Dear SaaStr: What is The Best Way to Hire Your First Sales Rep?

I’ll tell you the trick.

It’s going to sound simple, but it isn’t, because almost everyone gets it wrong.

For at least your first few reps: hire someone >>you<< would buy >>your product<< from. Period. I.e.,

  • Do not hire someone just because they worked at Facebook or Salesforce or even Datadog or Shopify in “sales”.
  • Do not hire someone that Talks the Talk because you think you “don’t know how to sell” and they do. You do know how to sell if you have even 1 paying customer. You just aren’t great at it.
  • Do not hire someone because of their “experience in sales”, per se. Experience is good, but 95% of that experience will not be on point.

Instead … realize sales in the early days is different, especially for one reason: Every Lead is Precious. Every single one.

If you give a precious lead to someone that you wouldn’t buy your product from — they will end up doing worse than you do yourself in sales. They will sell even less of your product.

The key here is someone you’d buy your product from. Not buy some other product. But your new, feature-poor, bug-ridden, kinda crummy product that does one thing really well but everything else terribly. Would you buy it from them?

Most founders hire reps that fail this test.

And they flush those precious leads down the drain.

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