The cold hard truth is that 90% of startups fail for a number of reasons. This fact isn’t meant to discourage entrepreneurs, but rather to encourage them to work smarter and harder. Part of that includes hiring smarter.

Attracting and retaining quality talent is a constant struggle in a startup environment. The stakes are high, the margin for error is incredibly slim and bad hires cost money (money that most startups don’t have to lose). In fact, a study by Career Builder found that a bad hire can cost a company $25-50k.

How can startups avoid costly mistakes when hiring sales reps?

  • Clearly define the role and responsibilities so that the goals and expectations are clear.
  • Get your team involved in the hiring process because everyone works closely together in a startup.
  • Set new hires up for success by having an onboarding plan in place.
  • Hiring more than one salesperson so you have a basis of comparison and can start figuring out the type of profile that defines success at your company.
  • Expect that it will take time for a new sales rep to get up to speed on your company, product and sales process.
  • Share your startup’s story with candidates early on and see if it sparks a passion within them.
  • Turn on your sales skills and really sell candidates on your model.
  • Evaluate personality and fit for your organization in addition to past performance and metrics.
  • Target Millennials, they’re highly interested in personal and professional development which can work in your favor when you have plenty of opportunity but not necessarily large salaries to offer.
  • Seek out sales talent that has experience in smaller companies or startups, they possess skills and personality traits that differ from those who can sell with a big brand behind them.
  • Seek out versatile people who possess the ability to change, adjust and adapt easily.

Don’t let sales hiring mistakes sink your startup. Download our eBook and master the art of hiring elite sales talent. 

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