Secret of Hiring a Sales Guy


Sales are the Face and Marketing are the head of any organization. It is very true and if we don’t understand the difference then we will end up hiring a wrong person for the right job.

Sales Vs Marketing

To get into that we should know the difference between Sales and Marketing. Whenever I get a chance to interview sales guys I ask this question to them for sure.

Most of them will fail to explain. Some will explain in a very professional way. I will then ask them to summarize the same in a single line. I have seen 99% fail to explain it.

Maybe I am expecting them to tell what I wish to hear could be the reason. The answer I always wish to hear is “Sales is an art and Marketing is a science”

This is the reason we have Discipline as Marketing even in Business Administration courses and there is no specific degree for Sales. You can treat marketing to any person. But you can only train and bring the naturally having sales capabilities from a sales guy. If you force sales to a person who doesn’t have the flair for sales then he will surely fail.

Who should I hire?

International Cold Calling sales team is something which is there only for the last 13 years maximum and in that too very few companies has that capability in house for more than 5 years. Remaining all companies are having the conventional face to face meeting with the sales guys selling or inside sales team fixing the meeting and seniors go and do the real sales face to face.

So if a company wants to set up the new sales team, they will eventually look into those companies which are specialised in selling through cold calling and hire.

Typical Interview with those sales guys

Interviewer: Hi, How are you?

Sales guy: I am good.

I: Can you explain about yourself

SG: I am so and so, working with so and so company and have closed nearly 500K out of two deals in this year both F2000 clients

I: (in his mind voice) WOW

I: Where you able to reach your target?

S: Yes, even I got adjudged as the best sales guy for reaching my target last year.

I: What are your salary expectations and notice period?

Typically it will go and they will hire that guy.

End of the sixth month this guy would be the worst performing guy and either we would have fired him or he would have left the organisation.

I have seen this in many companies out of my experience.

What could be the reason for the best performer of the earlier company not able to perform here?

The reason is us. Yes, it is us!!!

He said he closed 500K with two F2000 clients. We typically took that as “he closed” . The real scenario could not be the same.

He would have reached the right person with his cold calling skills and the brand of his earlier company would have taken the remaining steps to get that 500K deal.

Here, we have seen 500K, F2000, One year target, etc and failed to see the real fact that he was not the reason for any of the above and he was reaching the right person through his cold calling skills and only his company was able to do the remaining.


He is not just the nonperformer we are also the partial reason for the total failure. We have overrated his capabilities with whatever he bloated and told during the interview and failed to judge his capabilities.

So whenever you are interviewing from a most successful company into your sales team try to evaluate his personal capabilities rather than what the company was able to achieve with his cold calling.

Typically, if you are a company size of fewer than 150 employees, then avoid hiring sales guys from company size of more than 200 employees.



Vulnerability of using third party tools


What is the next big thing in the IT world?

Anyone can say it as IoT. Yes, Internet of Things is the next main topic going to be discussed for a much longer period than any other technology discussed so far.

There are going to be more than 20 Billion electronic devices get connected to a network in this IoT.

We are going to use IoT without even knowing that we are into it. The best example of areas where we will be automatically get connected to IoT are:

1. Media

2. Infrastructure

3. Manufacturing

4. Home Automation

5. Transporation

6. Healthcare

7. Energy, etc

If every device is going to use a unique IP address can IPv4 work with its limitation of 4.3 Billion? No, it cannot. The minimum number if IP addresses required by 2020 would be nothing less than 20.8 Billion. So the use of IPv6 will come into the mainstream here.

All these are acceptable. How secure are our data or we ourself?

This is something very important and crucial in the IoT space. With just one mobile device we feel we are highly vulnerable. The cyber attack is more prominent even now. Think of the situation where we are going to connect even our Refrigerators, Televisions, Kitchen Appliances, Cameras, Thermostat and what not?

The cyber attack is already taking the main stage even now. What would be the situation when we are completely into IoT?

The recent article which I was able to read this morning is more emphasising the vulnerability on using third party tools even now. But it is not possible to completely avoid using third party tools at all. What is the solution then? Where is the checkpoint then?

Major Vulnerability in Freshdesk – Results from a recent Wordfence Red Team Exercise 

What would be the level of exposure we will be into when we get into full IoT and what would be the level of security we would require that time?

Let our Scientists bring a solution before IoT and let us be aware of the intensity of the impact of using vulnerable third party tools now.

Can my Startup sail safely this recession?

Green Road Sign - Recession Ahead

Are we bloating small things to a larger magnitude or our startup situation is this real bad?

I remember 2007 recession and this was exactly the scenario on all tech news sites that time. Social media was not this prominent then. But since I was in the US that time I read a lot of shutting down news like these.

America was matured enough to handle 2007 recession because they learnt from 2001 recession already.

Recession 2001

2001 was dot com bubble burst and though it was recorded for 8 months only, the effect lasts for three years and unfortunately, Sep 11 happened at the tail end. The total unemployment was just above 6.3% then. It was after 10 years from the earlier recession which gave a big room for the companies to play safe (earlier recession was during 1990-91)

Recession 2007
But 2007 recession was housing bubble burst with banks going into the huge financial crisis. The recession lasted for one and a half years with the unbelievable unemployment rate of 10.3% with a GDP dip of -4.3%. It was called as great recession of US after 1929-33 recession.

Since all the above was epicentre in America, they had the courage and experience to overcome those.

Asia’s Great Recession 

The current Indian IT recession is of Startup and Marketplace together. The profitability of this predicted 2016 recession would be as bad as 10%, predicted by Morgan Stanley.

Even though the economy of India seems to be at a steady growth rate, the Government will not be in a position to bail out anyone here since it is from the Startup and Marketplace sector and not from large players.

Even if Indian Reserve Bank wishes to lend hands to these Startups and Marketplace players by lowering the lending rate to banks, they don’t have much elbow room this time like earlier to jump to the rescue.

Recessions are compared to Flu. It will surely affect even if you are in the vicinity. This recession was earlier mentioned as “around the corner”. But the signs what we are getting across the globe, particularly the hopping of Chinese bubble has now made to say “India has already started walking into the recession”

Recessions are very much part of macroeconomics that happens time to time in the entire world. Since this time it is going to be Great Recession of Asia, everyone is keeping their fingers crossed and making all arrangement to cross the chasm peacefully.


Is there a real slow down in Startup Funding?

The answer could be a yes when compared to 2014 and 2015. Where it was about 7.1 Billion USD and now we are not even sure of reaching half of it.

According to Traxcn data, Indian tech startups have raised nearly 959 million dollars in the last quarter of 2015 which is less than a third of the 3.2 billion raised in the earlier quarter. But it is again just half of what they have raised during the Q4 of 2014 which is 1.9 billion.


Does that mean the Funding has dried totally?

No, the amount of startups aroused in the last two years is huge and most of these startups got really well funded in 2014 and 2015.

But the real problem started here. Apart from the very well known Startups many of them are not able to get the next level of funding. Especially sectors like Food and Real Estate which got the real hit. The companies which are failed to get the next level of funding are predominantly from these segments.

There are huge competitions in these segments and so the factor that determines the uniqueness of these companies are missing.

Real Scenario

The real scenario is that the investors are becoming more concern on large funding and if they really see some traction on any such startups then their expectation of stakes are really high when compared to 2014 and 2015. This is clearly showing that the investors are aiming for quicker profitability.

On the other hand, the Startups are on the other path. Since they have understood the market very well, their main aim is to get funded as much as possible at the quickest  and exit as quick as possible too.

To be frank, you can very well see that there is not much long term aim or goal for most of these small startups.


This is nothing but a real froth which would not continue forever. There needs to be a cleansing  required and which has already started. There will be a vanishing stage of most of the “one another startup” following which the funding will once again come to the normal track.

Did the froth affect the genuine Investors? No, funding for the deserved startup is still going on as normal.

Need of investors

Investing is the prime of any investor. But the investing firm also needs to get sailed in this slowdown. End of the day, the balance sheet of these investment firms are going to impact their existence too. They want to show a good balance sheet than their rivals for their existence too.

Plan B – Course Correction

As I always say, the best practise of any firm or industry is to have a Plan B. That is the course correction. This is exactly what is happening in Indian Tech Start-Up Funding Industry.

Indian Tech startups got heavily funded in the last 2 to 2.5 years and many of them are not able to cross the Series A funding. This is the major reason for the funding industry to have a slow down and take the course correction.

So there is no need to worry as the funding industry is completely dried. It didn’t and it will not too. This is just a cleansing happening. Moreover, the so-called funding industry has nothing to do other than to fund again rather than keeping their money parked at one place. They are not meant to park money. They are there for the purpose of rotating the money and growing it as much as possible.


The amount of money got funded and the number of startups got funded in the last 2 or 3 years are phenomenally high and either they should get funded to the next level or shut down. This has already started and that is what is seen as slow down. The sooner this cleansing happens the earlier the funding will get to its original speed.


Healthy Attrition

two 3d humans look at human with megaphone

In the current situation in India, the most unwanted word is “attrition”. Being the appraisal time every management and HR would think more about attrition and burn their midnight oil.

Out of my experience, I would say, attrition is a healthy scenario than people sticking to their job without any innovative contribution. We need the core team who can transform our vision into the mission. But if we are not ready to bring in new blood either by replacing or expanding our core team we are not actually growing.

Attrition also gives room for the next level people to take the steering and start driving.

Some of the advantages of managed or Healthy attrition are:

  1. New Blood
  2. Best Ideas from their experience
  3. Monotonous
  4. Cost

Let us see one by one.

New Blood

Think where we were a couple of years back and what was the contribution by those people that time. They would have contributed many best practices and ideas into our vision which would have taken our company to this level.

Don’t we need the same type of new blood again now to take our company to the next level?

Best Ideas from their Experience

The new guys will surely bring in their best ideas and best practices out of their experience which will enable us to take our company to next level.


The main reason for anyone to become less productivity is their monotonous work routine. It could be the need of the company or project. But these guys also require a change in their work routine.

Since monotonous leads to productivity loss, it is always better to leave that scenario.


Though I bring cost as the last element here, it is also a very important factor to be considered. If a person becomes less productivity because of any known or unknown reason, is it not better to bring someone with relevant years of experience to that position with less cost?

Last one which is most important

If the people who leave us and shines at another place, is it not a pride to us too? If you are a leader you will surely feel so. If you are just a manager you will have grudges on them. The option leaves to your level of maturity.


All attrition are not “bad”. There should be managed attrition which is good for the company and so they are called as Healthy Attrition. The growth of any company should be of process and people oriented and not just people oriented alone.

So there is no need to burn the midnight oil thinking of Annual Appraisal.