Situation: A company has grown to five times the size that that were when they hired their last Vice President of Sales & Marketing, and are looking for a new VP of Sales & Marketing. What is your advice as they embark on this search? How do you recruit a VP of Sales & Marketing?
Advice from the CEOs:
- Think coach as opposed to star player. You are a much larger company, and at this phase of growth you need an individual with good marketing skills combined with sales management skills. You need a brand builder.
- Recently, another CEO went through a similar process. His mistake was hiring a person with deep domain experience, when what they really needed was a person with process/methodology experience in complex sales. In your case, consider an individual from a larger company in your industry, or an allied industry. Somebody with knowledge of similar technical sales processes to your company with similar complexity and similar lead flows.
- Skip head hunters. Based on your knowledge of good companies in your industry use LinkedIn to find who’s who. You can look at three pools of candidates – those that you can hire away from these companies, those who have worked there but are out of work, and early retirees who have found that they now need to go back to work.
- Research current salary ranges in your industry and plan to be competitive, both base and bonus target.
- As this individual will be a doer-manager make bonus qualification a combination of personal quota and team performance (overall new sales growth vs. existing projects).
- While another CEO agrees that you don’t need a head hunter, find someone who can organize the process – review resumes, perform screening interviews, schedule higher level interviews, follow-ups, etc. – and who will work on an hourly basis.
- Have a job application and be sure to ask for the following:
- Criminal records,
- Copies of last W-2s.
- State on the application: falsehood is grounds for immediate termination.
- Do or outsource formal background checks including verification of education and degrees.
- Personally call references for your finalists. Ask these references who else knows this person and speak to them, as well.