How to build the wrong team.

This morning I had a great call with a founder. Let’s call him Mark. He told me about his Robot Startup which I am extremely excited about working with in the future. Autonomous Robots delivering consumer products. Massive potential. His current challenge – sales.

Mark explained more about how he is building the sales team: lead generators working with key account manager who close the deal. He was troubled by the lack of quality leads that never turned into deals. After asking lots of questions we came to the conclusion that Nr1. he needed to give his team a more focused approach toward their targets and possible customers, and Nr2. he was hiring the wrong type of people for the role of lead generator.

Refocusing the company sales strategy can be done quickly, while implementing the strategy is a whole other issue (let’s just assume this part works out). More challenging from a time perspective is hiring the right type of individual for the right job. When realizing you have the wrong people in place after a hiring cycle, more than 6 months might go by…

Mark wanted nice people who liked technology to operate in sales. And that is exactly why sales are suffering….

Mark couldn’t understand why his best lead generator was a part-time hair dresser. It’s because she was HUNGRY! She needed the commission really bad and was therefore extremely hungry and motivated. No one else in the team had the same kind of GRIT.

It was great when Mark realized this. His eyes lit up.

When hiring we often look at the task and the person, but we forget their character. Training new employees on a technical level is manageable, but expecting them to perform a task outside of their character will lead to missed targets and frustration with all stakeholders.

Before defining a role, visualize the type of person who will succeed, then work backwards to specify traits and responsibilities.

And be kind to your hair stylist, they might end up leading your sales team.


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