Dear SaaStr: What’s the #1 Most Important Thing To Look For In Your First Sales Rep?
The #1 most important criterion for your first 2 reps is: would you buy from her?
Leads are too precious in the early days, your brand is non-existent, and everything is quirky and undocumented. Later, this is the wrong criterion. Later, you’ll need all sorts of reps, and beyond that, you’ll have so many customers and so many different types of customers that what you would buy isn’t representative of the sales process anymore. But in the early days, it is.
So forget the perfect LinkedIn. You do want at least 18–24 months of on-point selling experience at close to your price point. Not having that is very risky. Because those 18–24 months train them in a way you can’t.
Beyond that, the best question is a little role-playing. Pretend you are the rep, and ask the candidate, “How can I help you improve your business with [our product]?”
See how good they are at the other side. See if you believe. Or play the prospect.
What’s most important is not the answers, but if you believe. If you’d buy from them.
If you believe, and they have at least a little on-point experience, then it should work out. If the LinkedIn is great, the IQ is there, she/he knows all the buzzwords … but you’re just not sure they can sell your product today … probably, move on.