When thinking about how to find a sales rep for a SaaS company, founders should be acutely aware of just how big an impact those hires have on the business. Sure, hire the right one and things could go better than imagined. But the wrong one can have a devastating impact.
In this blog, you’ll learn how to:
Before going any further, it’s imperative to know who you’re looking for. SaaS Sales isn’t for the faint-hearted, and there are certain qualities that combine to create a killer sales rep.
First, think about the experience level needed for success in your niche. The more technical the product (or the decision-makers) the more experienced a person you’ll want. Suppose your sales rep has a tech background themselves, even better.
Their values should reflect your own mission as a company. It’ll be much easier to bring them into the fold if they already hold similar values to you.
Be mindful of the market or territory a rep is covering. Time zones could be a challenge, and even domestic travel could be a barrier to sales (depending on your budget).
And most importantly – skills!
Now that you have a clear picture of who you want to hire, it’s time to write a job description tailored to your ideal sales rep.
Here are some tips for writing an effective job description from Indeed:
A final word on job descriptions: be honest about the remote/ in-office work environment. A quick scroll of LinkedIn shows candidates are increasingly frustrated by applying for remote roles, just to find out they’re expected to be in the office 4 days per week.
There are a number of resources for founders looking for SaaS sales reps.
There are obvious job boards like Indeed, LinkedIn, and networking events…
While founders can find great talent using these venues, the reference and vetting process will take longer. That’s not always ideal for scaling a sales team or hiring one quickly.
But referrals, be they inbound or out, can give extra insight into a candidate.
If hiring managers are posting regularly on LinkedIn and have an engaged following, they are able to post job openings to their feed and use the power of a well-built network to bring in referrals. If followers and connections trust the poster, they’ll send names along or even send the post to potentially interested salespeople who may not be happy with their current company.
Referrals are a fantastic option because they’re coming from sources founders likely already know and trust – and the referrer is saying they trust them, in return!
Using a recruiter is another viable option. Using Sales Talent as a Service (STaaS), founders can focus on the work at hand and outsource the arduous process of hiring.
With 20 years of experience in SaaS sales, founder, Daniel Feander, has worked with the good, the bad, and the ugly. STaaS uses that experience, and years of mentoring new sales reps, to source, interview, and onboard sales reps for B2B SaaS startups.
After onboarding, STaaS will continue to mentor them until they’re at full-speed, helping your new sales team ramp up faster than if busy founders were trying to do it themselves.
The first step when screening candidates is to review the resumes and cover letters sent in. if the basic qualifications, education, and experience are present, then the candidate may be a good fit to move to the second phase.
While cover letters can be useful, over half of workers feel they’re an unnecessary step in the process. The purpose of this blog isn’t to debate the usefulness of cover letters, but founders and hiring managers may want to consider the potential loss of candidates if requiring one.
Get to know candidates more by conducting phone interviews. A 15-20 minute phone screen will weed out candidates not passionate or motivated enough for the role. Hiring managers may even become convinced of a candidate’s viability that was fuzzy from their resume.
Not sure what to ask? Consider this list – it’s a good starting point, but can be easily tailored.
Many assessments are available to gauge cultural fit, personality, and skill set. While they can be expensive to administer, they offer additional insight into serious candidates’ motivations and how they’ll add to the culture.
If founders are considering using a pre-employment test, be mindful that they aren’t a rule. A candidate may show themselves throughout the hiring process to be either a better or worse fit than the assessment has judged.
After conducting phone interviews, the still-viable candidates are interviewed either in person, or via video depending on geography.
Prepare a list of behavioral and situation questions. When evaluating communication skills, take the opportunity to probe for deeper understanding and clarity if needed.
This will help hiring managers discover how well a candidate truly understands and has mastered their current role. Candidates who cannot provide greater context or clarity may only understand the service or environment on a superficial level.
As candidates answer questions about their own fitness for a role, they’ll have their own set of questions. Be prepared to speak more to benefits and perks, company culture, and leadership philosophies.
If operating with a hybrid or remote model, additional questions and considerations should be taken to determine candidate fitness.
Hiring managers should be prepared to both speak to the environment and ask questions directly related to it.
This article provides information specific to work environment considerations when hiring sales reps.
Congratulations, you’ve found the perfect sales rep!
Before making an offer, ensure that the offer is competitive and fair. It should be in line with market expectations, but respectful of the candidates’ experience. Commission structures should be challenging but motivating.
The onboarding plan should be detailed so that the new sales rep can get up to speed as quickly as possible. Highly technical services require longer onboarding processes, as the purchasing decision-makers have more complicated questions which need answers.
Identify a mentor to continue the training process. This will allow your new sales rep to have ongoing support in their new role.
The mentor will be able to provide additional feedback to managers about the new hires’ performance and understanding of the role and service.
Regular check-ins with your new hire are crucial to uncover any roadblocks and to create accountability.
Finding a sales rep can be a significant challenge, but with the right approach, it can also be incredibly rewarding for any business.
By following these 7 simple steps, you will be better equipped to find the perfect sales rep for your SaaS solution. Remember – the hiring process is an investment in your business’s growth and taking the time to find the right person is crucial.
Sales Talent as a Service makes the hiring process seamless for SaaS scale-ups.
With an international network, Daniel Feander sources, interviews, and onboards your next sales superstar – and guarantees their success.
Schedule a call to learn more.
Daniel Feander – Founder & CEO, salesmentor.