27 July 2014
Ask any software sales leader what their biggest challenge is and it’s fair to say recruiting top talent is at or near the top of the list. We are all constantly seeking to find and retain the next great sales rock star. A few years ago I read a post from Mark Roberge @ Hubspot that nicely boils down the top 3 characteristics to look for that has helped immensely during the interview process:
1) Coachable: no matter if you were a 10X President’s Club award winner at Oracle or fresh out of B School, every company has it’s own process and way of doing things to ensure the best chance at success. Yes bringing bits and pieces from your background that translate is great however showing up day one with an “I got this” mentality is a near guaranteed death sentence. Check your ego at the door and take time to learn from your peers, whether they are in the business two years or 20. The investment will return itself back several times over.
2) Curious: any new sales job can be daunting with how much info the new hire needs to soak in immediately. Product info, market research, competition, customer pain points, the list goes on. You need individuals who have an insatiable interest in continued learning. A new hire of mine just last week brought in a stack of books from his previous gig to share with the new team. New hires that commit to consistent prolonged learning have a distinct advantage on future success over their peers.
3) Competitive: it’s sales. If the recruit doesn’t give off an overwhelming desire to compete during the phone screen how will that person adapt once they are live on the phones? Ask for specific numbers from their previous roles as well to document prior achievement. I’m always shocked when I find a candidate with several years of supposed great success that struggles to tell me what their previous quarterly number was.
Since moving to Galway this spring a majority of my time has been focused on recruiting SmartBear’s first international based sales team. Coupled with finding talented reps who meet the above 3 C’s criteria I’ve also fielded the following question quite often: “How are you attracting top inside sales talent in Galway, isn’t the concentration of candidates in Dublin?” On paper it is true that larger major cities like Dublin, London or Amsterdam hold the advantage of having larger populations to pull talent from. For the last several years a lot of the major tech players (Google, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Hubspot) have chosen Dublin as a preferred choice for their European HQ, which has created a tremendous talent pool. It has also created one that is extremely competitive, where it seems like every week a new hot Silicon Valley company lands in town boasting of millions in recent VC funding and outrageous perks to entice people to join.
We chose to set up shop in Galway for precisely that reason, to be the next great alternative to Dublin. With companies like Cisco, HP and SAP there is already a great tech cluster in town as John Breslin describes in this article- Galway Is The San Francisco To Dublin
In addition, Galway boasts the unique position of having arguably the best quality of life all across Ireland. Seriously, I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t say that Galway is his or her favorite place in Ireland. It hasn’t happened. Take a quick look at my Instagram feed and you will see I’ve been drinking the Galway Kool-Aid since day one.
Because of this dynamic there are plenty of native Galwegians living in Dublin at the moment who were career driven and quick to get some great experience on their CV’s and now would love nothing more than to move back west (to my US peeps, convincing someone to move across the country in Ireland is much easier when it’s only a two-hour drive coast to coast).
SmartBear is here to capitalize on this migration and we are thrilled to be creating a new exciting ecosystem of inside sales talent in Galway. If you fit the 3 C’s criteria, are a Galway native and currently slinging software for a major tech firm in Dublin, let’s talk. We have some exciting things planned on the west coast – firstname.lastname@example.org
Until next time.