Of course, it depends on budget but it also depends on how close fit do you need with your industry / business. If budget is not an issue, I’d recommend going with headhunter. In the US, it is easy to get screwed up with well-spoken sales guys.
Look at headhunters who are specialising in sales space in the US –
- Gogohire.com – small team / niche in tech sales in Bay area
- A Sales Guy – solid brand presence amongst sales guys because of founder – Jim Keenan
- Bettsrecruiting.com – larger sales recruitment agency
However, if you’re going with outreach – I’d recommend looking for behaviours / characteristics that are applicable in most industries rather than a tight fit with your industry (hence competitors & partners).
I highly recommend two readings on startup sales hiring:
- A tactical hiring knowledge dump article by Steli Efti / Close.io
- Mark Roberge wrote a chapter on Sales Hiring in his book Sales Acceleration Formula. Absolute top read in sales acceleration if you’re soon going to be scaling sales teams.
Finally, if you interview sales guys, I’d recommend 2 ways to structure your interview process. First, get them to do a DISC profile test. It will help you get a strength – weakness map for sales hires. (free DISC test version available courtesy Tony Robbins on this page link). Second, follow a STAR methodology in sales interview process It is discussed in details in my interview with the behavioral expert – Val Gray, on sales hiring with 100% confidence. (STAR technique explained after 11min point).