Hands-on founders and entrepreneurs will often find when hiring the first sales manager that this is the hardest role of all to fill.
Hiring the first sales manager is a turning point for a founder or entrepreneur; filling management positions indicates that a company has grown to the point where leadership and direction responsibilities must be shared. Hands-on founders and entrepreneurs will often find when hiring the first sales manager that this is the hardest role of all to fill; since sales are so crucial to the success of the company, much is riding on that decision. Here is what your growing company needs to know to hire its first sales manager.
Constructing a compensation plan for a company’s first sales manager is not easy; early sales managers are often expected to sell as well as manage, and the compensation should reflect this fairly. However, you do not want to structure compensation so that the sales manager is encouraged to focus too heavily in either area to the detriment of the other. Your growing company’s personnel budget will also be a deciding factor. Shape the compensation plan for your first sales manager by:
Early stage companies often require each employee, including management, to fulfill multiple roles. If this is not clear from the beginning of the hiring process for your first sales manager, you might be asking for personnel headaches later on down the road. Sit down with your leadership team and craft a thorough job description for your first sales manager that includes:
Once you have arrived at these parameters, choose the most important to go into your published job description. Your more thorough job description can be shared during the interview and offer phase.
Even in established companies, it can take months or years for a sales department to recover from a sales manager hiring mistake. With so much contingent on the success of your first sales manager, it is far better to take time with the search and hiring process to ensure that you make the right choice for your first sales manager. Follow best hiring practices to:
Throughout the interview period, you should be asking questions and searching candidates’ responses to uncover how self-directed and self-motivated each candidate is. If a candidate cannot self motivate and explain how he or she continually improves, he or she is unlikely to be able to motivate and coach your sales team to sell themselves and your offerings.
Remember also that sales managers are unlikely to be searching for a position using the same channels as typical sales candidates; recruiters are the channel that experienced sales managers and top sales performers ready to enter a sales management role turn to most frequently when entering upon the next stage in their careers. A sales recruiter can also save your company on hiring costs, especially if the cost of making a hiring mistake is factored in. Contact a reputable sales recruiter with experience filling management positions to see how you can make it easier to hire your first sales manager.
Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.