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.
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:
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!
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.
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!
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.
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!
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!
Our hands-on sales executive recruiters have experience working with private, public, pre-IPO, and non-profit organizations. Clients are typically $50 million in revenue to Fortune 1000’s or have assets between $500 million to $15 billion. Successful placements span the entire C-Suite – CEO, Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer, and include vice president, general counsel, and other director-level leadership roles.
Check out our industry-leading retained search resources to see why Cowen Partners’ sales executive recruiters are the best in New York City, Chicago, Seattle, Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, and beyond: