When did you hire the first sales executive/VP, and why?


Many founders today, particularly technical or product founders, end up adding sales and a VP sales much too late in the life of the company, and they often wait until not only are there clear signs of product-market fit but they will bring on two SDRs (sales development representatives), they will test them out for six months. They will do all these things when in reality the second there is a sign of product-market fit it should be viewed as ‘Go’ time and it’s time to hire a VP sales along with other executives and really start going after the market aggressively.

So, there are a lot of different reasons why you want to hire a VP of sales early, and a lot of technical or product-centric founders tend to push back on that if they haven’t really seen great sales before. They worry about an early sales hire ruining their culture, or they worry about “Are we really ready for this? Do we really need somebody of that caliber driving our business?” Or they may worry that it’s too early for the company to adopt, or worry about the cost. So, there are many founder reasons to not do it, but I think most of those are wrong, and their product is actually getting a strong pull from the market.