Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

A Bold Take on Inside Sales Hiring

by Trish Bertuzzi on Thu, Jul 16, 2009

Geoff Alexander over at Geoff Alexander & Company is today's guest blogger. He is kindly sharing an excellent post on "How to hire a superstar inside salesperson".


Even though my specialty is putting together effective inside sales training courses, one of the most frequent questions I get through my website is "How do I hire a superstar inside sales person?" I could write 10 blog posts on this, but a recent job posting crossed my desk, generated by Marc Cook, Director of Sales at 8x8 Inc., and it represents a terrific way of ensuring that a hiring manager knows exactly what he or she is getting, in advance of the interview. Many very good reps are looking for telesales jobs these days, and if you're one of them, what follows may be of interest.

What did Marc Cook do that pushed him above the hiring techniques bar?
He posted his job posting on CraigsList and provided a scenario in which prospective telesales reps had to call him, and, armed with company data that Marc gave them, sell him on his technology!

I'm listing his entire ad here verbatim, because I like the way he positions his company and the job requirements, benefits, and pay.
Many companies are posting job ads online without even telling the prospective rep the name of the company, and Marc obviously believes in full disclosure. I interviewed Marc about the efficacy of this approach, and he told me that this technique provided him with less of an attrition rate than referrals (15% vs. 50%), and that those hired through this manner have 15% better performance than reps who were directly referred. Are there better ways to post an inside sales job and hire a rep from the action required in the posting? If so, I haven't seen them. And no, Marc's not my customer, so this is an objective perspective. Without any further commentary, here's Marc Cook's ad. While reading it, ask yourself if a similar approach would work for hiring at your company:

Are you a closer?
It's true. If you are not earning $80k a year or more selling 8x8, Inc.'s hosted iPBX and VoIP business phone service it's time to hit the bricks. Do you have what it takes to be with the best-of-the best? Do you need to earn six figures? Do you thrive on closing deals in complex and technical sale environments? Working in Business Sales at 8x8 provides a compelling opportunity for Sales Professionals with a proven track record exceeding quota in technology or telecom sales. We are seeking talented closers to excel at lead qualification and generating new business from new opportunities and from our loyal and satisfied customer base. This is B2B sales.

Top Closers have choices. What about the Company?
8x8, Inc. / NASDAQ: EGHT / ) a 21 year Silicon Valley company has rapidly evolved as the leader in IP telecom solutions to small and medium businesses. With more than 200 employees (of which 75 are sales people) and a $65 Million Annual Revenue, 8x8 is a pioneer in providing VoIP hosted PBX, IP Trunking, and hosted Contact Center business services. We are transforming the telecom industry and we dominate our market space. Top talent across the US joins 8x8, Inc. for its customer centric approach to providing reliable and cost-effective business telecom exceeding the delivery of the 'big old phone companies' and for the opportunity to excel in a performance-driven, fast-paced, and competitive atmosphere; the chance to be surrounded by peers and leaders that inspire, motivate, and innovate and a corporate philosophy that encourages ideas from all employees.

* Respond to and qualify Incoming Web and Phone inquiries regarding 8x8's hosted PBX switch and VoIP business phone service
* Present a complete custom tailored solution including using GOTO Meeting
* Engage multiple decision makers including Business Owners, Executives or IT personnel to drive the sales process
* Achieve monthly Quota by closing Qualified Opportunities and existing Accounts

Required Skills/Experience:
* 1-2 years of general business or sales experience
* Excellent written and verbal communication skills
* High Energy
* Positive Attitude
* Ability to multi-task, prioritize and manage time effectively
* 1 year or more of college course work preferred

Required Mentality:
- no fear, no barriers, no excuses
- expensive hobbies, goals, or life style
- no ability to accept failure, but willing to lose a deal to learn

Benefits and Compensation:
This is a direct hire full-time position with complete training, full benefits including full medical, dental, ESPP, 401k, 15 paid days off, and 12 paid holidays per year. Including base pay compensation, on target earnings (OTE) is designed to pay $80,000 / year at quota to over $100,000 (our top 20% agents are averaging over $100k/year in total earnings)

- Lap top
- Cash Contests
- Free phone service
- On-going training
- Monthly off-site team activities
- Wii and Foosball table for quick stress release
- Free fruit, bagels, donuts, lunches, soda, coffee (fuel for selling)
- Remote worker possible (with proven performance)
- Friendly professional hi-tech corporate selling environment
- Managed by a team that has successfully sold 8x8, Inc. services

Application Process:
Phone Screen (Mock Sales Call)

1) You are an 8x8, Inc. Sales Person
2) I am a small business that just sent you a request for quote (RFQ), Marc Cook @ Cook Consulting, Inc. | 408 329 4846 "I need quote for a new phone system for my business"
3) I want you to call me representing yourself as a 8x8, Inc. Business Sales Representative, I will play the role of the prospect. I'm a small business that needs a new phone solution. Just like a real opportunity, I may be difficult to reach but if I pick up the phone be prepared to qualify my needs, present a solution, and close me on why I should go with 8x8, Inc.. Leave messages if you would normally do that in the pursuit of a sale.
4) 75% of the hiring decision is based on this phone screen.

How to win:
1) Research our web site, and only the business product line will be discussed
2) Do not send your resume (yet).
3) Call with a strong understanding of our product. Customers (in this case me) will not buy from an unprepared sales person. I will only ask product questions about information that can be easily found on our web site.

In Person Interview:
If you're great on the phone and pass the sales scenario screening, the next phase is a panel interview at our Santa Clara headquarters where you will tour our facility, learn more about the company and this sales career opportunity. You also will have the opportunity to sit with current sales people to experience the real environment.

We have 3 growth positions are opening in late July and 3 more in August. We provide complete training.

Talk to you soon!
- Marc Cook
Director of Inside Sales
8x8, Inc. | Packet8
Tel: 1-408-329-4846 (direct)

(Geoff here again)
OK, there you have it. Thought-provoking, isn't it? If you're an inside sales manager or director, I'd recommend adding this to your Best Management Playbook. OK, let's hear from you managers out there. What do you think of this approach?

Topics: recruiting, inside sales hiring

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