VP of Sales
Highlighting the qualities, traits, and skills needed to excel as a VP of Sales
We’re quickly coming up on a new year, and I know for many that means taking a look at your current or proposed career path as a sales leader in SaaS.
I wanted to focus this week’s content on the VP of Sales.
Stretch VP started and still is aimed at this core group of leaders working to get better. It’s not an exhaustive, comprehensive list (for that - see the past nearly 100 week’s worth of emails), but this week’s content is packed full of excellent insights to help you on your way.
Whether you are a current, or aspiring VP of Sales, this week is for you.
Let’s get into it.
In this week’s edition of Stretch Weekly -
Learn from David Skok and Harry Stebbings as they take you through the nuts and bolts of how to build, assemble, structure your sales team, compensation models, quotas and more.
Lianne Gong on the top five things she looks for in a first-time sales leader.
And of course, a smattering of snippets highlighting the qualities, traits, skills needed to excel as a VP of Sales.
THANKS for reading!!
And lastly - as always, if you find this newsletter valuable- subscribe or share it with someone who might as well 👊.
The 9 Stage Model To Repeatable, Scalable & Profitable Growth
If you aren’t already, get familiar with David Skok.
David is somewhat known as the penultimate SaaS guru. He has founded a total of four separate companies and performed one turn-around. Three of these companies went public.
Combine David’s expertise with one of my favorite SaaS podcast hosts - Harry Stebbins and you get this gem. It’s one of the more insightful and helpful episodes for first time VPs of Sales or sales leaders today. In this episode learn from David and Harry as they take you through the nuts and bolts of how to build, structure your sales team, compensation models, quotas and more.
How does David think about scaling sales teams?
How does one know when is the right time to hire your first sales reps?
What content and learnings should you have in place when you make the hire?
How does David think about payback period on a per rep basis?
What have been his lessons on optimizing payback period for sales reps?
Top 5 Traits of a First Time Sales Leader
Throwing it back to an article Lianne Gong (Sr. Recruiter at Gong) wrote for my blog last year on the top five things she looks for in a first-time sales leader:
History of achieving quota.
This one is a given. Overachieving reps don’t always make great leaders, but hitting quota helps to show your ability to sell. You have to walk before you run.
This is a great precursor to leadership. Mentors help pave the path to others’ success. Have you helped a rep become their best self?
Hyper-focused on goals.
Great leaders have a natural disposition to fixate on targets, how to hit those targets, and how to continue past them. Being able to expertly communicate things like sales process, campaigning, territory building helps me understand how your brain thinks.
Command the room.
Great leaders are able to establish firm command over people. This does not mean they are dictators. It is the ability to put themselves, and the people that surround them, in a position of success and lead towards that.
Ability to adapt and refine.
The best athletes practice the small things, day in and day out, to make their sport perfect. Sales leaders should be no different. Sales is a craft. Methodologies change. Change with them. Be coachable.
🤔Learn from Lemkin:
Take Jason Lemkin’s list of the key criteria he looks for in hiring a VP of Sales. Helpful guide to align where you are, to where you want to be.
Jason give us a few things a great new VP Sales does quickly, even w/o more leads, and in turn, should equate to 25%-50%+ more revenue. 1: Close faster. Time = risk. 2: Close bigger. Identify real max deal size. 3: Focus leads. Put best closers on best leads. 4: Upgrade team. Add 1 great closer, drop 1 poor one.
👌Wayne Morris shares 4 basic things first time VPs of Sales should successfully focus on: 1- Competitor Analysis. 2- Unique Selling Points (USPs) 3- Ideal Customer Profile (ICP). 4- Buyer Personas
💸 VPs of Sales will often forgo higher cash earnings than AEs, so why do some jump to leadership roles? Dailius talks about four reasons some choose to become a VP of Sales. 1. It can be immensely rewarding to mentor & nurture talent 2. Less pressure on individual performance with no quota 3. Consistent earnings 4. Pathway to the C-level & other promotional opportunities.
✅ Amy Volas tells shares secrets on how to hire a VP of Sales for your startup. But what does it mean for those aspiring VPs of Sales? Cross reference her list to your skillset and to help identify where any gaps may be. It’s like a cheat sheet to the upcoming test answers to help you nail that new VP of Sales role.
Becoming a More Humane Leader
Really enjoyed this article from Harvard Business Review on becoming a more humane leader.
Job satisfaction is 86% higher for an employee who works for a wise and compassionate leader than an employee who does not. In this case, the sum is much greater than the parts.
Thanks for reading!
My hope is if you find this valuable, consider sharing it with friends (or signing up if you haven’t already).
— Grant 👋
About stretch vp: confessions, learnings, and insights from sales leaders in SaaS
Compiled and aggregated from a network of sales leaders in SaaS, Stretch VP showcases learnings, insights, and experiences as well as best practices to overcome common hurdles, obstacles, and setbacks in your quest for excellence as a sales leader in SaaS.
Are you a VP, Director, thought leader, or content producer in the SaaS space? We’d love to have you contribute. Just reply to this email and I’ll be in touch.
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