When and How to Hire the First Sales Professional

by John Moroney & Tim Bates | at Minnebar 18 | 3:45 – 4:30 in Tackle | View Schedule

Hiring your first dedicated sales professional is often one of most difficult actions a startup will take. Most founders have never hired a sales professional and have heard or experienced many stories of failures. This session will cover why, when, who and how to hire your first salesperson. Understanding the ‘Why’ • Is your business at the right stage to hire? • Is there a clear Go-to-Market Strategy? • How mature is the understanding of the opportunity cycle? Understanding the ‘When’
• Are there enough opportunities? • Are there identifiable targets outside the founder’s network? • What is the right balance between Marketing vs. Sales driven demand? • Is there a good understanding of the costs to building a sales function? • How to transition from Founder lead sales activity? Defining the Right Sales Professional: Who to Hire • Defining the ideal Candidate • Role maturity vs. adaptability • Balancing experience vs Potential • Hire a Sales Leader first? • Business Development Rep (BDR) option How to Hire – Navigating the Hiring Process • DIY vs Recruiters • Cost of hire and delay • Where to source candidates • Implementing a robust hiring process

We will address challenges and risks in sales hiring and will also discuss the importance of an effective marketing function and collaboration with sales. We are looking forward to an open & frank question and answer session, as well.

All levels

John Moroney & Tim Bates

Tim & John are mentors with MESA - https://mesagroup.org/

Tim runs the Exponential Group, a fifteen-year-old company that works with young, early-stage technology businesses in the US, Europe, and Asia developing and bringing to market product and services in the areas of mobile, digital imaging, SaaS, big data and IOT technologies.

Tim started as a software engineer and was the inventor or co-developer of a number of leading-edge computer graphic software systems. He then moved on to managing, running, and starting technology companies that pioneered digital cameras, SaaS services, advanced database systems and e-commerce solutions helping them develop and build markets.

Over the last 25 years, he has been part of senior management teams that have raised close to $50 million in early-stage venture money with investors in the US, Europe, and Asia.

Tim is currently a board member or advisor to a number of companies and works with others as a mentor. He has a BA in Mathematics from St. Olaf College and an MBA from the University of St. Thomas.

John is a sales management executive with over 35 years of experience in high technology products and services. He has a particular passion for sales process design and helping emerging companies uncover their “sales recipe’.

John sold and led sales at enterprise software companies including Fourth Shift (Infor) and Digital Market (Agile/Oracle). Before entering the software industry, he led manufacturing operations at high technology companies in the medical (Phillips), semiconductor (Texas Instruments) and computer industries.

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