Hiring a Sales Manager: from within or without your industry?
Since a few years ago, I’ve participated in many conversations, discussions and strategy definition meetings where the debate was whether it is better to bring a sales manager, or sales representatives from within the industry in which the company plays, or from without.
If the same question occurred to you with the idea of hiring a Sales Representative, an Account Manager, a Sales Manager or some other profile alike, here is some insight to help you evaluate. This insight, though, is limited to what I have seen, heard or decided, If you’d like to add to the list for your own use, just do it.
When it is good to bring a sales manager from WITHIN your industry.
- He or she will be experienced in the “modus operandi” of companies similar to yours.
- He or she will understand the challenges your average customer faces, and have already developed ways to match them with the capabilities your company offers.
- He or she is likely to have a name (big or small) in the industry, and may attract accounts from previous assignments. Remember that people buy from people. But, people, let’s respect the highest ethics in this type of practice.
- He or she is likely to understand the challenges your organization faces regarding delivery of projects, situation that will refrain him or her to compromise delivery once the sales happen.
When it is good to bring a sales manager from WITHOUTH your industry.
- He or she is likely to have insight from other industries, bringing a fresh view and new approaches to your firm. Think for a moment, is this what your company is craving for?
- He or she is likely to bring a new “modus operandi” to your sales operations. Not adding patches to an old or stiff way of doing things, but a sort of “start from scratch”, reengineering of your sales department.
- He or she may come from more mature industries, where the challenges your firm, and those of your competitors are long gone.
- He or she may have a different international exposure, bringing expertise to geographical markets your sales strategy is aimed to.
Speaking about experience, hiring your first Sales Manager is a whole challenge, consider that that move will color your sales strategy at least for the following 2 years.
Hiring however, is only the starting challenge, whether you will have the ability to keep them successful, or you will claim that their success is not your responsibility, I think it will be worth dedicating a new blog-entry sometime.