Of all the hires you make as a startup CEO, hiring a VP Sales will likely be the most challenging. That's what we'll explore in this video.
I'll walk you through the all the issues you're going to face hiring your VP Sales, and I'll give you tips to solve these problems too.
Plus, stick around till the end of the video for a free tool to help you interview VP Sales candidates.
Read The Video Transcript Below:
Are you ready to hire a VP of sales of all the executive roles that you're going to fill in your startup? Hiring a VP of sales will be the one that is the most challenging, the most difficult, the hardest one to fill, and the one that you're likely to screw up the most.
So in today's video, I'm going to walk you through how to get it right. And stick around till the end of the video, because I'm going to talk about a free tool that will even help you more to get it right. Hi, I'm Brett Fox. I've built several businesses from zero to over $100 million. I built several organizations. I know how to build things. I know what works and I know it doesn't work.
The challenge of hiring a VP of sales can be daunting. And if you hire the wrong VP of sales, it can not only delay your progress, but it can significantly set your company back by years.
Maybe if you don't get it right. So, as I said, in today's video, we're going to walk you through the things to do so you get it right? These are the lessons I've learned from my own experience and the experience I've had working with other startups.
The first lesson is, is this. You need to define what your VP of sales is going to do. And do you even need a VP of sales yet?
This is a common problem that entrepreneurs have is they hire a VP of sales too early in the process. And what happens when you hire somebody too early is you can't hire the right person. And when you hire somebody who isn't good, because that's what you're going to get.
If you hire somebody too early, you end up hurting yourself. So what's the answer here? Well, the answer is you, the CEO, you have to do this. Not somebody else.
You have to either be one to be the VP of sales early on, not somebody else. One of the questions you need to ask yourself, especially in today's world, is, are your sales inbound driven or outbound driven? Because if they're outbound driven, that's when you're going to need a sales organization. But if the y're primarily inbound driven, maybe you can delay hiring a VP of sales until you can find somebody really, really good.
For example, in my career, when I was running my company, we were almost all inbound driven. And one of the big mistakes that we made is we hired all these outside sales reps, and none of them did anything.
They were just a waste. They were a waste of energy for us. They're a waste of time for us. And what we didn't recognize was that the world had changed from what we thought. So what we ended up doing, which was really smart, actually was we hired a distributor called Digi-Key. And Digi Key in the electronics world? They're probably the number three or number four distributor in the world.
And it took us over a year and a half to hire them. But when we hired them, they, because they aligned really well with us It worked like gangbusters for us in terms of growing our business. It was the perfect alignment for us. All of their business was driven by inbound sales, interestingly enough, just like us. It was perfect. And it really, really helped. So you want to look for things like that.
What was interesting about them also was they had no sales organization, none. All driven by inbound marketing. So until you need that outbound organization, don't hire the outbound organization. That's one of the smartest things you can do.
So one of the questions you need to ask yourself is how long can you keep growing without hiring outbound sales? So outbound sales is around the fringes and you don't have a predictable model for outbound sales is not going to work. Don't do it yet. It's just going to hurt you so much.
What does outbound sales look like? Well, the first thing you want to do is before you hire that VP of sales hire some sales reps first, and then you and the sales rep, you're responsible for growing outbound sales until you have a predictable repeatable process, don't hire a VP of sales because they're not going to succeed yet.
You want to be able to hand over the process to a VP of sales and say, look, these are the steps for us to sell. These are the four steps, the five steps, whatever they are, here's how we sell it. And your job is to scale. Take us from that $1 million ARR that $3 million ARR or that $5 million a year or whatever it is, and scale us to 30 to 50, to $100 million not to change the process, but to scale the process.
There's a huge difference is the job big enough. So you can hire a world class VP of sales. Well, if you're sitting there below $1 million ARR, unless there's something really special about what you're doing is really unique, or you just have some brand name or whatever, it's going to be really difficult to hire somebody who's world-class and to scale your sales organization so that you go from that $3 million, that $1 million and 10 exit or 100 exit. You need somebody world-class, the job has to be big enough.
Now, what is the size of your company before that happens? Well, that's going to be somewhere between $1 million and $10 million in all likelihood. The closer you are to 10, the more likely it is that you're going to be able to attract somebody who's going to be excited by what you're doing.
This is what I've seen over and over again. It's a big mistake if you hire somebody too soon, you're going to get people that aren't that good. You're going to get the B-level and C-level players. And none of those people are going to be able to help you scale.
And that's what you're going to need. So what if you can't recruit your world-class VP of sales? Let's say that you're at that size, you're greater than a million dollars in revenue, somewhere between that million and 10. Why aren't you able to do it? Well, let me propose a few possibilities.
Number one, maybe the job just isn't compelling enough yet. That's the first possiblity. Maybe it's just not that exciting for whatever the reasons are. Now number two, which was related to number one could be that you haven't presented the job in the right fashion. In other words, you're not selling the job the way that it needs to be sold. That's the second reason.
The third reason could be that maybe you have the wrong recruiter or you're recruiting from the wrong pool of people. That's the third possibility. One of those three are likely the reasons why you're not able to bring on that world-class VP of sales, whatever you do, don't hire a VP of sales. Unless the VP of sales is outstanding. If you hire somebody that's a B player, you're going to pay for it. Trust me on this one. You will not be happy with the results.
So those are my tips for, for hiring a world-class VP of sales. Now for the free tool I was telling you about, I have a free checklist of the interview questions you should ask every single VP sales that you interview. It's my best tips. It's the best ones for you to be able to hire that world-class VP of sales. These are the questions that are going to faret out the A-players from the B players. All you have to do is click the link below this video to get it. I'm email@example.com. I've enjoyed speaking with you today. Take care.