Sales leaderWhether you are a CEO or a executive level sales leader in your company, hiring the right sales leader for your organization can make or break your business. Get it right and they will build a strong team of achievers, increase company morale, and generate revenues profits and growth for the company. Hire the wrong person and in a best case scenario, company growth will stall. In a worst case scenario, targets will be missed, customers will leave, staff turnover will increase, and you will have a mess that could take years to clean up.

Here are the five things you can do to hire the right sales leader:

1. Consider the Right Candidates – Do you need a manager who will execute a plan leader who will bring vision and charisma to the organization. If you are seeking the latter, you will be faced with the fact that very people are leaders, which will require a more extensive search.

2. Don’t Get Sold – Great sales people sell. You need proof that the person you hire has delivered the results you want in a similar environment to the one they will be coming into – otherwise its an experiment.

3. Plan Ahead – Ask your potential candidates to show you the plan they will implement if they join your organization and what results will be achieved. The plan can always be tailored once they are on-board, but if your challenge is familiar territory for them, Pareto’s Rule will apply and they should be able to give you a good sense of whether you will be aligned.

4. Get the Compensation Right – Align the comp plan with the corporate plan. If you are trying to achieve rapid change then a highly leveraged plan might be the right approach, but might backfire if you want steady change and a long-term view from your sales leader. If you need profits, growth, and/or new customers, consider creating bonus schemes for these.

5. Give them the Autonomy – You are hiring the new sales leader to deliver results, which means they will bring in ideas that break the status quo. This may create discomfort for some people in the company, for instance cutting deadweight staff and reallocating resources. If you want the results they are promising, you need to step aside, let them execute on their plan and provide them the support they need to succeed.

To your success.


Image courtesy of jscreationzs /

Eliot Burdett

CEO at Peak Sales Recruiting
Before Peak, Eliot spent more than 20 years building and leading companies, where he took the lead in recruiting and managing high performance sales teams. He co-founded Ventrada Systems (mobile applications) and GlobalX (e-commerce software). He was also Vice President of Sales for PointShot Wireless.

Eliot received his B. Comm. from Carleton University and has been honored as a Top 40 Under 40 Award winner.

He co-authored Sales Recruiting 2.0, How to Find Top Performing Sales People, Fast and provides regular insights on sales team management and hiring on the Peak Sales Recruiting Blog.

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