Recruiting a new sales director or sales leader for your business is probably in the top 3 key decisions you will ever make. Get it right and your company will fly, get it wrong and it will be a very painful and costly exercise that could put your company back months or years against your strategy.
We recruit a lot of sales leaders for our clients all over the world and across a broad range of industries. The most common mistake we see is organisations being "hell bent" on poaching a sales leader from their key competitor. Here they assume that industry, product knowledge and a black book of customers will reap financial rewards, however, they fail to consider their cultural fit, ability to lead people, openness to change or level of adaptability.
Recruiting from competitors can be great but you should also include the following 12 factors in your decision-making process;
- Their ability to recruit and grow a high performing sales team.
- Are they passionate about an effective sales process?
- Are they people orientated and have a proven track record of developing sales professionals?
- Do they have a firm handle on the sales funnel, pipeline and can they provide a reliable sales forecast month in and month out?
- Are they thinking about the future landscape and adapting the sales strategy appropriately?
- Ego – Patton or Bradley?
- Are they stuck in their old ways or are they coachable and still thrive on personal learning and development?
- Will they create a professional sales culture or a team of work hard/play hard bunch of 'boys'?
- Is it all about the sale and or are targets achieved with a full moral compass?
- Are they motivated for the right reasons or is it all about financial rewards?
- How important is industry experience to you? You could find better sales leaders who can learn your industry quickly?
- Do they have a proven track record of making quality decisions consistently?
Recruiting a sales director is certainly not something you should do lightly and so I hope the above questions help you to appoint the right one for your business.
See how we recruit for sales leader roles here.
One of the most daunting personnel decisions an enterprise software company CEO has to make is hiring a new head of sales. Make a great hire and the company’s ability to scale increases dramatically, accelerating growth and creating value for everyone involved. Make a bad hire and not only does the company go sideways and burn a lot of cash, but the CEO ends up at risk of losing his or her job.