12 key factors you should consider when recruiting a Sales Director

We've put together 12 key factors to consider in your recruitment decision-making process of a Sales Director

Recruiting a new sales director or sales leader for your business is probably in the top 3 key decisions you will ever make. Get it right and your company will fly, get it wrong and it will be a very painful and costly exercise that could put your company back months or years against your strategy.

We recruit a lot of sales leaders for our clients all over the world and across a broad range of industries. The most common mistake we see is organisations being "hell bent" on poaching a sales leader from their key competitor. Here they assume that industry, product knowledge and a black book of customers will reap financial rewards, however, they fail to consider their cultural fit, ability to lead people, openness to change or level of adaptability.

Recruiting from competitors can be great but you should also include the following 12 factors in your decision-making process;

  • Their ability to recruit and grow a high performing sales team.
  • Are they passionate about an effective sales process?
  • Are they people orientated and have a proven track record of developing sales professionals?
  • Do they have a firm handle on the sales funnel, pipeline and can they provide a reliable sales forecast month in and month out?
  • Are they thinking about the future landscape and adapting the sales strategy appropriately?
  • Ego – Patton or Bradley?
  • Are they stuck in their old ways or are they coachable and still thrive on personal learning and development?
  • Will they create a professional sales culture or a team of work hard/play hard bunch of 'boys'?
  • Is it all about the sale and or are targets achieved with a full moral compass?
  • Are they motivated for the right reasons or is it all about financial rewards?
  • How important is industry experience to you? You could find better sales leaders who can learn your industry quickly?
  • Do they have a proven track record of making quality decisions consistently?

Recruiting a sales director is certainly not something you should do lightly and so I hope the above questions help you to appoint the right one for your business.

About the author
Doug Mackay
5 min read

Having started his career in Executive Search in 1998, Doug set up Collingwood in 2005 alongside his wife, Claire Mackay.

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