10+ Nice Inquiries to Ask a VP Gross sales Throughout an Interview (Up to date)


One of many basic unique SaaStr posts was on the Prime 10 Inquiries to Ask a VP of Gross sales Candidate.  All of the questions nonetheless maintain right this moment, apparently.  I needed to replace it for right this moment, and sure there’s been some inflation.  So it’s actually 13 questions now 🙂

Use this script for hiring that first VP of Gross sales.  It really works.

Prepared to rent your first VP Gross sales?  However haven’t carried out it earlier than? Let me provide you with a partial interview guidelines which will assist a bit.  You’ll need to fluctuate it for several types of SaaS companies — a bit.  However it can mainly work for all SaaS corporations from, say, $200k in ARR to $10m in ARR or so — a variety.  (After that, you’ll most likely be on the lookout for a distinct kind of VP Gross sales.  We’ll get there in our subsequent and ultimate VP Gross sales submit.)

Earlier than we get there, as a reminder, I strongly suggest you rent 1-2 gross sales reps (ideally 2) earlier than you rent a VP Gross sales, at a minimal.  And make them profitable first.  So you may observe what you preach, and know of what you might be hiring.  And likewise to get large enough so a VP Gross sales can truly assist, not hinder you.  Extra right here in our prior VP Gross sales posts: When You Hire Your First Sales Rep — Just Make Sure You Hire Two and right here: What a Great VP Sales Actually Does.  Where The Magic Is.  And When to Hire One.

Now in case you are prepared, however haven’t carried out it earlier than in SaaS, listed here are 10 good screening questions to see in case you have an actual VP, Gross sales candidate in hand — or not.  These questions principally don’t have proper or flawed solutions, however will provide help to decide the standard and match of the candidates:

1.  How large a staff do you suppose we’d like proper now, given what you understand?  (If he/she will be able to’t reply — proper or flawed — go).

2.  What deal sizes have you ever bought to, on common and vary? (If it’s not an identical match to you, most likely go.  If he/she will be able to’t reply fluidly, go).

3.  Inform me concerning the groups you’ve immediately managed, and the way you constructed them.  (If he/she will be able to’t describe how they constructed a staff — go.  50% of the job of VP of Gross sales is recruiting).

4.  What gross sales instruments have you ever used and what works for you?  What hasn’t labored effectively?  (In the event that they don’t perceive gross sales instruments, they aren’t hands-on sufficient to your stage).

5.  Who are you aware proper now that will be a part of you on our gross sales staff?  (All good candidates ought to have a couple of in thoughts).  Inform me about them, by background, if not title.

6.  How ought to gross sales and buyer success work collectively?  (It will ferret out how effectively he/she understands the true buyer lifecycle).

7.  Inform me about offers you’ve misplaced to opponents.  What’s going to be key in our area about successful vs. opponents?

8.  How do you cope with FUD within the market?  (It will ferret out in the event that they know how one can compete — or not).

9.  Do you’re employed with gross sales engineers and gross sales assist?  If that’s the case, what function do they should play at this stage when capital is finite?  (It will ferret out if he/she will be able to play at an early-stage SaaS start-up efficiently — and if he is aware of how one can scale when you scale).

10.  What’s going to my revenues seem like 120 days after I rent you?  (Have him/her clarify to you what’s going to occur.  There’s no appropriate reply.  However there are numerous flawed solutions).

11.  How ought to gross sales and advertising and marketing work collectively at our section?  (It will ferret out if he understands lead era and how one can work a lead funnel.  Consider it or not, most candidates don’t perceive this except they had been actually a VP Gross sales earlier than).

12.  What would you do your first 2 weeks on the job?  Actually pay attention right here.  Pay attention if they are saying unprompted that they’ll go go to prospects — that’s nice.  That’s what you need.  And if all they speak about is course of?  Dashboards?  You’re not prepared for that rent.  Chances are you’ll by no means be prepared in reality.  So many candidates you discuss to will speak about nothing however course of, not prospects to begin.  Don’t rent these ones.

13.  Ought to the VP of Gross sales promote themselves once they begin?  Pay attention right here, additionally.  Actually pay attention.  Look, your VP of Gross sales can’t be a quota-carrying rep ceaselessly.  However today, so many VPs of Gross sales … don’t actually need to promote anymore.  So that you’ve received to pay attention and right here and see in the event that they nonetheless need to.   In the event that they don’t need to promote, however simply handle — you don’t need that rent.  Not today. Not when so many of us are burnt round, and simply need to inform others what to do.  And never do it themselves.

These questions aren’t magic.  None of them are notably insightful or profound in isolation.  In truth, hopefully they’re type of apparent.  However what they may do, is they may create a dialogue.  From them, you’ll have the ability to decide: (x) if this candidate is for actual, or not, (y) if this candidate can actually be a real VP, a frontrunner, a supervisor — or not — and take you to the following stage — or not, and (z) if the candidate is an efficient match to your firm and area specifically.

If any of the solutions aren’t adequate, belief me, simply go.  If any don’t make sense, go.  And if you understand extra about any of those questions than the candidate does — go.  

Your VP Gross sales must be smarter than you in gross sales, gross sales processes, and constructing and scaling a gross sales staff.


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