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Business Development: Vision + Feedback

The Harvard Business Review blog entitled How to hire a VP of Sales offers a structured view of the 5 types of personality traits of the VP of Sales as well as the stages within the organizations growth. I think it was a good article and I would like to add my thoughts to it.

I think that an important factor for organizations to consider in hiring a VP of Sales is that persons ability to do 2 things exceptionally well, regardless of their sales management style:

1: Have vision of the future direction of the market and customer needs: This is probably the most important part of the overall equation. Markets and customer needs will shift rapidly. The ability to be an agile organization and adapt rapidly to changing markets and meet customers future needs in imperative. Staying with the status quo is a sure fire way to obsolescence. The VP of Sales needs to have a keen vision and foresight of the future market that can help drive overall corporate strategy.

2: Provide the right feedback to executive management and product development teams: The organization needs effective feedback loops to executive management and product development. The key here is to help drive the innovation process within the organization. This feedback has to flow downstream, starting with the sales teams working with their customers, on to the VP of Sales and downward to executive management and product development teams. This feedback needs to be timely and delivered in the most effective mediums and channels.

Ultimately, a VP of Sales role is similar to a Business Development role in developing new relationships and driving revenue. Taking both a step further though, requires a focus on the macro-market, a vision of the future customer needs and then a way to integrate that vision and information into corporate action.

Don Sedy

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