Your first sales hire should be a missionary, not a mercenary – TechCrunch

The first sales hire will set the best practices, cultural tone and is also responsible for making sure each subsequent new sales hire

Curated via Twitter from TechCrunch’s twitter account….

There is an overwhelming amount of declarative advice on how to make your first sales hire: They should have experience selling at an early-stage company, tenure in that company to a much larger team (five to 50 employees, or $100,000 to $10 million ARR), they’ve sold at your price point, overachieved quota consistently (beware of this one.

The resourceful missionary must have an enterprising mindset to build their own sales collateral, a clever approach for testing pricing, a passion for the product technology and an ability to navigate the organization so engineering and product teams can hear the voice of the customer.

For this reason, it is important that startups look to hire missionaries, not mercenaries, when they bring on their first sales team member.

In contrast, if the first hire is a missionary who cares more about evangelizing the product and is a team player, they will naturally enable the next set of hires to succeed.

As the first sales hire at Cloudflare, I learned firsthand from both our high growth and my own mistakes how to build a world-class sales team.

If the first sales hire is a “coin-operated” mercenary whose priority is to overachieve quota and is a great solo player, they may be more competitive than collaborative.

The first sales hire will set the best practices, cultural tone and is responsible for making sure each subsequent new sales hire succeeds.

While resourceful skills are needed to test out different sales motions, the most important quality the missionary must have is a team-first attitude to share those learnings with colleagues.

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