Four Mistakes Companies Make When Hiring Sales Leaders

Posted by Andris A. Zoltners, PK Sinha, and Sally E. Lorimer on Wed, May 08, 2019

Any company that relies heavily on salespeople naturally wants a highly qualified person to lead the sales force. Judging by the modest tenure of sales leaders in their role, according to recent LinkedIn data, something is amiss. Looking at 150 past sales leaders (VP of sales or equivalent role) at the 100 largest U.S. manufacturing companies, one in four lasted in the job less than two years, and half lasted three years or less.


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What Your Best Salespeople Can Teach You

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Tue, Sep 18, 2012

We recently blogged about the importance of knowing what characteristics (innate traits and abilities) and competencies (learned skills and knowledge) salespeople need to be successful. But how do you identify which attributes (characteristics and competencies) belong in your sales success profile?

Perhaps the best source, and one that is too frequently overlooked, comes from within your own sales force — your best salespeople. 


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In Sales, Hire for Personality, then Train for Skill

Posted by Andy Zoltners, Prabha Sinha and Sally Lorimer on Wed, Aug 29, 2012

When it comes to hiring sales talent, many companies prefer to "buy" instead of "build." A sales leader at a technology company recently told us: "We only hire experienced salespeople who can hit the ground running." Leaders of these companies argue that hiring experience reduces training costs while allowing the company to gain outside perspective. In addition, salespeople with experience in the same industry bring customers and get quick sales.

But experience alone is not a sufficient predictor of who will be successful in a sales role.


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