September 25, 2015
[Podcast] How MSPs can Recruit and Manage Top Sales Talent
On the one hand, your company is successful and growing every day. On the other, your salespeople are overwhelmed. Investing in ample sales talent is essential to a growing business, yet it can be a daunting task. This is where an effective hiring process becomes vital. The resume has to speak volumes about the individual’s experience, the interview process must be long enough to evaluate the candidate’s attitude, and once the employee is hired, they must show their dedication and ability to produce.
Datto VP of Global Sales, Bryan Hauptman, leads the sales team that manages all partner accounts, so he knows a thing or two about hiring in the Business Continuity space. While talking with Datto’s VP of Business Development Rob Rae for our weekly podcast, Bryan offered advice about his own hiring and recruiting processes and provided some insight into what the Datto team has in store for partners.
In your experience, what are some red flags to look for on a resume?
According to Bryan Hauptman: “I think the biggest red flags, they’re fairly obvious, the gaps in employment or if someone’s worked somewhere for six months and then they go somewhere else. I’m not a huge proponent on education, some of our most talented sales people don’t have a college degree. Some of the least talented sales people I’ve worked with have their MBA. I don’t put a tremendous amount of stock into it, but I do give credit to people that have gone through and finished and gotten their degree. I think that does weigh. One of the recent tricks I’ve seen are someone taking business classes online at Harvard and they post on their resume that they’re a Harvard student, or have attended graduate class at Harvard. Those are, some things that I think are pretty funny, I don’t pay much attention to. I also look at people that have been promoted and then demoted back into sales and if they want to come and take a sales career, what’s their real motivation? Are they really just not able to find a job and they’re taking this, but they really are looking for greener pastures? Those are some things. I always question someone who’s a sales person somewhere who’s “killing it.” I’m crushing my number every month, but yet they want to take a job with us very badly and they can’t really articulate why. Those are a couple of things that I look out for.”
Once the candidate is hired, how do you evaluate if they are a good fit?
“I always look at two things,” Bryan notes,”the attitude and the aptitude. Those are tough things to gauge on an interview and even through the interview process, but you’re typically pretty close. If within the first 30 days, the attitude and the aptitude is there, you earn another 30 days. Typically within 90 days, you have a real clear picture of is this person going to work within the organization and can you gauge success by how they’re articulating your offering or how their work ethic is. Typically, yes. I like to give people at least eight months to be honest. Within eight months you can see their pipeline grow, you can see their book of business expand and you should be listening to how they’re positioning your services and products to your customers. That’s typically what we’re doing. By no means do we bring them in and ship them out, because in the channel market we don’t want our partners having to deal with multiple reps. It’s been an issue for us in the past and something we’re getting much better at. We do give some time, it does take some time to build the pipeline, and with the right person, we’re willing to invest. I would strongly suggest investing in the right people. If you know it’s not right, don’t wait eight months, I’d make a decision earlier rather than later.”
Can you speak to some of the sales-oriented successes that Datto has experienced in the past year?
According to Bryan Hauptman, “Sure. I think with our explosive growth, which is a great thing, we still need to really focus on our existing partners. I think they have been loyal to us and the life blood of our company and just have been loyal to us through thick and thin. We want to ensure that they’re getting the attention that they deserve. We’ve segmented our team into three separate sales teams. One being, the territory sales executives that focus on on-boarding and bringing on new partners. Our partner success team, who’s really our quarterback of the sales team. They go in and ensure partners are successfully on-boarded. They’re there to escalate tickets, whether it be finance or support tickets, internally within the organization, and assist our sales reps with coordinating sales demonstration, webinars and those types of things. Then there’s our growth team, they’re a subset of our partners and they manage them exclusively. The point of that is, we have an engine here within our marketing and sales organization that can help build our partners book of business. Whether it’s through expanding into their current customer base, or obtaining new ones. The real thought behind the growth reps are to help our existing partners grow the Datto product line, whether it be end user webinars, whether it be Lunch and Learns, whether it be other types of marketing campaigns that we can assist with. We feel that if we enable our partners, they’ll be able to sell more and be more successful, and obviously be happier partners and do training and have less support tickets. It’s really a natural progression within our company.”