Let’s face it. Hiring can be a challenge. That challenge is multiplied tenfold when it comes to hiring someone at the C-Suite level. The (sort of) good news is, it’s relatively easy to screw up when recruiting a VP of sales. The better news is that it’s happened so many times before, you can learn from the mistakes of others and avoid going down a similar path.
If you are thinking about expanding your property management executive team to include a VP of sales, here are a few important things to keep in mind.
Time it right.
The first mistake many well-intentioned business leaders make is not timing their hire strategically. If you’re too late, you’re probably already drowning in a swamp of rogue processes and bad data. If you’re too early, you could find yourself in over your head. Take the time to really analyze the need to ensure that you’re not jumping the gun or dragging your feet.
Look for the appropriate strengths.
The truth is, no matter how dazzling a VP of Sales was at his or her previous company, that doesn’t necessarily guarantee the same results with yours. Generally speaking, quality sales leaders possess at least one of the following four greatest strengths:
- Company management – demonstrated ability to think strategically
- Process management – excellent at planning and executing
- Culture management – very vocal with big personalities
- Deal management – simply put, addicted to sales
The challenge lies in figuring out which of these “super powers” best aligns with your property management company and its other leaders. For instance, if you are a CEO that prefers data-backed strategy, recruiting for someone with a strength in company management would be the wisest fit.
Be thorough and specific.
Your network is a great place for you to start asking for references and recommendations, but it’ll only be as good as the questions you ask. Simply inquiring about “good salespeople” will likely land you with a list of candidates, many of which will unfortunately not be a good fit for your needs. As you weigh your options, make sure you’re being thorough and digging deep enough. The more legwork you do upfront, the more time you’ll save and the more likely you’ll be to make a good hire right off the bat.
Don’t make the offer too early.
Once you’ve got a candidate you think would be a great fit, you’ll probably be itching to get that offer letter out to them. The thing is, just because you’re ready to move forward, doesn’t mean the person you’re hoping to hire is. Making a decision to accept a new position is something that affects someone’s entire family. Make a good impression by offering to take the candidate and his or her significant other out to dinner to discuss things further. Ask if they are ready to come work for you. Treat the recruiting process as a two-way street and you’ll pave the way for a positive, successful partnership going forward.