The Vice President of Sales has the primary responsibility of delivering the right revenues; be that defined as a hard number, growth target, profit target and/or a market share goal. Secondary responsibilities include: Recruiting
The following job description provides a baseline for any company that employs or is seeking to hire a VP Sales.
Job Description: Vice President of Sales
In order to ensure a powerful and enticing overview, be sure to communicate:
- Company offering in a unique and compelling way (including specific products and/or service)
- Marquee customers that a candidate may recognize
- Headquarters and areas of operation
- Annual revenue
- Awards or achievements earned by your organization
- Current and expected growth rates
- Company culture including details on what a candidate could expect on a typical day
- Company values
- Details on the compensation plan
- Location of position
Metrics – How success is measured
Your organization’s strategic goals for the new hire should come immediately after the overview section since they are the ultimate benchmark in determining whether or not the prospective candidate would be up to the task. Begin the section with the key metrics that indicate how your company measures performance in this role. Adding specific information such as numbers and percentage goals to the description will not only help potential candidates understand how challenging the role will be for them, but will force your hiring team to clarify the expectations attached to the new hire.
Examples of goals that are typically assigned to a VP Sales include:
- Revenue (most companies if they could only have one goal achieved, would pick revenue)
- Sales growth
- Cost of sale
- New market penetration / market share
There are many more detailed types of metrics such as ratio of new business vs. repeat business and turnover rates as well as less traditional and sales 2.0 metrics such as lead response time, rate of contact, and even social media use, but generally all plans have revenue as the top most important goal.
Responsibilities – The role’s activities
Responsibilities outline what the opportunity will be like on a day-to-day basis for the potential candidate. A compelling job description states measurable tasks that are tied to the organizations’ sales strategy and corporate objectives. Qualified candidates for a VP Sales position expect that they’ll be accountable for key performance metrics, so consider taking an opportunity in this section to add numbers that will demonstrate how challenging and exciting the opportunity is.
Examples of responsibilities in a VP of Sales job description include:
- Develop plans and strategies for developing business and achieving the company’s sales goals
- Create a culture of success and ongoing business and goal achievement – possibly more important than the first item on this list
- Manage the sales teams, operations and resources to deliver profitable growth
- Manage the use of budgets
- Define optimal sales force structure
- Hire and develop sales staff
- Become known as an employer of choice and a sales force that top sales people want to join
- Define and oversee sales staff compensation and incentive programs that motivate the sales team to achieve their sales targets
- Define and coordinate sales training programs that enable staff to achieve their potential and support company sales objectives
- Manage customer expectations and contribute to a high level of customer satisfaction
- Define sales processes that drive desired sales outcomes and identify improvements where and when required
- Put in place infrastructure and systems to support the success of the sales function
- Provide detailed and accurate sales forecasting
- Compile information and data related to customer and prospect interactions
- Monitor customer, market and competitor activity and provide feedback to company leadership team and other company functions
- Work closely with the marketing function to establish successful support, channel and partner programs
- Manage key customer relationships and participate in closing strategic opportunities
- Travel for in-person meetings with customers and partners and to develop key relationships
Experience – Proof the candidate is an A-player
Hiring managers frequently use experience as the core selection criteria when evaluating sales candidates. Relevant experience gives some indication of a particular candidate’s ability to perform certain tasks and can encompass a number of elements including buyer groups, technology, geography or territory, sales cycles, and deal sizes. Companies seeking a great VP Sales focus on experience that is aligned with the desired selling and management tasks stated in the responsibility section of the job description.
Examples of experience that may be included in the VP of Sales job description include:
- Successful experience building a go-to-market strategy and corporate sales plan
- Successful experience building and growing a channel
- Successful experience selling _______ (product/service or related product/service) to _____ (buyer/group).
- Successful experience closing __-figure deals
- Successful experience monitoring and evaluating sales rep progress against stated expectations, in addition to aligning and changing behavior with performance expectations
- Successful experience managing a team of __ + salespeople
- Experience managing key customer relationships and closing strategic opportunities
- Successful experience utilizing a CRM to manage team sales tasks, pipeline, and closing data
- Successful experience hiring and onboarding sales representatives
- Successful experience building and managing a territory (include geography if necessary)
- Proven experience working within a __ (small, medium, large) company environment
- Experience providing status reports with market and customer feedback to the corporate leadership team
- Demonstrated ability in all aspects of sales leadership
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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