full time sales person out of the door. I know I can do this job as well and have been doing it as my time allows, but I only have so much time to devote to it. Thanks for any help or advice!
As a 20+ year salesperson/sales manager, and Dir. of Sales & Marketing in the software/technology arenas, from your description, I would say a salesperson is not the right answer to grow your sales. You're not in a position to support the runway necessary to give a salesperson an honest shot at success and it is virtually impossible to find a great salesperson in your industry without an aggressive compensation plan and a solid pipeline of opportunities. I would suggest that you pursue aggressive use of content marketing / thought leadership tactics (eg., Blog(s), Actively publishing posts on other Blogs / Magazines, Social Media - espec. Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, & SlideShare), Webinars, Case Studies, White Papers, In-Person, Company-Sponsored Events, Research Reports, eBooks, Microsites, eNewsletters, Speaking Opportunities, Tradeshows, etc.).
Properly executing on these tactics should fill your pipeline - handle the leads internally - then consider bringing on a salesperson once the pipeline justifies it. I think you have many other tactics you can use to drive business at this time.
Feel free to give me a call to discuss your situation in more depth. Good luck!