How worth it is hiring an account manager from a tier-1 company for an IT consulting startup?
I am running an IT consulting firm. It was my first startup, and I'm planning to hire an account manager. Will hiring an (sales) account manager from a big IT company help to boost my startup's credibility in the eyes of these Fortune 2000 companies?
This really depends on your offerings. Although being able to advertise to clients the experience of working for one of the bigger firms, I have found that account reps from major IT companies do not have a broad range of knowledge. This limits them to selling a piece of the solution rather than end to end. I would focus on finding someone who has had success at the partner level and understands the temperature of the local area.
It might under the following conditions:
1.) It is someone that is a known quantity and you know them by reputation or they can prove it
2.) They can bring a volume of business to your firm and has a track record that will confirm their ability to do so,
3.) They can produce volume for your firm within a reasonable amount of time which will offset the expense of hiring them.
4.) You can structure a compensation plan that provides sales incentives which pays them for bringing business to the firm.
5.) The firm can stand the cost while they come on board, adjust to a company learning curve (hopefully short) and use their relationships to redirect accounts to your firm
Hello Sampath, I am in the same exact situation. I have a start-up focused on emerging technology injection within the mid to large enterprise environments. I was weighing between which resources are best to invest in as well, either an engineer or a tenured account manager. Ideally, a sales engineer would fit best but they are difficult to come by according to my rules of 3...
An engineer must be 1. Personable / likeable, 2. Technical knowledge must be superior to the clients resources, and 3.) They must search for future and cross selling opportunities or value adds while engaged.
Why I am seeking a sales / account manager first is this. Sales drives revenue and grows a business. Three features that win business are as follows... 2 out of 3 will win you the business 90% of the time. 1.) A superior product. 2.) A superior price point. And 3.) The better sales person.
We should have a conversation sometime, if you're interested send a message. Good luck with your venture.
I agree with Raj below, I would be careful when hiring non executive Tier 1 people for start-ups, these people are used to detailed processes, procedures and sales / marketing collateral all neatly files away and ready to go. Start-ups are all about chaos, wearing a dozen different hats and thinking quickly on your feet to complete what ever is required to keep the start-up afloat. I have seen many instances of Tier 1 - Superstars failing miserably because they never get out of first gear.
Go find a street fighter instead.
Sampath, I would hire an account manager from a Tier 1 if reputable. knowledge base is verifiable and fit within the specific disciplines of your scope of business. I would also recommend that the individual has contacts and has an established customer base and contact network too.
we just went through something similar.
Credibility is very important.
But, clients all realize that it's the company behind the AM that delivers.
So, I don't think credibility is transferable in this manner.
I'd be more inclined to favor selling-to industry knowledge and basic job competence..
Please keep in mind that this is a delegated role, so be cognizant of providing necessary (presumably knowledge) support. If interested in delegation techniques, you are welcome to read my recent blog - http://www.growthroughpeople.com/#!Delegation-Science-not-Art/c15i6/754F3F03-7B92-4F7C-93D7-8D75A27B4A9D
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I would suggest it depends on your Target market. If your prospects are Fortune 2000 companies, then it would probably be a good idea.
They may have more contacts at higher positions, but there is no guarantee that they will convert them. Spreading responsibility is always good, but within budget. Measure the initial expenses for projected return. If the numbers make sense than it is a good move.
as a founder you need to go out and make sales calls until you can afford a sales man