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Sales Training: 2012 VP of Sales

Category: Sales Training  |  Permalink

Published: Friday, October 7, 2011

Sales Training Insight: CEOs Have Spoken - 5 Must Haves for the 2012 VP of Sales

By Matt Sharrers, Sales Benchmark Index (SBI)

CEOs have invested 17% more Sales Training dollars for current and prospective VPs of Sales in 2011. This is great news. The bad news is these same CEOs are being let down in their search for a new VP of Sales because the dollars are misdirected.

CEOs are growing frustrated with the old style sales managers they are interviewing. Why? The CEOs we are speaking with (inside and outside of the F500) are looking for a new brand of VP of Sales. Many of you are being perceived as having reached your peak. Reinvest the sales training dollars allocated for your development to the following:

sales training
2012 VP of Sales Must Haves

  1. Evolutionary Pace-what new capabilities have you acquired in the last 24 months and how have you monetized them in your current role? Business is moving faster and this pace is only accelerating. If you cannot outpace, let alone keep pace, the CEO is not interested because his sales force will lag.
  2. Intellectual Curiosity-how did your curiosity about new opportunities in your current role drive measurable results? Or did you just salute and execute? CEOs are looking for inquisitive sales officers that will provoke the organization to do rethink the go to market strategy when they arrive. They don't want somebody recycling strategies from their past life.
  3. Strategic Orientation-how did you align the corporate strategy with the sales strategy where you currently work? Can you crisply articulate a sales strategy that has evidence of being deployed?
  4. Collaborative-how did you work with other functional groups to drive the execution of the sales strategy in your past roles. What did you do to pull the organization with you vs. isolate the sales team as its own separate entity. CEO's want influencers not bulls that "shatter the glass".
  5. Personal Discipline-how did you create an environment where the sales force did not chase the next best thing? 2012's sales forces will be successful based on what they choose to ignore. Staying focused on the execution of the strategy, driving no more than 3 strategic initiatives a mile deep vs. thrashing around with 20 flavors of the day an inch deep.

My friend John Gleason is leading Ryder to record setting revenue growth 18 months into his tenure as the EVP of Sales and Marketing. He pushes his team to grow new capabilities because he is doing it alongside of them. He hires internal experts like Chris Fris to help push the evolutionary pace. He ensures the sales strategy is aligned with the corporate strategy by being thoughtful of where Ryder is going vs. where they have been.

Call To Action-start today: the investment in the above personal sales training will be quickly monetized in the promotion to a VP role or increased performance in your current position.

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