We are a startup with a SAAS offering. Our typical deal size is 40K. Our office is in a suburb of San Francisco. We just hired our first sales rep for the West coast. We want to hire another one for the east coast territory. Should we hire the person to work in our office or someone on the east coast?
Hello -- I've hired and grown both field sales representatives and inside reps for the last decade. I think the answer to this question depends on how your deals are currently won. If your deals are currently won over screen share or phone, it makes sense to hire the person on the west coast, and have them work directly in your office. Monitoring activity and understanding how deals move through the funnel, and fall out of the funnel will be easier when someone is in-house. If your deals require that you visit the customer in person, then I'd advocate for hiring them wherever your customer base is located. It seems to me like at 40k, this is an opportunity for an in-office hire. I'm happy to jump on a call to discuss in more detail.
The best salespeople have excellent networks, so I'd wager that an east coast sales rep should be hired on the east coast.
I'm not a sales rep by trade, but I've spent a lot of time selling my own products and services, and I've always been able to close more deals (and find more leads) when I'm mixed into the crowd I'm supposed to sell to: conferences, mixers, and other in-person events where I can casually meet and pitch potential clients.
Everyone will have their own approach, but all the best salespeople I know are doing most of their selling in person.
With many years of sales and sales management, I can tell you that people buy from people they like. So, you need to look at your business model. Is your existing Sales person telemarketing or out in the field making his presentations and calls and demonstrations? If you are currently using inside sales, then you can hire someone in your area to work the East Coast. If your business model is in the field, then you will need to hire someone that lives on the East Coast. And if that is the case, then I recommend utilizing an agency which will bring you a higher quality candidate.
If you're a relatively new startup, I would think twice before hiring a remote salesperson. Despite the potential for saving money and the timezone alignment, there are several downsides:
- Unless you (or other leaders) have experience in sales leadership, you should be learning from your sales reps every day. This is unlikely to happen with remote salespeople.
- Properly interviewing and vetting a candidate is much more difficult if the process is not conducted in person.
- In order to realize significant savings, you must recruit from a candidate pool with far fewer experienced SaaS salespeople.
As a small company with $40k ACV, you should hire the rep to be in your office. The experience they will get being around your team everyday is very hard to replicate as a remote employee.
If you need to have boots on the ground to close deals, send your rep to travel 20-30% of his time to visit customers in person.