What Makes a Great VP of Sales and How to Hire One

In SaaS, #1 most common misfire, with a bullet, is the VP/head of sales.  In fact, there’s a VC saying that I used to really hate.  It goes something like “You’ve Got to Get Past the Carcass of Your First VP of Sales” or “It’s The Second VP of Sales When You Really Start Selling” or variants thereof.  It used to really bug me because I am a firm believer in the strategy of Zero Voluntary Attrition and trying to hire fewer, more committed resources over a higher volume of mercenaries that turn over more often.

The thing is, it turns out the VCs are basically right.  Because in SaaS start-ups, it seems like the majority of first VP Sales fail.  Don’t even make it 12 months.   And totally screw things up as they fail.   And this is really, really painful.  It’s much worse than a bad VP Marketing hire.  Because with a bad VP Sales you can lose so much momentum, and create so much internal confusion, that this one bad hire can really cripple you as you try to get from Initial Traction to Initial Scale.

So I want to try to help you if you’re going through this.  It’s going to take a few steps. First, in this post, I want to outline what a VP of Sales in a SaaS company actually does.  Because I think this is 50% of the problem – founder/CEOs are looking for the wrong things out of their VP Sales. 

Read the full article at: www.saastr.com