Let’s face it: hiring the right sales leader is hard. And hiring the right sales leader for your high-growth, emerging company is even harder. My goal with this post is to help you simplify the process while elevating the likelihood of hiring the right person.
One of the mistakes I have made is sometimes thinking too much in terms of permanence. For example, when I purchase something, I might want it to last longer than I need it to be useful. When I make a decision, I might want the decision to stand a much longer test of time than is actually necessary. It is easy to make a similar mistake in hiring your next sales leader for your high-growth company: it can be very tempting to want the person you hire to be the right person for now, as well as for the next several years. While that is a fine desire, don’t let it keep you from laser-focusing on the most important thing.
In Gary Keller’s book The ONE Thing, the author writes that success is sequential and not simultaneous. In fact, the whole book can be summarized in a single sentence by saying “Think BIG, but focus on ONE SPECIFIC thing at a time.” And. although the book is focused on creating results throughout the many facets of your business, we can apply this thinking to help you hire the right sales leader. The most critical question to ask yourself is “What is the ONE thing our next sales leader must be great at in order for us to hit our next big milestone?” This isn’t to say other things aren’t important. We still recommend you develop an Ideal Candidate BlueprintTM and a 90-Day Success RampTM. However, failing to be very clear on that ONE thing could have very costly consequences.
Not all high-potential, high-growth organizations are at the same place. Some of our clients have needed a leader who excels at developing a go-to-market sales strategy. Some have needed a leader who excels at being in the field with reps closing critical deals. Some have needed a leader who excels at mentoring and optimizing a current sales organization. Some have needed a leader who excels at establishing and growing a sales organization. What is the one thing your next sales leader must excel at? Let us know in the comments below.