By Matthew Bellows, Founder and Chief Executive Officer at Yesware
In my Inc.com article “You’re Not Ready for a Sales Hire,” I warned people away from the knee-jerk reaction to typical startup product problems. Sales is all about repeatable, scalable communications. But if you focus on sales too early, early customers can drag your product from serving a market into serving their niche.
At some point, though, you will be ready to build that sales team. Check these 10 boxes and you’ll know you’re ready.
- Product/Market Fit: Has your product found a niche of early adopters who will pay? A quick way to tell: if 40% of your customers, when surveyed, say they’d be “very disappointed” if they couldn’t use your product.
- More than $1 Million: You need to have a clear path to at least $1 million in bookable revenue. If you can’t make a list of the customers who are likely to spend that much with you, don’t hire.
- Inbound Interest: You should be getting emails and calls from potential customers. If no one is curious enough to contact you, your product isn’t ready. Only an enormous marketing budget will make up for a lame product – and that’s a waste.