If You Want to Hit The ’22 Plan, You’d Better Be Making the Hires Now

  • First, it’s time to build a real financial and operating model for next year — NOW. With precise headcount and budget needs. Pick a real ARR target for the end of next year, and back into who you’ll need to hit it — month-by-month. How many reps. How many SDRs. How many MQLs, how big a marketing budget, and how many in marketing. How many Customer Success Managers.
  • Second, you have to try to hire as many of the sales reps you’ll need for the end of Q1 … by early Q4 at the latest. This is key. Even in the best of cases, with the best onboarding and the shortest of sales cycles, it takes 30 days to scale a rep. Usually much more == 90 days or longer. Whatever it takes, if those reps you need to hit the Q1 and Q2 plan aren’t there and scaled on January 1 or earlier … you will never make the plan. When you think about this, you’ll usually see you’re already in the hole in terms of not having hired enough good sales reps for 2022.
  • Third, build a real marketing / customer acquisition / demand gen budget for next year — and figure out how to start it in Q4 … and how to fund it. If you don’t get the leads you need in Q4 as well … you’ll miss Q1 and even Q2 badly as well. You can’t wait until Q1 to get the leads you’ll need for next year.
  • Fourth, get the customer success team in place for Q1+ now as well. You are going to fall on your face if you can’t make your best customers, and really, almost all your customers, happy. Each year, referrals, word-of-mouth, and your mini-brand get more and more important. Second Order Revenue grows each year in significance. Don’t let yourself, and your sales team down, by not being able to make those precious deals that do close this year, a success in the next one.
  • Finally, multiply the numbers of reps and leads/MQLs you’ve carefully calculated that you need … by 1.5x. Always. However many sales reps you think you need next year — you always need at least 1.5x more. You’ll be counting on too much sales efficiency, and too perfect and linear a hiring plan. You’ll need 1.5x the reps, and 1.5x the leads your carefully crafted plan says. Maybe even more during #thegreatresignation.



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Jason M. Lemkin

Jason M. Lemkin


SaaStr. Pre-nicorn VC. Co-Founder CEO of EchoSign. Served as VP, Web Biz Svcs at Adobe. Also built nanobatteries implanted inside your body.