B2B sales are when one company sells its goods to another company. Those who have worked in B2B and B2C sales know that B2B is more difficult because the agreements are more extensive, there are often more decision-makers, and the competition is fierce. All of these factors necessitate competent hiring and administration.
What qualities to look for in a B2B SaaS salesperson
It’s usually best to recruit sales representatives who have sold at whatever stage your organization is in, such as a seed-stage B2B SaaS company. Experience in your industry is beneficial, but it pales compared to experience selling at your company’s stage. Remember, you’ll need scrappy salespeople who know how to sell a flawed, early-stage product with little resources.
Matching ACV is beneficial in the same way as reaching the company’s stage is. Look for individuals who have a demonstrated track record of closing agreements with ticket sizes similar to yours, even if the product they previously sold was substantially different.
If you have enough money for two employees, consider hiring account executives (AEs) who have also worked as sales development representatives (SDRs). Later on, you can think about dividing those duties. The SDR and AE roles must be committed to and held accountable by the first two representatives. This means they’ll prospect up to 50 new accounts daily, qualifying and cancelling them.
That is a challenging and demanding job, and only a few people worldwide can do it properly for an extended time.
Creating a compensation plan
Prepare to recompense these unicorns lavishly. If they’re successful, they’ll probably cost twice as much as any other employee in your organization. Given their risk, expect to pay above market base salary, above market commission, and equity to recruit these applicants. These figures won’t make sense at first; you could be paying a new customer’s total first-year contract value in commission alone to get your representatives to that level of compensation.
The good news is that these initial two representatives will most likely be your most costly resources for the next 2-3 years, and they won’t be in this capacity for that long anyhow. More significantly for you as the creator, if you look at Saas company valuations, you’ll see that the ROI on successful early-stage sales representatives makes what appears to be an excessively expensive hire look like a no-brainer when you eventually raise money or sell your firm.
Where to find your B2B SaaS sales representative unicorns
It won’t be easy to track down magic sales representatives for your firm. Subscribe to a database like Crunchbase to find B2B SaaS startups that have recently raised a Series A or Series B round of funding. Then, using LinkedIn Sales Navigator, look up those organizations and find sales representatives who have been with them since the beginning. This is where your recruitment funnel begins.
Employees are always forced to examine where they fit in their current employer’s plans during pivotal occasions like a funding round or, more importantly, a firm sale. Maybe they’re worried that their early-stage commission proposal may lose its appeal.
Perhaps they didn’t obtain equity in their current position and now see firsthand how much money that can generate. Put on your sales hat, reach out, be creative, and pitch the chance as a founder!
Do not oversell the opportunity.
Great salespeople aren’t complete idiots. Never try to persuade them that it will be simple. Tell them you’ve done it before and know it’ll be difficult (but not impossible), but the rewards will be well worth the effort.
You’ll both win if you commit to doing everything you can to assist them in succeeding. Never forget how difficult selling was for you, and then consider how much easier it is for the founder to sell than it is for a freshly hired employee. Celebrate your triumphs and defeats (your best learning experiences) in the beginning, and learn everything you can from both to prepare for the next opportunity.