interviewing a salesman for a startup


I'm starting a new venture and its already making money and I want to hire a salesman to replace me and allow me to do tech full time
What should I look for in a software salesman?
Which questions should I ask?


asked Nov 26 '13 at 10:23
Nur Ne
186 points
  • Who's the salesguy selling to businesses or consumers? – Frenchie 8 years ago
  • This isn't a very good question. You're not providing much detail and answers will be vague. Can you improve on the question? Provide some detail about what you're selling, how many people in the team, etc. (or anything else that will enable people to make clear-cut answers). – Joe 8 years ago
  • Is it for a Saas? What kind of market? Where are you located? Some more details might help narrow the issue. – Ivan Maeder 8 years ago

2 Answers


These are the things we will be looking for in our first sales hire for our SaaS B2B - obviously your requirements may be totally different...

First, for us, is someone who fits into the culture of our company - someone with the same passion and work ethic and concern to please our customers. If someone doesn't have that then I don't care if they are the best sales guy in the world as they wont fit in.

The second thing then is someone confident and outgoing yet humble, willing to listen and not arrogant. I have met so many arrogant sales people in my time and they put me off massively and, having worked with a lot of sales people, it also annoys and even de-motivates their co-workers especially when managers tolerate it as "they do their number".

The third thing is someone with previous knowledge, experience and, ideally, genuine interest in our market area - software sales is such a HUGE area that someone who has previously sold security software to SME's is not automatically going to be suitable to sell automation software to large enterprises. The added benefit here is they also can hopefully bring contacts and even prospects with them so they can hit the ground running.

The final area, and one which is all too often overlooked, is someone who has experience and actually enjoys knocking doors. There are lots of sales guys who are good at developing existing customers but we will need someone who is not afraid to get on the phone and start cold calling, make their own appointments and get out there and build relationships which then lead to sales.

P.S. This will be expensive as good sales guys can earn a LOT of money so be prepared to pay but, remember, this person is your shop window and is representing you to your clients and the market so they need to be the best they can be.

answered Nov 27 '13 at 20:25
735 points
  • I totally agree with this answer – Whiteletters And Blankspaces 8 years ago
  • Never met a great software sales guy who is humble... – Ekoostik Martin 8 years ago


It is a vague question as Joe says in the comment.

IMHO, 30 percent are the personnal qualities of the collaborator, 30 percent are your personnal qualities and the way you explain your business vision to your teammate, and the residual 40 percent are the sales needed skills. To talk about the latter, I think you need to provide more details about your business like the ones suggested by Joe in the comment.

I suggest you provide in addition some details about your strategy concerning coordination with customer, especially for support and maintenance.

Good luck

answered Nov 27 '13 at 10:54
Whiteletters And Blankspaces
108 points

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