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FOUNDER’S GUIDE TO B2B SALES TIPS ON SALES RECRUITING Beware of hiring big-company sellers who are used to working at market leaders and winning big deals based on company status, relationships, and “safe choice” logic. • Unless they have previous startup experience, they are unlikely to adapt well to your environment despite potentially deep domain expertise Former customers often make great solution consultants (SCs) but be careful not to damage customer relationships by hiring them. SCs can become great sellers, but when successful, that transformation usually happens fairly early (e.g. 3-5 years) into their SC career. • If SCs complain about seller compensation, remind them that “quotas are available” if they want to try their hand at sales SDR is often an entry-level position where you filter for aggressiveness, ambition, and innate sales skills • Those who succeed often go on to become great sellers • In hiring, try to differentiate between those who truly want a career in sales and the “lost” – who default to sales because they don’t know what else to do “There is a difference between a seller who has five years of sales experience and a seller who has one year of sales experience five times.” Sales management adage THROWING SPAGHETTI AT THE WALL If you’ve built a specific application for a specific buyer to solve a specific problem, then it’s easy to focus your early selling efforts at that target. However, if you have a general-purpose platform that you are selling to several different buyers to solve many different problems, you should: • Make sure your early sales efforts are horizontal and exploratory. This process is often known as “throwing spaghetti at the wall to see what sticks” • Beware of the risks of identifying spurious patterns caused by buyers who are friends of friends, technology enthusiasts, indecisive (‘tire kickers’) and/or poorly informed • Look to identify a “money” problem – one that people will spend material amounts of money to solve • Look for smart buyers who had a good understanding of their alternatives, had no external influences, and who chose to use your product to solve their problem • See Crossing the Chasm for more on this topic Once you’ve found this target you are ready to start building your sales organisation SPRING 2023 .14

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