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      Top Sales Recruiting Articles of 2021

      Considering the dynamic commercial landscape of the past two years, it’s unsurprising that sales and marketing continue to be top of mind for our executive readers. 

      A common feature of the global economic recovery for companies has been a transition from in-person sales interactions and pipelines to a fully digital customer experience or a hybrid arrangement. 

      As a consequence, company recruiters are adjusting their sales recruiting requirements accordingly. We are seeing greater demand for professionals with the technical skills and experience to drive digital-first sales while maintaining the nimbleness to switch to physical and back again as the circumstances demand. 

      Our top five sales recruiting articles of 2021 reflect this evolution in sales roles and how executive recruiters are thinking about these roles differently. Here’s a summary of our top five pieces of the year. 

      1. The 3 Growth Stages of Sales Hiring for Your Startup 

      In this article, Cowen Partners consultants share insights into the sales recruitment trajectory that startup CEOs can expect. Early-stage startups, by definition, are lean, mean operations. As a result, the CEO and other principal executives/founders are likely to be wearing many hats. 

      For instance, it’s not unusual for the CEO to take personal charge of pitching and selling to potential clients at this stage. Only when the firm has started building a portfolio of steady customers can attention turn to hiring the first set of sales reps and establishing a permanent sales team. 

      The first growth stage should ideally see a small team come in, preferably two to three strong, as our consultants advise. Of course, the experience for each company will differ depending on the size of their client portfolio and salary capacity. The second and third stages will build on this progress until the firm has an established sales department on track for national and international growth. 

      Please read the article here for more insights into the three growth stages and tips from our consultants on how to recognize and hire superstar sales professionals for your startup. 

      2. Sales Executive Recruiters Explain How to Build a Winning Sales Team 

      Sales is one of the critical functions in companies for a simple reason – there’s a limit to how well a product can sell itself. You’ll eventually need a high-performing sales team to increase sales volume, drive revenue, and build a solid fan base no matter how good your product is. But building a capable and effective sales team will be critical to success, and in this article, our consultants discuss precisely how to proceed.

      As our consultants explain, building a winning sales team begins with solid sales leadership. They point out that companies often make the mistake of thinking a top-producing sales rep will make a capable team leader or an effective leader should be a top deal closer in addition to their leadership role. But the job of a leader is to lead, and only when they can focus on this can the team achieve success. 

      We explain what organizations need to look for in a top sales leader, including when it’s best to pursue a tactical sales leader and when a strategic team lead will be better. Likewise, the article extensively explains the sales hiring process and provides tips that recruiters can apply to unearth quality candidates for the sales leader role. 

      Read all about the qualities and process of hiring a high-performing sales leader within the article here

      3. The Ultimate Guide to Hiring a Successful Sales Team

      Hiring the right sales team can be the difference between industry leadership and mediocre performance. But getting the best people in can often be challenging, so we created this ultimate guide to support sales recruiters as they look to unearth and attract high-quality sales talent. 

      The article commences with a comparison between the roles of Chief Revenue Officer and Chief Sales Officer. While the roles sometimes overlap, there are marked differences between the two. Besides, there are specific circumstances where companies are best served by hiring a CRO and where a CSO will work better. For instance, a CSO is typically a deal closer, while the CRO maintains a keen focus on revenue generation. 

      Further, our consultants answer some of the most vexing growth questions confronting CEOs. For example, how do you scale your SaaS company to $100 million ARR? How can the sales department help in your push to a more significant market share and revenue, and what are the common mistakes to avoid? 

      As recruitment guides go, this is one of the longest we have written. Read more from the guide here, including our step-by-step elaboration on building a successful demand generation team. 

      4. Building a Winning Sales Team: Tactical & Strategic Leadership

      Which does your company need? A tactical sales manager or strategic VP of sales? Why should you concern yourself with the distinction, and what are the benefits of pursuing either or both roles for your sales department? In this article, our consultants dive into company sales leadership and what team players (and leaders) can help move the needle on core growth goals. 

      Tactical leaders have operational excellence as their primary remit, and they typically have a track record of developing scalable and repeatable processes in their previous organizations. Comparably, strategic leaders are more forward-looking in their orientation. They take a far-sighted approach to their role with the goal to establish and actively pursue growth goals that help the organization meet its core strategic objectives. 

      Understanding the roles these two leaders play and which one is required within your company will be vital to unlocking higher sales performance and growth. Read the article on tactical and strategic leadership here

      5. Sales Team Compensation 

      Compensation is one of the most obvious ways companies attract top sales performers. However, first-time founders or CEOs might wonder how to determine which incentives to offer and when. Cowen Partners consultants share their broad expertise on this topic here, including how to design compensation structures for role and task-specific functions. 

      The article broadly tackles the subject of sales team compensation. It begins with a consideration of individual account executive compensation and its makeup (such as base salary, commission, quota, etc.) and then moves on to other measures of compensation such as variable pay and territory areas. 

      Please read all about it in the full article as our consultants unpack sales team compensation for startups and growing companies. 

      Sales Executive Recruiters | Demand Generation Recruiters | Cowen Partners


      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 – CEOChief Operating OfficerChief Financial Officer, and include vice presidentgeneral counsel, and other director-level leadership roles.

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