Writing a job description for a VP of Sales can often be a daunting task.
It’s something that many hiring managers don’t like doing and don’t even really have the time to do.
A good VP of Sales job description though can go along way in attracting the right kind of talent for your team or organization.
A poorly written job description will often result in unqualified resumes and wasted time sifting through the wrong people for your team.
A good job description can be a powerful tool that will give you an edge in hiring the best talent in the market.
Often times we work with clients that have job descriptions that don’t truly match what the job is that they’re looking to hire.
And they wonder why they’re not getting the right kind of candidates with the right kind of skills.
Usually, candidates apply for a job that is a match for their skill set or they apply for random jobs, it’s usually not somewhere in the middle.
So a well-written job description does give you a chance at finding people that are right for your needs.
POORLY WRITTEN VP OF SALES JOB DESCRIPTIONS
Candidates often think they’re not the right fit for a job because they read a job description that doesn’t seem to match their skills.
In fact, many times, we already know that they’re a fit for the job because we’ve spoken with the client.
Poorly written job descriptions can also result in candidates who are actually a fit for what you need not applying for your job.
This is another way that you can lose out on good talent!
At the end of the day, it’s worth the time and energy to write a good job description and it doesn’t have to be as challenging as you may think.
VP OF SALES JOB DESCRIPTIONS
Writing a sales job description is particularly important because there are a lot of different ways salespeople work across different industries.
A sales job description needs to articulate certain critical aspects in order to communicate effectively what is needed for the job.
Job titles can be very deceiving and even leave more questions, particularly when it comes to sales roles.
It’s important that the job description communicates what the role is so that people are not solely relying on the title.
For example, a VP of sales could be a department head who’s leading a team of sales people.
VP of sales could also be an individual contributor who does not manage any team members and is selling on their own.
And they could also be anything in between these two extremes.
It’s critical that if you’re hiring for VP sales you want to start off by being clear about what this position is in your company.
WRITING THE JOB DESCRIPTION
This rule of thumb really goes for any type of job you may be writing a job description for.
The first step is to start jotting down and brainstorming about the key functions this role is going to need.
You want to make sure you narrow it down to 10 or less key functions within a role.
I would even say that a sweet spot really is five key functions.
Whether that be managing a team of sales executives or selling on their own or a combination of both.
They could be building a team or focusing on channel relationships and partnerships or managing and/or doing inside or outside sales.
VP OF SALES ROLES ARE EXTREMELY DIVERSE
You want to hone in on exactly the type of sales and the type of management this person is going to be doing.
There’s a big difference between inside sales, outside sales, lead generation, channel sales, partner sales, and the list goes on.
There are also different parts of the sales cycle that many roles will or won’t be responsible for.
For example, will this part of the role be responsible for cold calling in generating leads?
Will they be responsible for managing relationships, closing sales and closing warm leads?
Will this person be reselling to existing customers?
Often times it’s a combination of all these things.
FOUR SECTIONS OF A VP OF SALES JOB DESCRIPTION
It’s critical to flush out exactly what the key functions of the role are going to be so that this all gets spelled out in a job description.
We recommend a VP of Sales job description always has four sections.
The first section should be a company overview which gives an overview of your company and some insight into your culture.
You want to make sure that this section mentions some key points.
This should include anything about you being fast growing, anything about your industry, and some of your successes.
Also, include some of the things that are great and unique about working with you.
VP OF SALES SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS
The next two sections are the meat of the job description.
This will include the required skills or qualifications.
These are hard skills and qualifications that this person is going to already need to have to bring to the table.
So this is where you may need something like a track record in building sales teams or selling a certain amount of sales per year or working with certain types of budgets.
You may need a track record of working in certain industries or with a certain type of company or client.
You may need a track record of selling into a particular vertical, or of selling to a particular decision maker.
Next, you’re going to have the key must have’s for the role.
We recommend this section not be too long and that you distinguish between what is a must-have and what is a nice-to-have.
This is also where we recommend having years of experience.
Years of experience truly is just a number, but it is a good gauge and we do recommend putting it on a section of your job descriptions.
VP OF SALES ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The third section is the actual job description.
This tells what the role is, what it’s going entail, what it’s going to accomplish and what it’s going to be responsible and accountable for.
This is where you want to spell out what the roles and responsibilities are going to be so that is very clear what this role is.
This can come before the required skills or after – it’s up to you.
The point is these sections can be flip-flopped.
ABOUT YOUR COMPANY
The final section is always good to give an overview of your company benefits and anything else about company culture.
Anything that you didn’t cover in the first section can be added here and is a nice way to round out a job description.
You can also mention compensation or salary here if you’d like.
However, we recommend not putting in salary or compensation on a job description and leaving that open for discussion in your first interview.
Lastly, you don’t want a job description to be too long.
All of this should onto two to three pages maximum.
Writing a VP of Sales job description does not have to be complicated.
It’s four simple parts and typically the first and fourth parts can be recycled from job description to job description, regardless of the role.
Sections two and three are going to require the most work.
You’re going to want to make sure to hone in on these sections and that they’re complete, clear and concise.
In conclusion, writing a job description particularly for a role like a VP of sales is critical.
You will be able to attract and not turn away the right talent for your team.
Best of luck!
Here are some more great tips for hiring the right sales team! https://bit.ly/2DFQZIy
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