Looking for our first sales hire
I’m Martin, the founder of a startup company in the Silicon Valley. Our company, testmunk, helps other companies automate their mobile app testing. To elaborate a bit, we help companies developing mobile apps quickly test their applications on a large set of devices through automation. The point is to help ensure there won’t be any crashes or issues when using their apps on any phone or tablet. Our vision is that end users like you and me have access to better mobile apps.
We are still in an early stage, but already have some great customers in the U.S., and even some international clients. Furthermore, we are showing consistent growth. With your help we’d like to bring testmunk to more and more people in the world. However, in order to continue our maturation, one of the things we have to do is ramp up our sales forces. That’s where you come in!
If I analyze my day-to-day work, one of the areas I spend the most time on is operational sales. It’s fun and I enjoy it tremendously, but at the same time, as the CEO of a startup, I have to wear many hats. I do everything from reviewing pull requests, to chipping in on design, to helping with the product, as well as marketing, features, support, hiring, and sales. The list goes on; basically I can’t do my job if I only do sales.
The point I’m trying to make is this: I’m looking to hire our first dedicated salesperson, a ‘sales development representative’, who will work closely with me.
The kind of person I’m looking for:
Someone who enjoys talking with people and is also a good listener
You should have an outgoing personality and enjoy talking with people. At the same time, you need to be a good listener. You will be talking with clients. You must be able to not only listen to and understand their pain points, but also be informative and knowledgeable about the really cool benefits of using our product.
Sales is, at its core, about closing deals. You need to have a competitive, hungry attitude. I have found that people who’ve participated in competitive sports at some point in their lives generally show this attitude. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t apply if you’ve never competed in organized sports; I just want you to have demonstrable drive.
Smart and resourceful
Remember, we are still a small company, so you will have to deal with limited resources. I’m looking for someone who has an entrepreneurial attitude towards problem solving, even if the problem seems to be impossible at first. You should be ready to grow with the team as we achieve ever greater success.
Passionate about tech and the mobile industry
I don’t expect you to have tech sales experience, but you should be passionate about new technologies. Our product is technical and you shouldn’t balk at the thought of talking to a developer. If you are the type of person who always asks your “techie” friend to fix your computer, you are probably not the best fit.
Someone who wants to grow
While I value prior experience, such as working for another startup as your first job or as part of an internship, I am not requiring a great amount of experience. I’m more interested in the fact that you are hungry and willing to learn & grow. So if you are just in your first or 2nd year of your career, that’s great!
You should be able to stay on top of tasks, so if a client asks for additional information you can respond in a timely manner. If you are the type of person who tends to forget things, I’m not sure if you would be the right fit. You will need to organize yourself to work as efficiently and as effectively as possible.
What you get out of it
A cool product to sell
The way companies test their apps is changing, and we are at the right place and time to lead that change. We have some amazing customers in several parts of the world who have managed to tremendously reduce their time to market by using our product. They save money and produce better apps!
Plenty of learning
Besides a base salary, you will receive a performance-based commission. I have a vested interest in making you successful, because your performance will directly affect our overall success as a company. What I mean is that I will teach you everything I have ever learned about sales, a few things I have learned the hard way that I can help steer you past.
Access to a great network
On top of what I personally have to offer, a couple of my mentors (who have decades of sales experience) are open to sharing their knowledge with you as well. Since testmunk is part of YCombinator, we have access to their partners and many other startups. These partners and startups may have faced challenges similar to those we encounter, so despite our small size we have a large network we can reach out to when necessary.
You will be involved in a true startup culture. If you are considering launching a startup yourself at some point, great! You will learn a lot here since you will be a part of our journey.
Since we are a small team, you will face hardly any bureaucracy. If you have a good idea that you feel is worth trying, I will probably quiz you a bit to see if you have thought it through, but you will otherwise have plenty of room to try things out and make an impact.
Use the latest tools
We are really into automating manual processes, so if you encounter bottlenecks or repetitive tasks you have my full support in finding ways to automate them. This relates to how we are open to any new sales tools, marketing automation tools, or plugins that could make our lives easier. A positive side effect of this is, should you someday decide to move on to a new adventure, you will be equipped with insights to many different tools and processes.
What does the role look like?
It’s a very versatile role you will be playing. We get a consistent number of inbound leads, but also receive leads through outbound campaigns. Parts of your job would be:
- Prospecting new leads
- Qualifying leads
- Nurturing leads
- Overseeing and executing outbound campaigns
- Spending certain hours each week calling leads
- Adjusting reports and salesforce processes in a way that helps us be more productive
- Sharing any ideas to improve our sales and marketing efforts
- Working with me on new initiatives to improve our inbound and outbound success
What the role can lead to long term
I’m fine with the fact that you might not want to do things such as prospecting forever. By playing a versatile role, you will probably come to realize that you enjoy certain tasks more than others, which is understandable. As we grow, roles and responsibilities will become more specialized, and since you will be one of the first that joined, you will be the first to be considered for new responsibilities and/or roles (if you so desire).
After a certain time this position can lead to a more senior sales position, even potentially leading a team. I can also imagine a transition towards account management. I have heard of cases where someone realizes their hidden passion for product development and dives into a product management role. If you are considering starting a business at some point, you will definitely learn a lot here. Or maybe you will like your role just how it is; we can build around this as well.