What Sales Managers Think about Recruiting New Sales Hires

What Vice Presidents of Sales Really Think During the Sales Recruiting Process

Searching for a new sales job is an important step in your sales career.

Let’s look behind-the-scenes at the VP of Sales’ pet peeves when recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new reps.


Number 1You Can’t Connect through Arrogance

A big part of winning the job is connecting with the hiring manager. In an interview, hiring managers love confidence and hate arrogance. Arrogance destroys connections and erodes your likeability-factor.

What exactly is arrogance?

Arrogance shows itself in many ways during an interview. It could be the way you make it sound like you won every deal 100% alone.

Except, very few deals are won solo. 

Most deals are a team effort and require many parties to collaborate.

It may be the lack of flexibility when confronted with differing opinions.

If you are touting one sales methodology as if it's the only way, and the Vice President of Sales prescribes to another sales philosophy --you could seem arrogant and not trainable. 

Arrogance is also on display during the interview when you’re exclusively focused on what’s in it for you the job seeker.

Most of the interview process is geared around discussing your skill set, the problems you can solve, how you solve those problems, and your overall attitude when working with colleagues.

The employer is ‘qualifying’ you, and then after that stage, they are happy to discuss what’s in it for you.

Arrogance can also present itself through your overall attitude.

Rid yourself of an arrogant attitude by remembering that for every very job opening there are hundreds of applicants.

Many of them are not the right fit for the job, but it’s important to keep in mind that we are all replaceable.

Good jobs are competitive for the job seeker.

Do your best to avoid arrogance and position yourself to adequately compete for the spot.


Number 2Job Hopping Hurts

If you are changing sales jobs every year, it’s very difficult for prospective employers to get a good gauge on your performance. If you’ve had 5 jobs in 5 years it can be very difficult to measure your real success.

If you want a long-term career in sales work on building company tenure.

It’s best to stay with the company for at least 3 to 5 years and build a track record of high-performance.

Software companies tend to evolve rapidly, and this can be difficult to achieve at times. But you should have at least a few companies on your resume where you’ve been able to develop some tenure.

Number 3 Stop Applying When You Don’t Meet 80% of the Job Requirements

If you see a job online and you don’t meet at least 80% of the requirements, then don’t apply for it.

This only creates more work for the hiring manager and the chances of you getting the job are slim. If you don’t have the experience required in the job posting, then find another way into the company. 


Applying online when you are not qualified for a role will not lead to high quality interviews. Using your personal network is the best option when trying to land interviews when you don't meet requisite job qualifications.  

Using your LinkedIn network to open doors is the best route when you don't have the required experience.  

Number 4 Give Complete Information

We are all trying to promote ourselves during a job interview and on our resumes. Taking this tactic too far will not help you. For instance, some people will declare they are the number one rep in their company.

They fail to mention that there are only 5 reps in the entire organization.

This is much less impressive than if you were the number one rep out of 300 across the country. It would be better to state upfront that you are the top rep out of 5 reps across the country. 

Another pet peeve is saying you hit 100% of quota the first year when you started the job in the middle of the year.

It would be better to mention you had a pro-rated or reduced quota for the first year and attained the pro-rated goal. 

Because VP’s of Sales can impact your sales career, it’s important to understand what they’re looking for during the interview process.

Learning what they find important on a resume and topics they want to discuss in an interview can help you land your dream job.

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Your Purpose is to Drive Business  

Keep the focus on solving sales problems and showcasing your skills rather than putting all the attention on what you need. 

Employers need new clients and are eager to hire the salespeople who can help them achieve their goals.

But they also need team members who are thoughtful, intelligent, prepared, and easy to work with.

If you can find a way to demonstrate these skills, you'll be on your way to landing a high-quality sales job quickly.