What I look for when recruiting SaaS sales staff.

sales meeting

What I look for when recruiting SaaS sales staff.

Building a high performing saaa sales team is a challenge almost every saas sales manager has to face at some point in their career.  Whether you inherit a team that needs refreshing or are tasked with building one from the ground up, hiring the right saas sales staff has the potential to make or break a company’s fortunes. 

There is no doubt the key to a successful saas sales person lies in their ability to develop sustainable and long lasting client partnerships. Here are some thoughts on what i look for when i source saas sales people. 

Regardless if the company I’m recruiting for have a pre-sales team , I think it’s important for saas sales people to possess the ability to demo their product. When working on so many small size deals it’s not realistic to expect an SE to be available every time you need one. 

The technical fluency required can be a tricky thing to assess and as a recruiter there is no single approach to this but I find a good starting point is to ask a candidate to talk me through a product they have previously sold. While this isn’t the same as a product demo it’s a good way to assess a candidate’s basic technical fluency and communication style.

At this point if a candidate is losing my attention and the discussion turns into a bit of a snooze fest then it’s a concern that needs to be noted.  

What I’m always looking for are clear and concise communication skills and an understanding of the product they’ve elected to discuss. What I don’t want is to be bogged down with tech jargon or for them to sound like they’re reading off a script.  

It’s important to point out that when i approach a candidate they haven’t applied for a job. We’re having  an informal chat about an opportunity I’ve approached them about. Qualifying or assessing someone’s ability in this context  is very different to how you approach it in an interview setting. 

One I’ve established a level of technical proficiency I will direct the conversation to examples of sales successes. What I’m hoping to hear are examples of where they’ve identified and signed up new clients and ideally over time cultivated a strong relationship with the client and developed it into something much larger altogether. Land and expand. 

Now I know we’re on the right track and this is usually where I turn the discussion back to my client and the opportunity I’m recruiting. It’s one thing being able to identify someone with the required skills and experience, equally important is the recruiters ability to showcase the role they’re recruiting.

But that’s a discussion for another time…