When it is time to hire a head of sales, CEOs need to weigh the decision of whom to appoint to this position carefully. The right person will drive growth and bring in more related sales talent, contributing to profits on an ongoing basis. Writing for Forbes, venture capitalist firm partner Dev Ittycheria explained some of the key qualities for success in this role.
The ideal sales executive, according to Ittycheria, is able to recruit high-performing new employees and put them in a place to succeed, but is also coachable. He or she is able to train sales personnel effectively while remaining willing to learn new things, paying special attention to the specifics of their environment.
One factor Ittycheria highlights is the importance of placing candidate skills and performance over specific industry knowledge. He recommends that the candidate for a leading sales position be considered based on their competency, and suggests the best hire could be from an unexpected source.
"Many times I see companies getting excited about hiring someone from the competition or a related space," he said. "While having a relevant background on the company's market is always a plus, I would never compromise on trading fundamental sales leadership skills for domain expertise. In fact it's often very helpful to have someone new come in who will challenge the status quo."
Before hiring someone to fill this position, CEOs should consider the way candidates have performed in the past and whether they've been able to meet previous sales goals. Executive search consultants give CEOs a helping hand in finding the person with the right leadership skills.
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