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What Should You Look for When Hiring a Director of Sales?

middle aged businessman working on laptop

Are you preparing to hire a director of sales? Whether you’ve created a new position due to growth or you need to fill an existing position that was vacated, finding the right candidate is essential to the health of any company.

Savvy sales directors are in high demand, and it can be tough for HR execs and recruiters to nail down just the right candidate at the right time. Filtering through a sea of resumes and conducting various rounds of interviews can be time consuming, but it is essential when your aim is to find the ideal person for the job.

To guide you through the process of hiring a sales director, consider these in-demand skills that make effective leaders. When you find a person who embodies all of these characteristics, you can feel confident you’ve got a winner.

  1. Ability to lead

A top salesperson isn’t necessarily the best fit for the sales director role; the ability to sell, after all, does not always equate to an ability to lead. In the end, the right candidate will understand the sales process, have the ability to inspire and motivate, and will have managerial experience to back it up.

  1. A recruiter mindset

A good director of sales recruits strong, talented salespeople. He or she can raise an existing team to the next level by bringing in effective new team members. The director knows how to sell the products to customers and how to sell the company to prospective employees.

  1. Proven history of inspiring growth

Ask candidates to give specific examples of when and how they helped grow sales in past positions. An ideal candidate can provide accurate and concrete numbers or percentages. Furthermore, a good sales director lives and breathes numbers and goals, and should be prepared to share several examples.

  1. Knack for developing winning processes

A streamlined sales process saves time and alleviates headaches. A logical, efficient process helps keep the sales funnel clear so the team can focus on tracking progress and resolving issues quickly. A good director of sales will insist on efficient workflow and will have a history of updating dated procedures.

  1. A mind for mentoring

It’s been said that bosses make you feel like they are important; leaders, however, make you feel like you’re important. People want to work for someone who motivates them and helps them grow at their job. When interviewing candidates, ask yourself: “Will this person be a good mentor to the sales team?”

  1. Stellar references

Do not ignore a candidate’s references. To get a good sense of a candidate’s style and effectiveness, call at least two of the three references typically provided. In addition to the responses you receive, pay close attention to the reference’s tone and vocal inflection; it may tell you something very important.

  1. Good fit for the company’s culture

A candidate may have a stellar work history and great references, but if he or she is not a good fit for your company’s culture it’s best to keep searching. Every company has a unique personality that will align better with some people and styles than others, so make sure the new director of sales is a good fit.

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