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Startup Selling: Talking Sales with Scott Sambucci

Over the past twenty years, I’ve led three Silicon Valley startups to their first customers and revenue, and sold everything from financial data, enterprise software, and vaporware to cabinet doors, amusement park daily programs, and “would you like fries with that…?” My customers have included the largest financial institutions in the world, top US Universities, cabinet door makers and people that eat at Applebees and go to amusement parks... I’ve learned a lot, and made a few, ahem, well… a lot, of mistakes. Here in The Sales Podcast with Scott Sambucci, I share the lessons learned from my past two decades of selling. In each episode, I discuss a specific topic in selling and sales strategy like how to find new prospective customers, how to manage leads, how to run an effective sales meeting, uncovering customer needs, and developing pricing strategies. Episodes are a mix of guest interviews, observations from the field, and sales techniques that I’m using every single day. And people that care about such things, I’ve written two books, been a TEDx Speaker, been featured on CNBC, The Financial Times and NPR. Oh… I’m also a husband, a dad, and a three-time Ironman triathlete. Build your sales process so that you can have the company you imagine. The Sales Podcast with Scott Sambucci will help you get there.
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Startup Selling: Talking Sales with Scott Sambucci
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Now displaying: Page 1
Oct 23, 2015

The Sales Podcast - #9 – “Hiring Sales People.”

This SalesCast is brought to you by, well, SalesQualia. Improve Sales Performance with:

  1. Self-learning resources, including books on Amazon.comand self-paced online courses.
  2. Workshops & Training, hosted at venues across Silicon Valley and the US.
  3. 1:1 Coaching & Consulting for company founders and sales professionals that want a personalized plan.

In this episode, Scott and Robert discuss when and how to hire your sales person. Where to find them, and how to evaluate them in an interview process. Key areas we cover are:

  • Knowing when to hire your first sales person and what metrics to use to define the success of your new hire.
  • How to create a support structure for your new salespeople to help them be successful by removing outside factors you may not be considering.
  • The importance of being the best salesperson at your startup as the CEO and how this success is important in finding and training the future salespeople at your company.
  • How to structure compensation packages for your salespeople and understanding that the comp plan you create will decide the behavior of your salespeople.
  • Why startup founders need to be salespeople and the opportunities lost when you try to outsource your sales.

We hope you enjoy the podcast and would greatly appreciate feedback! Any suggestions on future topics you would like to hear covered and/or podcast guests you’d like to hear would be great! Enjoy!

Podcast Notes

02:40 – Metrics to use when looking for a sales person.

03:20 – Importance of hiring lower level, or to go for a person who’ll build a sales department underneath them.

04:05 – You shouldn’t be a startup CEO if you’re afraid of selling, or don’t want to sell, also if you think it’s not important to do it yourself.

04:47 – Giving the sales person a framework of how it worked for you for them to be more effective.

07:25 – When to make your first hiring decision.

08:26 – The first sales related hire.

09:40 – Sales conversations a startup founder will have.

10:14 – Setting up general conversations around market/customer discovery.

10:36 – Intermediate steps companies can take before hiring a true VP of sales.

12:23 – When to go out and hire a sales person.

14:05 – Having a repeatable sales process.

14:35 – Diversify your sales person portfolio.

15:50 – The initial time period to judge and hire on, and how long to measure success.

16:18 – Reasons to get rid of a sales person.

20:00 – Finding ways to shorten the sales cycle.

21:48 – Where to source original candidates.

24:35 – The one most revealing question for a candidate and why?

27:25 – The types of people to look for.

28:22 – Behavioral assessments to do.

32:10 – How to structure compensation packages for sales people.

37:15 – How to know if the sales compensation program is the right one for you, or if you should make changes.

40:40 – How to make sure you structure compensation packages for team members to reach their goals.

Resources mentioned or related to this podcast

  • ZeroRisk, a behavior assessment testing software
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