In the last year and a half, we have been on a mission at InsightSquared to rapidly grow our sales team. Like most growing companies, we have ambitious bookings and revenue goals, so we know that we need to continue adding new sales reps essentially as fast as we can find them.
Of course, we can’t simply hire every rep who sends us a resume ‒ we need to maintain rep quality even as we drastically increase the volume at which we hire. More than anything else, this means knowing what to look for. We need to understand, in other words, exactly what makes a great sales rep.
At first, we stuck pretty close to what the conventional wisdom says about the traits of superlative inside sales reps: relevant professional experience, great listening skills, and a natural ability to connect with prospects. We started aggressively screening for these skills in our interviews, and this helped us expand our team in a short amount of time.
But eventually we realized something. Aside from seeing these traits endorsed by other sources and having them roughly match our instincts, we had no real reason to believe the conventional wisdom around what makes a great sales rep.
And this was a problem for us. We pride ourselves on being an incredibly data-driven company, so we knew that if we really wanted to define the traits of a rockstar rep, we were going to have to crunch the numbers ourselves.
So we did.
This is the story of how we used real, never-been-seen data to help us learn what exactly makes a great sales rep. The results flew in the face of what we thought, and especially about what conventional wisdom had us believing.