When you work in the startup world, you see it over and over again. A company has founders, a product and, maybe, some angel or friends and family investors. It is time to get that product out the door and some cash in your pocket.
Many founders believe that their wonderful and innovative idea combined with their passion will explode into sales. This is not always the case, particularly when your target market is other businesses.
Being an inventor, administrator, financier or (even) attorney is not the same thing as being a salesman. Selling is a talent and a skill. Not everyone is born with the ability to sell. Not everyone has taken the time to develop this particular skill. However, if your business depends on personal sales calls to buyers, whether they are end users or intermediaries, you may want to consider whether you should hire a dedicated salesperson.
Generally, when the product has been tested and is ready for entry into the market, it is a good time for the startup to have a committed salesperson on board. Preferably that person would know the industry and show up with a ready-made contact list, as ‘Rolodex’ is so-old economy. However, even a person who has sales experience and can understand the product will be preferable to an inventor or founder who may not have the right experience to turn an opportunity into revenue.