Hiring Sales Director

5 Important Tips To Consider While Recruiting A Sales Director

Published on December 3rd, 2022


It is the goal of every recruiter to find the best of best when hiring, regardless of the position. But as you go higher in the company organization chart, it becomes extremely crucial to avoid any hiring mistakes. Hiring the wrong VP or director could leave a ripple effect on your company. 

If your company is looking to hire a sales director, it’s vital you make the right hiring decision. You want to find the best of the best; a person who fits your company culture, vision, and shares the same core values.

We went ahead and narrowed down a list of 5 banging tips that can land you a super Sales Director. But first let us know a little about the position, its roles, and responsibilities.

Who is a Sales Director?

A sales director, better known as the director of sales, manages the entire sales wing including all the salespeople, reps, and managers of a company to maintain an effective selling strategy for the organization. 

A sales director typically serves in the company's top management and has a complete hold over the sales functions and budget.

A sales director is responsible for overseeing all sales team activities, strategically planning and introducing new goods and services, and guaranteeing client satisfaction. Additionally, they are always looking for new ways to motivate the team to raise morale and retention.

Responsibilities of a Sales Director

  • Own and achieve/surpass annual sales targets within assigned territory and accounts
  • Create and carry out a strategic plan to meet sales goals and grow your consumer base.
  • Build and maintain strong, long-lasting customer relationships
  • Understanding the business needs and objectives of the customer
  • Utilize proposals and presentations to clearly articulate the value offer
  • Understand category-specific landscapes and trends
  • Reporting on forces that shift tactical budgets and strategic direction of accounts

Skills to look for in a Sales Director

The most important qualities to search for are the appropriate skill set and amount of expertise. Some candidates, however, stand out from the competition for reasons other than their resumes. The very best can be said about them. In every organization they work for, they have a penchant for success.

Following are those out-of-the-box skills to look for while hiring a sales director.

  • Customer-focused

The foundation of any business is your customers. You'll be better able to come up with answers to their issues if you concentrate on what your customers want and need. This strategy encourages sales directors to shift their attention from features and advantages to insights, data, and relationship building in order to better meet customer needs.

  • Sense of urgency

The top sales directors are driven by a sense of urgency. They are aware that every second matters. They can establish in the team a sense of urgency to constantly be prospecting and selling, which will make the team more concentrated and effective. 

Top sales directors frequently have excellent time management skills, are well organized, and strive to maximize the output of the sales team.

  • Creativity

Every customer and sales campaign is unique.  Your sales process can guide you all the time, but there will be moments when a more creative approach is needed to close the purchase. Top sales directors are aware that, despite being crucial, sales processes occasionally require flexibility.

You'll encounter challenges, unforeseen events, and particular consumer difficulties and requests. Creative solutions are needed when your sales process is not enough to close or to help customers with their unique situations.

  • Organizational fit

One might approach sales in a variety of ways. You must search for a sales director who has accomplishments and expertise in situations that are similar to your organization in terms of sales. Success in one kind of environment doesn't always translate to success in another. Verify that applicants have similar values and a similar sales strategy.

  • Drive to succeed

The best sales directors are competitive. They always search for new chances because they strive to outsell rivals and be the best. They are committed to advancing their careers, constantly learning new skills, and following market trends.

Top sales directors are willing to go above and beyond to overcome obstacles, they relish a challenge, and they maintain an upbeat attitude when things don't go as expected.

  • Team-focused

Top sales directors want everyone in the company to succeed. They are concentrated on the business's overall success. They seek to encourage the sales team and aid individuals in growing personally. Top sales directors encourage all members of the sales team by providing coaching and mentoring and viewing the sales team as a whole.

  • Recruiting success

The team you assemble determines how good you are. Top sales managers are aware of the value of developing a solid, cohesive sales team. They are aware of the best practices for attracting top employees and managing them once they have joined the company.

Sales Director vs. Sales Manager

Often, there is an immense confusion between a sales director and a sales manager. They do the same work of managing the sales team. Right?

Slightly correct and slightly incorrect!

Both a sales director and a sales manager are leaders of sales teams. They are part of the hierarchy and follow the company’s mission and set goals. 

A sales manager overlooks the sales team while the sales director overlooks the sales manager. It means that a sales manager communicates with a sales team and reports to a sales director, while the latter is responsible for upward communication.

Salary Range of a Sales Director

The position of sales director is quite demanding, as was already mentioned. It makes sense that it pays handsomely. A sales director's median annual salary in the United States is $218,301 (on which bonuses, commissions, and tips are added).

Your amount of experience has an impact on your salary as well. According to Glassdoor, a new sales director may anticipate making roughly $137,000 in their first year. Your total compensation is probably going to reach $156,837 annually after 4-6 years of expertise.

The salary will vary depending on your industry and the kinds of services and goods you sell, therefore these salaries are only meant to serve as a guide.

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Sales Director Interview Questions

As a recruiter, it is important that you assess your candidate from top to bottom to get the best fit for your organization. Here are a few questions that you should ask your applicants to know the skills and abilities of your applicant.

  • What metrics determine the success of a sales team?
  • What resources and tools do you use to help your sales efforts?
  • What steps would you take to help a team member improve their sales skills?
  • How would you handle a conflict between a sales team member and a client?
  • What strategies would you use to help our company gain more business?
  • Do you have experience writing sales reports?
  • Tell me about your decision-making process.

Tips for Hiring a Champion Sales Director

A great sales leader will make or break your sales team, your prospect pipeline, and your revenue goals. 

Without the right person in this crucial role, you face an uphill battle to generate the kind of revenue and sales growth you desire.

Here’s why you need to find the best sales leaders and how to do it.

  • Find a candidate that has a sales DNA

Successful salespeople are typically top performers. They have particular traits including self-assurance, perseverance, the capacity to go over challenges, and the desire to triumph.

Before they can take the helm of a sales team, they must first prove themselves as successful salespeople. You need a sales director who has experience selling and who also has the knowledge, abilities, and skills to mentor and educate people in sales.

You can't properly manage what you don't already know and thoroughly comprehend in an area as highly complex as sales.

Not only does hiring a sales leader without prior experience, creating and leading successful sales teams set them up for failure, it also creates an environment where the entire team will suffer under inadequate leadership.

  • Go for Candidates who can both Manage & Sell

You need a person who understands sales, but you also need a leader who can put more emphasis on the "leader" half of their job than the "sales" part.

They'll probably be terrible at one or the other if you force them to do both...

And based on our experience, they'll find it difficult to successfully carry out both tasks.

Never give your sales manager direct responsibility for closing deals or carrying out any selling tasks.

Although it may be tempting to "promote" your top sales representative to the role of sales director, make sure they are okay with the change before you make the change. They frequently prefer to perform one over the other.

Your sales leader’s primary role is to manage the sales team. You need to make sure whomever you hire shares that goal and is interested in helping the team win. 

  • Look for someone who can motivate the team

Being a sales leader is about developing a team as well as increasing revenue and business. The ideal applicant should be compassionate toward those who might want assistance and eager to help their sales force succeed.

The most effective leaders are dedicated to assisting others in achieving their objectives and will actively look for coaching opportunities to help their teams achieve even greater levels of accomplishment. They are skilled at holding others accountable and are knowledgeable about how to inspire their employees.

  • Hire someone who can anticipate future challenges

Many sales organizations have a tendency to narrowly focus on the current quarter. While there is no question that the sales team must meet its quota, it is equally crucial that the sales director makes long-term strategies to ensure that the sales organization is prepared to meet its future quotas. 

Enterprise sales directors are astute enough to realize that, in order to increase sales nine months from now, they must now begin working on crucial issues, such as hiring new sales representatives, increasing the capacity of their sales management team, entering new markets, etc.

  • Go for a person who has integrity and discipline

A sales leader establishes the morale of the sales team in terms of how they interact with clients, business partners, and internal employees. A successful sales leader will make it obvious what boundaries their team members must not cross, provide them with the necessary training, and make sure the rest of the business shares a sense of collaboration.

However, there are numerous instances of salespeople who have strayed from the path, thinking they have unrestricted power to do as they like when they want to close a deal, that everyone else in the organization is an idiot, and that their success is solely dependent upon them. When this occurs, you must closely examine your sales leadership because it is always a reflection of the values they have instilled in the sales force.

Final Thoughts

It can be challenging to find the ideal sales director for your company. Currently, there is fierce competition for jobs, particularly for experienced salespeople. In reality, the US Bureau of Labour Statistics reported that in March 2017, the unemployment rate for sales and associated occupations was the lowest it had been since December 2000, a period of more than 16 years.

This implies that the best talent is quickly snapped up. But don't lose hope; you can still find the individual you're looking for if you simply take the given tips into account. Before anybody else, pick up the best talent for your company.

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Radhika Sarraf

Radhika Sarraf is a content specialist and a woman of many passions who currently works at HireQuotient, a leading recruitment SaaS company. She is a versatile writer with experience in creating compelling articles, blogs, social media posts, and marketing collaterals.

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