Importance of Hiring the Right VP of Sales | Sales Executive Recruiters | Cowen Partners

      The Importance of Hiring the Right VP of Sales

      When it comes to hiring new staff, it’s crucial to choose the right candidates. Thereby, selecting the VP of Sales is especially important. In this article, an experienced sales executive recruiter at Cowen Partners explains why you should make sure you hire the best-suited candidate for the position and how you can do that.

      VP Sales Qualifications: What Tasks Does the VP of Sales Have?

      To find the right VP of Sales for your company, it is crucial to first understand the tasks, duties, and qualifications that are essential for the VP of Sales role. This is what the VP of Sales does:

      1. Recruiting Sales Representatives and building a successful sales team is the most important job of a VP of Sales in your company. When having a high annual contract value (ACV) the VP of Sales won’t be able to close all deals by him or herself. Therefore, he or she needs a reliable and motivated team.
      1. A good VP of Sales always helps and supports the sales team. Furthermore, he or she sees opportunities and knows how to use them. Besides this, a good VP of Sales will spot issues and find appropriate solutions to solve the problems.
      1. By learning and understanding how the revenue for each lead can be maximized, the VP of Sales can implement successful strategies within your company.
      1. By knowing the markets, your VP of Sales can develop successful strategies and decide whether it’s worth it to enter certain markets.

      How to Hire the Right VP of Sales: 5 Questions to Ask

      Your sales, as well as your company’s profitability, largely depend on your VP of Sales success. Therefore, it’s crucial to hire the right person for this position. And by this, we don’t mean that you should only look at his or her resume.

      Has the candidate worked at prestigious companies before applying for the role of VP of Sales at your organization? That’s great! However, there are more important points you should pay attention to!

      VP Sales Q1: What is Your Experience?

      First, the candidate should have experience at your ACV. A VP of Sales who knows how to close high transaction deals is good. But what good is the candidate if he or she has to work in your company’s environment of high velocity, where deals typically have much lower transactions?

      VP of Sales who close deals of hundreds of thousands of dollars do so only a couple of times each month. They know how much time to spend on each deal and who to contact in the company.

      However, they lack the necessary experience to close a high number of low transaction deals each month. Hence, you should only hire a candidate who has the required experience in the average ACV of your company.

      VP Sales Q2: Has the VP of Sales Hired Successful Sales Representatives?

      Hiring sales reps is one of the most important jobs of your VP of Sales. Therefore, you should make sure that your candidate is good at this! But how can you do that?

      During the interview process, you should ask your candidates how many reps they’ve already hired themselves. Ask them how they found their reps and how they made sure they chose the right candidates.

      Often, candidates applying for the role of VP of Sales sugarcoat their stories. Maybe they had some great reps in their team but haven’t hired them themselves. Instead, they simply inherited the team after the previous boss left.

      To make sure this isn’t the case, you should speak to the candidates’ reps. Ask them by whom they were hired and make sure the stories align.

      If your candidate for the role of the VP of Sales has already hired 2 to 3 good reps in the past, he or she will be able to do so in the future! However, hiring a VP of Sales who has not yet hired good people can be a huge risk for your company, as hiring and recruiting successful salespeople is far from easy. You don’t want to take this risk!

      VP Sales Q3: Does the VP of Sales Bring Good Reps from His Last Company?

      The right candidate should bring 1 to 2 reps from his or her old team. Why is that? The answer is quite simple: Building a successful sales team that makes lots of money, has fun working together, and hits or even exceeds the plan is hard to find.

      The best VP of Sales have some representatives on their team who want to join them in the new company. Don’t hire a candidate who doesn’t know where to get his or her first reps from. Of course, hiring boards are a good option. However, the right candidate should bring the first sales representatives from his or her old team.

      VP Sales Q4: Does the Candidate Have Experience at the Stage You Want to Be at in One Year?

      Make sure your candidate has the necessary experience that will be needed in a couple of months. Have a look at your current annual recurring revenue (ARR). Where do you want to be in one month, in 6 months, after one year?

      Right now, you already have the necessary skill set you need for your current ARR. What you need is a VP of Sales who knows how to further increase your revenue in one year.

      Many candidates are, for example, experienced with an ARR of 50 million Dollars. However, they, often, never had the chance to gain experience at a company with an ARR of less than 30 million Dollars. If your company will only be at an ARR of 15 million within one year time, the candidate doesn’t possess the necessary skill set needed in your company.

      Make sure your VP of Sales has the skill set that will be needed within a couple of months!

      VP Sales Q5: Do you believe in your VP of Sales?

      This is, probably, the most important point when hiring a VP of Sales! Do you believe in him or her? Do you trust your candidate 100%? If not, don’t hire him or her.

      A VP of Sales can only thrive if he or she has the CEO’s back. Therefore, spend enough time on the hiring process and make sure you really believe in your VP of Sales!

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