Many founders and CEO’s of high growth businesses ask me, “Do we have the right sales leader for this stage of our business?” It is an important question, since getting it wrong stunts growth and usually results in a costly executive replacement. Recently, we convened a panel of four high performing business leaders — from HubSpot, Ceros, WITHIN, and Morningstar – all who have led sales and revenue functions at high-growth businesses in various stages of commercial maturity. We had a far-ranging and thought-provoking conversation that you can watch on-demand here. In this short article, we will zoom in on one aspect of that discussion by looking at three of the most common mistakes growth businesses make when selecting a sales leader.
Over the years, I’ve worked with thousands of salespeople and sales managers, some of whom aspire to be a SVP of Sales and Marketing or Chief Revenue Officer (CRO) at some point in their career. I’ve also had the privilege to work with and coach high-performing heads of sales and CROs.
I have observed that the career journey from salesperson to CRO requires numerous experiences, tough choices, acquired skills, hard work, and tangible results. All are important, but none capture the sine qua non – the essential thing for success at each of four major career transitions. Read more