Vice President of Sales
What Is a Vice President of Sales? How to Become One, Salary, Skills.
A vice president of sales is the head of the sales department and supervises everything from recruiting and training to converting leads into customers. Here’s what to know about a VP of sale’s needed skills, salary and how to become one.
What Is a Vice President of Sales?
The vice president of sales is a company’s top sales leadership position. They have final say over the direction of the sales strategy and making decisions to set up sales representatives to meet and exceed their goals.
What Does a Vice President of Sales Do?
A vice president of sales manages a range of important sales functions, including talent acquisition, introducing new sales tools and implementing strategies to enhance the sales process.
Vice President of Sales Responsibilities
- Oversee day-to-day sales operations.
- Conduct research and prepare sales forecasts to inform decision making.
- Set sales strategies and goals based on key metrics and data analysis.
- Ensure sales teams have access to in-depth training and innovative tools.
- Present sales reports to executive leadership.
- Participate in maintaining customer relationships and advising direct reports on best practices.
- Manage recruiting, hiring and onboarding for new sales employees.
VPs of Sales Within a Company
The vice president of sales is the head of the sales department, supervising the work of sales directors, managers and representatives. Depending on a company’s structure, they may report to the CEO or to a chief revenue officer.
Importance of the Vice President of Sales
A vice president of sales ensures sales employees have everything they need to fulfill an innovative strategy by constructing diverse teams and providing them with in-depth training and clear-cut, attainable goals.
What Skills Are Needed to Be a Vice President of Sales?
Qualifications to Be a Vice President of Sales
- In-depth knowledge of top sales techniques.
- Ability to conduct research, analyze data and make data-informed decisions.
- Experience managing, training and scaling sales teams.
- Understanding of talent acquisition best practices.
- Proven ability to meet deadlines and sales goals.
- Experience cultivating profitable customer relationships.
- Familiarity with sales tools and software.
VP of Sales Prerequisites
- At least a bachelor’s degree in a field like business or marketing.
- Training and certifications that demonstrate mastery of sales techniques and leadership qualities.
Vice President of Sales Hard Skills
- Leading sales training.
- Tracking and analyzing sales data.
- Conducting research and preparing sales forecasts.
- Using sales technology.
Vice President of Sales Soft Skills
- Strategic mindset.
- Open to innovation.
- Mentoring sales teams.
- Meeting deadlines.
- Communicating with customers and executive leadership.
Tools and Programs VPs of Sales Use
- CRM platforms such as Salesforce, HubSpot and Zoho.
- Customer success software like Gainsight and ChurnZero.
- Tools like Klipfolio and Looker for analytics and data insights.
- Communication and collaboration platforms such as Zoom, Slack and Microsoft Teams.
How to Become a Vice President of Sales
Vice President of Sales Education and Experience
A vice president of sales will need a bachelor’s degree, and in some cases, a master’s degree as well. Preparation for this position typically involves studying in fields such as business or marketing. Professionals who advance their career to VP of sales have likely been through professional training and certification courses to learn the most effective sales techniques and hone their leadership skills. This role requires around a dozen years of experience consisting of a combination of selling and management work.
Vice President of Sales Certificates and Courses
- 20 Top Sales Training Programs and Courses to Know
- Udemy Sales Courses
- SMEI Certified Sales Executive
- Certified Professional Sales Leader
Vice President of Sales Career Path
A sales career will likely begin with an entry-level job as a sales representative to learn the basic skills needed to close deals and hit quotas. After a few years, professionals can begin moving up the ladder to sales manager and sales director positions. They’ll need to spend multiple years as top performers in those roles before they qualify to become vice president of sales. The next step in the career path can be moving up to the C-suite level as a chief revenue officer.
Vice President of Sales Salary and Job Outlook
Employment in sales is expected to see minimal change from 2021 to 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The close to 2 million sales openings anticipated for each year will likely be to replace employees who have left their jobs.
The full compensation package for a vice president of sales depends on a variety of factors, including but not limited to the candidate’s experience and geographic location. See below for detailed information on the average vice president of sales salary.