5 Costly Sales Hiring Mistakes of B2B SaaS Companies
5 Costly Sales Hiring Mistakes of B2B SaaS Companies

5 Costly Sales Hiring Mistakes of B2B SaaS Companies – And How to Fix Them

Do you head sales or talent acquisition for a B2B SaaS company and want to understand how you can avoid costly B2B SaaS companies’ hiring mistakes?

If yes, you’re at the right place.


While complex B2B sales are growing rapidly, recruiting salespeople is not. The development of a successful recruiting strategy can help organizations gain a competitive edge over their competitors in sales hiring.

Here’s what Jassi Singh, the CEO of TALSMART mentions –

“Unless you understand a person on a deeper level that goes beyond one or two 25-minute interviews – know their strengths, motivators, and how they would potentially think and respond, using objective data, it’s ultimately shooting an arrow in the dark with every new hire.”

As you can see that our purpose is not only to help you hire the best tech salespeople but also to make sure that you understand the nitty-gritty of B2B SaaS recruitment to optimize your hiring process.


Let’s start by looking at the true cost of a bad hire in B2B SaaS

Take a glance at what a recent Career Builder survey concludes –

➔  The average direct cost of losing a sales hire is $17,000. The U.S. Department of Labor claims a bad hire can cost your business 30% of your employee’s first-year earnings. Other recruitment agencies estimate the cost to be higher, ranging from $240,000 to $850,000 per employee. Direct costs include a lot of other factors in addition to hiring costs, benefits, joining bonus, travelling expenses etc.

➔  TALSMART executive search experience shows that the direct cost of tech salespeople can vary little bit but the indirect is the one which hurts more and is more than $2M, considering lost revenue, costs of turnover, long term impact on market share and brand, employee morale leading to overall performance of the IT sales team and ultimately loss of your best salespeople.

➔  Two out of every three salespeople realized they are not a good fit for the role after being     hired and quit within the first six months. These two stats represent a stark truth – hiring well is often underrated in a business.

And when it’s about B2B SaaS companies hiring, it’s more critical (since a typical B2B SaaS business hiring is quite different than the hiring process at a regular company).


Here are the top hiring mistakes most B2B SaaS companies make:

  1. Lack of Clarity in the Hiring Process
  2. Slow Hiring Process
  3. Searching for Top Talent in the Wrong Places
  4. Hiring B-Players instead of A-Players
  5. Spending Thousands on Ineffective Training

Mistake 1: Lack of Clarity and the Salesperson


Clarity refers to the alignment of people and tasks to accomplish a goal. Role clarity has been shown to increase the probability that a person is dissatisfied with his job and experiences psychological stress, as per Harvard Business Review.

Start with defining an ideal candidate? Be crystal clear about why you want to hire for a role and the timing of that hire.

Describe the job accurately. In addition to describing duties, a good job description should identify the role’s overall purpose and key responsibilities.

Often, when you’re hiring for B2B SaaS, keep in mind that you need to hire for a role to accelerate scaling the business. And how this hiring will fit into your big vision of achieving 10X growth.

Further read https://talsmart.com/hiring-smart-sales-talent-in-the-new-normal/


Mistake 2: Slow Hiring Process

Slow hiring kills your organization.

As per a report by SHRM, it takes 42 days on average to fill an open position.     

Quick Solution: Always stay ahead of your game by identifying passive candidates with data aggregation. Use AI and ML based recruiting tools to proactively have your list of potential candidates, should a need arise.

Remember, the cream sales talent is rarely looking for a job. Instead, the jobs find them. You need to sell your company and vision to them to buy in their time and expertise. Senior sales recruiters specializing in the IT or Software industry can make a big difference with such headhunting.

Read more here https://talsmart.com/recruitment/


Mistake 3: Searching for Top Talent in the Wrong Places

We can divide B2B SaaS talent across various departments. Identifying specialized talent in most of the domains is relatively straightforward by sifting through resumes and asking technical questions in interviews.

However, for IT or software sales talent, getting the same clarity is more challenging in one or two conversations.

Most companies and recruiters tend to compete for the same sales talent on the same job boards. This approach is counter intuitive as the best talent is anyway not actively searching for jobs. They need to be headhunted.

Unless there are sales, none of the other departments can survive!


Mistake 4: Hiring B-players instead of A-players

Cheaper is not always better, and sometimes costs a fortune.  Geoff Roberts of Outseta remarks –

“You don’t need more hours or more people, you need fewer hours from better people.”

In business, it’s a better bet to look at the ROI on the costs instead of calculating percentage of savings. Investing 2X and earning 10X is better than investing X and earning 3X.

At TALSMART, we go deep and personalize our offering to ensure you acquire only committed A-players.

Using our recommended IT sales skills assessments, you can quickly get a deeper insight into a candidate’s personal traits and abilities beyond vanilla interview questions.

Explore TALSMART’s FREE IT Sales IQ Assessments for IT and Software salespeople.


Mistake 5: Spending Thousands on Ineffective Training

Winning in the technology domain is about staying ahead of the crowd and innovating meaningfully and doing it the best. This requires the backbone of a strong talent pool. Once you hire the best people, it’s important to continuously upskill them so that they continually outperform competition.

Successful SaaS companies across the United States invest extensively in training their teams under specialized software sales training providers instead of generic sales training. Generic sales training cannot cater to these specialized requirements, rendering the ROI from money spent on training reasonably low.

Read more on how to choose the best training company for optimum growth in your business!


How can we fix these mistakes?

Prevention is always better than cure. The next best thing is solving a problem as soon as you realize there’s one.

Here are some actionable steps to reverse common B2B SaaS hiring mistakes:


Ask the right questions

‘Clarity’ questions, as we call them in TALSMART form the pre-requisites of meaningful hiring.

They take you deep into your values, offer clarity, and ensure symmetry in your approach      Examples of clarity questions:

  • What’s the helicopter view of the business?
  • Where do you see your business in 5 years, 10 years and 15 years?
  • What are your company’s core values?
  • What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI)?
  • Currently, your focus lies in sustainable growth or immediate growth.
  • How does your hiring process align with the big vision you’ve set for your business?


Define your ideal sales candidate

With clarity on why you’re hiring, you next need to know who you’re looking for. Narrowing down the traits, habits, skills, and preferences of the ideal candidate helps to start strong.

IT salesperson skills that matter include:

  1. Ability in deep research – Collection of data (join chat forums, read online reviews, browse websites, find news articles, and even search academic content related to the client industry and own product or solutions)
  1. Analytical thinking skills – Interpreting and making sense of the enormous data available for ensuring predictive approach to selling)

Once you’re crystal clear on your ideal candidate, you must define Job Descriptions (JD) that will attract the right people for the job for SaaS recruitment.

Your JD is a marketing document. It needs to include all the right keywords that your ideal candidate searches on the internet.

Check TALSMART’s Sales Assessment to pare down your effort to a bare minimum.


Get the help of a trusted partner

Often, it becomes difficult to find the exact candidate. You may have answered all the clarity questions. You may have zeroed in on the ideal candidate’s tech sales skills and personality. You also may have created the perfect job description for that perfect would-be employee.

But still, since the requirement is so niche, it feels like searching for a needle in the haystack.

At this point, you need a trusted partner that smoothens out your work as a hiring manager.

You see technology sales is a different ball game altogether. B2B SaaS Sales recruitment isn’t always about the right knowledge, rather it’s about the right network and how to find the ideal candidate.

Check how you can avoid a bad IT Sales hire.

Get your B2B SaaS recruitment right. We not only provide technology sales recruitment, but we also help candidates assess themselves, get super-specialized training, and be the best in the industry.

Our experienced sales trainers and coaches (who helped companies like Google, Oracle, and IBM grow their tech sales workforce worldwide) interview the candidates after they pass the IT Sales IQ Assessments.



Making a mistake is a problem.

However, the bigger problem is not realizing that you’re making a mistake.

In this article, we’ve attempted highlighting common hiring mistakes to be mindful of. If you feel you’d want some expert guidance with respect to B2B SaaS recruitment, contact TALSMART to help you with proven expertise.