MSP Sales: 4 Rules for Making Your First Sales Hire

BY IT GLUE | November 28, 2016

How many hats are you wearing right now? Three? Four? When you first start out, wearing so many hats is a matter of necessity. But that many hats can start to weigh on you, especially as they start to get bigger, which comes as your company scales up. So how do you know when to take off each hat? How do you know when to take off the sales hat?

When to hire?

Is there a set revenue level where you should start looking for your first sales hire? A seat number? Ideally, you’ll have enough seats to pay the new sales hire until they start bringing in clients, yes. But otherwise there is no set number for this move. Do it when you want to grow, and when you can no longer handle being your company’s lead salesperson. When you do, take into account these rules.

Rule #1 – Play to your strengths

Start hiring managers in the areas where you add the least value to the company. A lot of MSPs recommend starting with a service desk manager as the first managerial hire, but a sales manager is usually right behind. Unless you’re absolutely killer at sales, you should heed this advice and bring in a sales professional fairly early on in your organization’s lifespan. Free up your time to focus on running the rest of your business.

Rule #2 – Hire the best

Don’t hire for the size of business you are now — hire for the size of business you want to be. Your first sales hire is going to have to do it all initially. That means working all points in the sales pipeline. It also means this person will be setting up the sales process that all of your later hires will follow.

Your first sales hire should be a seasoned, high-production rep, not a sales manager, because you need someone who can grind out their targets. Don’t forget that if you’re a small MSP, you’ll need someone who is familiar with smaller, more flexible environments.

Rule #3 – Be ready to grow

The point of hiring a sales manager isn’t to ease your workload, though it might just do that. The point is to grow your business. This means that your business is about to grow — make sure you have a plan to handle that growth, especially for your service desk. Scaling up isn’t easy, so have a plan in place to manage this growth.

Rule #4 – Document your sales process

If you’ve been doing well at sales, then prior to hiring, document your sales process (pro tip: we recommend IT Glue™). This will help your new hire to be functional as quickly as possible. They might bring their own processes with them, but if what you’re doing now has value, make sure that it’s written down so everybody’s best thinking on the subject can be integrated.

Happy hiring!

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