Entrepreneurs need enthusiastic salespeople to succeed
Many startups are faced with the decision to either build a product and launch it on the market, and wait for demand to grow. Or, they opt to sell the idea, gather market insights, and when demand is created, they launch the product.
Whichever school of thought you follow, competent sales-driven professionals are an integral requirement. Entrepreneurs are faced with the challenge of hiring enthusiastic salespeople who can relay their vision. This is part of the required delegation process, to allow entrepreneurs to focus on the core of their business.
We asked a few entrepreneurs their advice on hiring salespeople. Here is what they had to say:
- “Definitely someone who shares our passion,” says Shadi Tabbara, founder and CEO of Brate, “someone enthusiastic about our solution.”
- Hasan Albalawi, CEO and founder of smart helmet WakeCap shares that hiring a salesperson that matches his customers’ criteria would be the winning situation. “We looked for someone who is actually in the same industry (construction industry), who was dealing with the same decision makers we were trying to convince because he knows how they thinks; and if he loves the product then he will be able to sell it to people like him,” he said.
- In order to find the right salesperson, Carole Bitar, head of sales at Trybe, shares that before going through any typical sales interview, uses a list of questionnaires, hypothetical situations, role play exercises and any other sales skillset diagnosis. “A startup sales specialist scores very high, above all, at being a Determinist, Persistent and Tenacious. A startup’s sales specialist is about an avant-gardist pitch: you are selling an unfinished product which, by the time it's finished, it might offer altered features then what you had included in your initial speech. You orchestrate between the strings of a value proposition presentation, and you will need to make it by all means, now and in the future.”
- Cherpa’s CEO and cofounder Ibrahim Ezzedine, faced an issue in 2017, when his company didn’t have a salesperson. He and his business partner Basel Jalaleddine thought that their product was needed so they started doing prototypes in China before realizing that no one will need it or buy it. “From that moment on, we do not develop any feature unless we are sure that customers need it and they asked for it.”
Salespeople are key at any company and almost all entrepreneurs recognize that the very first salesperson to ever set foot in their company was ‘them’. They believe that a CEO or a founder of a company should be a great salesperson at the early beginning of the startup to deliver and sell their vision. But, the role of the salesperson is beneficial to expand faster and to understand the market and gather feedback from customers.