Most companies are wasting valuable money that could have been used for more sales.
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The role of senior sales manager (VP of Sales, Chief Sales Officer, etc.) is a big part of an organization, but the title has been used in such a broad context that we dilute the actual role of the person who actually does it. Executive sales leaders are members of the C-Suite who are responsible for the executive function of revenue generation for a company. You will be responsible for recruiting, hiring, training and leading the sales team, creating and communicating sales goals, and running the unit that generates most (or all) of the business for the company. You have to be able to clearly map the customer journey from the first contact to the post-purchase, to create a specialization within the roles of a sales force and to define areas and strategies for new markets. They rarely sell.
Companies in the early stages of revenue growth will most likely get this wrong. If you're a new business or startup and don't have successful salespeople or managers on board before hiring your VP of Sales then you have made a huge mistake. Before hiring a VP of Sales, wait until you are ready to scale your existing sales team – not just to start your company's sales efforts.
Related: 3 Reasons Marketing Is The New Sales
Before you hire your next VP of Sales, you should take a moment to decide if your company needs this role and, if so, how it should be filled. Don't hire a VP of Sales until it's time to fund and grow a sales team.
If you're an early stage company, your first sales rep should never be a VP. It should always be a sales rep – a very good sales rep. While a VP will make you look good on the board, a company really needs a "super rep" in the early stages. and who goes out and just sells, sells and sells even more. In contrast, a good VP of Sales should only spend about 10% of their time selling. The other 90% is spent on strategy, coaching and management.
On the other side of the spectrum, incumbents can also miss their VP of Sales settings badly. Once you've got your business up and running and you're ready to hire (or change) a VP of Sales, the mistake is that you've promoted one of your top employees or managers to the role. This is a mistake as the VP often spends too much time selling and working with customers directly, not spending enough time developing training programs, developing new product offerings, coaching people to maximize sales, via Joint Think about ventures, board and executive team expectations and leadership of the sales force.
Similar: 3 sales optimizations that could change the game for your company
If the VP of Sales does not do VP of Sales work, a company's sales system collapses. The TP may think he is doing the right thing. Rather, the company has given the wrong person the wrong role by promoting a representative or manager. It pays to leave the company and hire the right person for the VP of Sales to ensure that the role is filled correctly and that the company's needs for that role are met.
The vice president of sales is a role that can make or break a company, so finding the right person to fill the position is critical. It's not your first hire in the sales organization, and they likely aren't working for your company today.
Related: How to Build a World-Class Sales Team