I recently hired a new sales professional for my premium steak company, Fuego Diablo—and the experience got me thinking a bit about the sales process.

At first blush, success in sales might seem fairly straightforward—not necessarily easy, but straightforward. I’d boil it down to two basic questions: Is your company doing the right things, and is it doing them in the right places?

To answer these questions, of course, you have to dig a little deeper into the specifics of your consumer base and your sales process: Who are your customers? Where will you find them? What should your sales reps be saying to them? How long should it take for you to convert a lead into a paying customer? How many calls will it take to close the deal? The list goes on and on.

When you have a mature business, you hopefully have some benchmarks for each of these questions—some general idea of the answers to each. When you hire a new salesperson, then, it’s all about plugging someone into these existing slots—finding someone who can follow the procedures that have worked for you in the past.

When you have a new business, though, you don’t have these benchmarks in place—and as such, the process almost happens in reverse: Instead of hiring someone who can fit into your existing scheme, you have to find someone who can help you pioneer your sales procedures, to discover what works and what doesn’t. Rather than looking for someone who fits into your established model, you have to look for someone who has a hard work ethic, a commitment to sales processes, and a willingness to help experiment and explore.

We could liken it to fishing. As any fisherman knows, success is all about fishing in the right place and with the right bait. When you have an established business, you know where the fish are and what kind of bait to use; all you really need is someone who can execute. When you’ve got a brand new company, though, you need to find someone who can help you locate the fish and, through trial and error, find the right bait. And as an entrepreneur, you also need faith in that person to do the right thing—and, nimbleness to switch to a different pool or try a different bait when need be.

All of this is simply to say that hiring a sales professional can look totally different depending on the maturity level of your company—and for entrepreneurs, it’s critical to know exactly what you are hiring your sales person to do.