If I were creating a field sales organization for my own company, I'd plan the sales strategy knowing the following:
- The stakes are significantly high. The cost of failure is significant at both ends. To some on your dev team or to your VCs, a sales person's success, could be a litmus test indicator if the company will succeed or not..
- Hire for sales structure, process and NOT just the rolodex: Most reps have good contacts and that's a given. But that's not what will close your sale. Hire your founding sales team to create repetitive sales processes, to shorten sales cycles, create synergies with marketing campaigns, to establish sales models that require minimal involvement from precious dev resources to close.
- Plan for special needs: Outbound field sales teams have different needs so treat them as such. Their needs are certainly unique from what I suspect you have seen on your current team of marketeers, inbound, inside sales team members. Their motivations, apprehensions are very different from sales wannabe co-founders who've never carried a bag.
- They (field sales) are like sharks who can cover ground quickly if you can keep up with them.. but they also get tired and de-motivated as easily. They need a path to quickly and meticulously work through their designated territory. Your first sales hire should ideally have a plan for the processes, the tools and has to have this done before the sharks are hired. They need help with
- Resources (comprehensive sales plays, email templates, elevator pitch, competitive analysis),
- Operational metrics discipline (cold calling, research processes)
- Accountability (cadence call frameworks like SCOTSMAN).