Don't Search For A Great Sales Leader - Look For The Right One
There are few more critical decisions that executives make than selecting the leaders of their sales organizations. Just like when hiring sales people, the key is to search for the right sales leader with the potential to be great as opposed to looking for a great sales leader. This may seem like tomato-tomahto. It's not. In your company, you require a sales leader with a particular skillset, during certain circumstances, in a specific cultural setting. There is no one size fits all when hiring sales leaders. When considering this role, your starting point is to identity where your company falls within the sales organization maturity spectrum. If your company does not have a well-defined sales process, metrics or go-to-market strategy, you will want the entrepreneurial sales leader. This person loves the challenge of new product launches and turnaround situations. There's no roadmap to follow, but rather this person blazes the trail for others to follow.
If process, metrics and systems have been defined, the need is for the executor sales leader. You look to this person to execute the already defined plans, develop the skills of their team and hold their people accountable for performance. Don't expect this person to create the plan, but rather to follow the plan that has been developed.
The entrepreneurial sales leader and executor sales leader represent two end points of the spectrum. You will need to identify where your company falls within the spectrum to make a smart hire.
Two key points to keep in mind as you consider this hire...
1. The entrepreneurial sales leader gets bored once the creative part of the role is over.
2. The executor sales leader fails unless all of the critical systems have been defined.
Before you hire your next sales leader, profile the role and evaluate candidates against the scope. Remember, there are no great sales leaders. Your quest is to find the right sales leader with the potential to be great in your company.
See you next time on the Sales Management Minute.