Fellow blogger Steve Rucinski wrote an excellent post on hiring sales people. If you haven't read it, you should. It's really good.
It particularly caught my attention because sales is my primary work history. I don't have near enough fingers and toes to count the times I've heard CEOs, investors, and founders talk about how they want to hire the ultimate salesperson – the sales warrior that can sell anything to anybody.
It's a myth.
Most who want this invincible sales machine seek him/her because they feel the sales team they have can't get the job done. They want to hire someone who can take what they have and tirelessly open every door in their target market and raise the company to the next level.
It's a mask.
Truth be told, most companies desperately seeking this super sales exec have much deeper problems than their sales team. Usually there are serious problems with the product or service they offer, their business model prohibits purchases, and their marketing department has trouble generating leads and delivering a coherent and compelling message.
It's like keeping your head buried in sand.
You need great salespeople. Better, you need quota busting salespeople. But don't make the mistake of looking for the proverbial salesperson who can sell ice to Eskimos. The problem you have may be you can't make ice, keep it frozen, or package it in such a way it can be bought.