How To Be A Great Vp Of Sales Not Just Good Great

Published on October 29, 2023 by David Zhang

How To Be A Great Vp Of Sales Not Just Good Great

In the high-stakes world of sales, the difference between a good Vice President (VP) of Sales and a great one can be substantial. A good VP of Sales meets targets, while a great one shatters expectations, inspires excellence, and drives transformative change within an organization. But what does it take to elevate from good to greatness in such a pivotal role?

Here, we’ll explore the qualities, strategies, and mindsets that separate the exceptional VPs of Sales from the crowd, distilling insights from industry-leading performers and thought leaders.

Forge a Visionary Path

A standout VP of Sales doesn't just play the game; they change the way the game is played. They are visionaries, adept at forecasting market shifts and adeptly navigating through evolving landscapes.

  • Anticipate Market Trends: The ability to foresee industry trends and prepare the business to capitalize on them is a hallmark of greatness. They deploy resources to make the most of these shifts rather than being reactive.
  • Innovate Sales Strategies: A great VP of Sales is willing to disrupt the status quo to achieve better results. They experiment with new sales tactics and technologies that can potentially revolutionize how their teams sell.

Develop People, Not Just Pipelines

While a good VP might be laser-focused on numbers and quotas, a great VP understands that the growth of their people is paramount for sustained success.

  • Coach and Mentor: They invest time in coaching their teams, offering guidance, and empower their salespeople to reach their full potential.
  • Hire Strategically: Great VPs also recognize the importance of assembling a diverse and dynamic team, selecting individuals not only for what they can deliver today but also for their potential to grow tomorrow.

Master the Art of Execution

While vision sets the direction, execution drives the momentum.

  • Implement Effective Systems: From CRMs to sales engagement platforms, a great VP of Sales implements systems that remove friction and provide insightful data.
  • Monitor and Optimize Performance: They continuously monitor key performance indicators (KPIs), leveraging data to fine-tune processes and strategies.

Cultivate Resilience and Adaptability

The path to sales success is rarely linear, and the terrain is often unpredictable.

  • Embrace Failures as Lessons: Rather than being disheartened by setbacks, a great VP of Sales views them as opportunities to learn and iterate, building resilience within the team.
  • Pivot with Precision: They demonstrate agility, readily adjusting tactics and strategies in response to feedback and market changes.

Communicate with Clarity and Conviction

Exceptional VPs of Sales are masters of communication, able to articulate the vision and value propositions with crystal clear clarity.

  • Align and Inspire Teams: They align their teams around common goals, instilling a sense of purpose that transcends individual quotas.
  • Negotiate and Close Strategically: Beyond internal communication, they are also adept at high-stakes negotiation, always finding win-win scenarios that seal deals and foster long-term relationships.

Leverage Technology and Data

In an era where data is king, a great VP of Sales leverages technology and data to gain competitive advantages.

  • Embrace Sales Enablement Tools: They utilize advanced sales tools to streamline processes and provide reps with actionable insights—at the right time.
  • Make Informed Decisions: Data-driven to the core, they rely on robust analytics to inform decisions, reducing reliance on gut feel.

Build a Culture of Continual Learning

A top-tier VP of Sales fosters a culture where continuous learning and improvement are part of the DNA.

  • Encourage Knowledge Sharing: They create environments where sales reps are encouraged to share successful tactics and learn from one another.
  • Invest in Training: They’re committed to the ongoing development of their teams, recognizing that sharpening skills is an investment that pays dividends.

Drive Tactical Account Planning

A great VP of Sales recognizes that the key to unlocking massive accounts is through meticulous and tactical account planning.

  • Implement Account Planning Methodologies: They establish robust methodologies that provide a roadmap for penetrating key accounts.
  • Leverage Technology for Insights: Tools like Aomni are employed to empower reps with real-time account research and personalized sales content, driving strategic engagement with high-value prospects.

Align Sales with Company-Wide Objectives

Finally, a great VP of Sales ensures that sales strategies and objectives are fully aligned with broader business goals.

  • Collaborate Across Functions: They work closely with marketing, product, and customer success teams to create a cohesive approach to growth.
  • Contribute to Strategic Planning: As key members of the leadership team, they contribute strategic insights that shape the direction of the company.

In conclusion, transforming from a good to a great VP of Sales requires a complex blend of visionary leadership, operational excellence, and a relentless focus on both the personal and professional growth of one’s team. It's about building a sales organization that not only delivers results but also contributes variably to the strategic thrust of the business.

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