Finding Qualified First Sales Hires Quickly
The Seed round of a startup’s fundraising journey is all about demonstrating proof of concept and getting to Series A.
Kolena saw an opportunity to optimize its sales cycle by sidestepping time-to-hire and other talent pitfalls by working with Betts Connect. Kolena delivers high-caliber testing for machine learning models, which means that their selling process is complex and requires a high level of specific industry experience.
Kolena had worked with Betts Recruiting before to hire Sales Development Representatives (SDRs) and decided to test out Connect to source the right Account Executives (AEs) to help them reach their revenue goals.
The good news was that their SDRs generated a robust sales pipeline, but Kolena was depending on top leadership to finalize sales. The opportunity costs mounted—deals were not being worked in time, endangering sales, and having founders close deals meant they were not focused on moving the business forward in a leadership capacity. Kolena needed to quickly bring on their first AEs to close deals and let Csuite leadership get back to focusing on the future of the business.
To successfully graduate from Seed to Series A, Kolena needed to reach annual recurring revenue (ARR) of $1M in their first year by growing their sales team with highly-specific candidates that could navigate successfully in highly technical spaces. They knew that not hiring the right AEs could be the difference between meeting the benchmarks to move to Series A—or not.
The Betts Solution
They were looking for the holy grail of AEs—highly experienced sales executives with technical backgrounds who had deep experience selling to engineers. Kolena knew that without those first AE hires being golden, their business could fail to reach Series A.
However, time spent sourcing a very specific candidate was a luxury that Kolena’s sales managers could afford little of. Traditional recruiting methods for Seed companies – network referrals and job boards – not only wasted too much of this but brought in a lot of bad fits as well. Kolena needed to strike the perfect balance between saving time searching and landing the right AEs that could bring them to the next round of financing – which they put their trust in Betts again to resolve.
Betts Connect optimized the process for Kolena. “In terms of speed, it was a lot easier to curate a better list of candidates,” said Sam Sabo, Business Development Manager at Kolena. “We need someone very specific right now, and I’m going to be able to see that at a glance.” Instead of devoting multiple 30-minute interviews in a trial-and-error process, Connect sourced qualified candidates with a few clicks.
Seeing all of a candidate’s metrics—from technical background to target business size—means that you can cherry-pick precisely the right talent for your open roles, saving significant time and money.
Utilizing Connect and Betts’ expertise helped Sam hire the AE sales dynamos that Kolena required to successfully take them from Seed to Series A.