Sales leaders, whether they are sales managers, sales directors, or VPs of sales, must deliver the desired growth. It is essential to make the right decision. It’s bad enough to make a wrong selection in a salesman, but a wrong choice in a manager or sales director can cause severe damage to your business.
Do you prefer to promote internally or externally?
Many companies look at their sales team and choose the most productive salesman to be promoted to a senior position. This is a common mistake. Here are the reasons:
A sales leader’s skills are quite different from a salesman’s. A manager’s role is to develop, coach, measure, recruit and motivate the team to achieve their highest performance. A salesman’s success is all about creating a pipeline of potential opportunities, bringing them to completion, and finally negotiating a deal with clients.
Promoting from within is not a promotion. It is not uncommon for high-performing salespeople to make more than their sales leader.
Promote one from an existing team. Somebody will feel upset. It’s likely to be the second-best performing salesman on the team. You end up with your top salesman not selling anymore and your second-best salesman leaving. This is not a good result.
Many companies look outside of their company for sales leaders because they believe the above reasoning is a good one. This approach has its limitations, including making sure that the person you choose is able to do the job.
To make sure you are successful in your appointment, whether you’re promoting internally or recruiting from the outside, here are some things to keep in mind:
Selling or managing?
What percentage of time would you prefer this person to spend on selling and managing if you are looking for a player/manager? There are many skill sets that are required. It is challenging to find professionals with similar skill sets. There will usually be a compromise. Is this something you are willing to accept?
This is not a good solution. Sales leaders often realize that personal selling is the best way to increase their earnings. This leads to the retention of prime prospects by the sales leader. While this is happening, who leads the team? How is motivation affected?
Strategy creation or execution?
What are you expecting from the sales leader when it comes to developing your company’s sales strategy? Does the plan exist, and is it the responsibility of the sales leader to execute it? Is it the primary responsibility of the sales leader to collaborate with other directors in establishing the company’s strategy for selling and then managing the plan?
Title versus responsibility
Avoid fancy titles that cause clients to expect too much. Clients will expect to meet someone who can make decisions. You’re destroying the person before they even start.
Interviewing sales leaders is difficult. They are experts in interviewing. They are familiar with the questions and answers.
The first thing to do is to create a job description and the required experience for the position. To allow for direct comparison between the candidates, you will need to create a list with questions that each candidate must answer.
Asking candidates to submit a business plan in writing is a great way to screen a shortlist. It will outline what they are going to do and how. It is best to ask them for it before the meeting, so you have time to consider the questions. The letter should be concise but contain enough information to convince you that it will work.
A well-written plan shows that the candidate is able to write, which is a dying art today. They also demonstrate that they are familiar with the context and what you expect them to do.
They will meet or exceed the deadline. They will make it short or not. Failure to deliver in either case should be enough to stop the process.
Ask for references and make sure to verify them. Check to see if the candidate has ever mentioned anyone you know. Any deviations from truth should be exposed by at least three different ways of checking a candidate.
It can be difficult, time-consuming, and costly to find the right person to fill your Sales Leader position. It’s also difficult and time-consuming. You need to do it right the first time.