How to Hire Your MSP’s First Salesperson

BY IT GLUE | June 25, 2018

You need your MSP to grow, but you don’t have the salesperson in place to fuel that growth. What do you do? If you’re from a technical background, sales isn’t necessarily your strong suit, and we know that some of you absolutely loathe the thought of a cold call. So you need to hire a dedicated salesperson. But, how?

Finding sales talent can be difficult, and sometimes you may not even have the resources in place to seek that talent. Whatever your reason may be, we’re here to tell you how you can hire a salesperson with the resources you have available, and train them for success.

When to hire a salesperson

Let’s take a brief step back. Before you make your first sales hire, understand why you’re hiring in the first place. If you’re simply looking to pass off the burden of sales to someone else, you’re underestimating the workload attached to hiring and maintaining a salesperson. Hire when you’re ready, and most importantly, when you have a plan in place.

Finding sales talent

Once your plan is in place, there’s two different ways you can tackle bringing a salesperson on board. If you have the resources, you can choose to seek out an experienced salesperson. Not a sales manager, but a sales veteran who can operate without a manager and be counted on to grind out results. While hiring a proven salesperson is the most obvious and potentially beneficial solution, it’s not always easy. Everyone is seeking sales talent, so being able to find it can be difficult.

One thing to keep in mind is that finding the right salesperson isn’t always about how many previous sales jobs they’ve had. We asked our Human Resources Coordinator what to look for when hiring a salesperson, and she highlighted the following:

  • Find great people. It’s not always about how much experience they have, but rather, do they have the qualities to engage with others, and above all, will they fit in with your team?
  • Look for people who are confident, personable, but also curious. Curiosity demonstrates a willingness to learn more about the product, and in turn, teach others about it as well.
  • Have a phone interview first. If they don’t engage you, they won’t engage your prospects either.
  • Believe in your organization and your product. If you don’t, your salesperson won’t either.

Growing your current employees into sales roles

What if you don’t have the resources to seek talent outside of your company? For smaller MSPs, this can undoubtedly be the case. But all is not lost. Your current technical staff may not have a background in sales, but some of them might have the qualities that make up a great salesperson. In fact, someone who understands the technical side of the business is often the best person to explain that side to a potential client, highlighting along the way the different things your team will do to improve the client’s business. Focus on seeking out these qualities, and then giving them the opportunity to grow.

Document the sales process

Repeatable processes form beneficial habits, and save you a ton of time. When you’re growing a technical staff member into a sales position, or hiring someone new, you’re going to need to have documentation available to assist them.

Think about how you document your onboarding process. You do that to ensure the most efficient processes are being used, to deliver the best results. It’s the same for your sales process. Not only will documentation allow your salesperson to get functional in their position as quickly as possible, but it will give you something to measure results with.

Beyond that, your salesperson can leverage your documentation with prospects. Not only will your documentation show the processes you have in place, it will also show the results that your documentation drives – something any prospect would love to see. It’s one thing to tell a prospect you’ll give them uptime of almost 100%; it’s another to show them the processes that allow you to make that promise. Doing so gives your organization transparency, which builds trust, overcoming a traditional sales barrier.

How you choose to hire a salesperson depends largely upon the resources you have available, and how prepared you are to grow. Rather than looking at your resources as limitations though, consider them as guidelines for deciding on your MSPs first sales hire, and leveraging your documentation to train them for success.

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