Responsibilities of a VP of Sales at a Startup

Several years ago, Jason Lemkin at SaaStr wrote the post “What a Great VP Sales Actually Does. Where The Magic Is. And When to Hire One.

  1. Recruiting – 20% of the time must be invested here
    1. the most important thing to do well for a Sales Leader is recruiting great people
    2. also, a VP of Sales must be a sales talent magnet to attract world-class talent (it’s hard to recruit great people who have many options so you must be really good at this and having great sales professionals is the foundation of the company’s sales success)
  2. Helping the reps close their deals
  3. Sales Tactics
  4. Sales Strategy
  5. Creating and selling their own deals

Here is also a transcript and a slide deck from SaaStr about “Top 5 Things a SaaS VP of Sales Really Does:

Source: SaaStr

I agree – this is a great list for a startup VP of Sales.  However, as the company grows beyond the true startup stage and gets into a $5M then $10M and above, the VP of Sales should be focused on developing the team to close their own deals.  The job of a VP is to make their team better at winning deals and not depend on their leader to close deals for them.  A VP of Sales at a $20M, $50M or $100M company must be focused on recruiting great sales managers and building best-in-class teams, and ensuring they are all developed well while improving the sales process and building the right sales strategy to grow even more.