Ok, this is a seemingly simple post but if you are hiring your first or second batch of VPs it will really, really save you some time.

What’s the hack?  The hack is that certain titles aren’t what you think when you’re screening candidates.  So really, really dig in when you meet folks with these titles.  And don’t cut corners.

A few titles that IMHE are flags:

  • “VP of Product Marketing” or “VP of Corporate Marketing” or “VP of Communications” for a VP of Marketing job. These folks rarely have any idea how to do demand gen, ABM, growth hacking, etc.   Product Marketers know how to explain how a product fits. Corporate Marketers know how to expand your brand.  But neither has any idea how to get you more leads.  Trust me.
  • A “VP of Revenue” for a VP of Sales job.  More and more folks call themselves VPs of Revenue these days.  Sometimes, oftentimes, they are marketers that want to do more.  And that’s great.  But marketers never, ever know how to do sales.  It takes 4-5 years to learn how to be a sales leader.  Marketing is adjacent to sales.  But it’s not the same.  I’ve seen a “VP of Revenue” sort of own marketing and self-serve successfully.  But never a sales team.
  • A “CRO” for a VP of sales job, especially sub-$15m ARR or so.  Sales is hard.  You know what’s even harder?  VP of Sales.  Every quarter your job is on the line.  So it makes sense a lot of VPs of Sales might want to do something bigger, like CRO.  And more power to them.  But if you are sub $10m ARR, or even $20m ARR, you aren’t ready.  You need someone that wants to be a VP of Sales.  Hire her.  If you hire a CRO, they are going to then spend 3-6 months hiring a VP of Sales to do that job.  That’s not what you need.
  • A “VP of Sales & Customer Success” for a VP of Sales job.  Why did they want to do both?  It doesn’t actually make sense, the more you dig in.
  • A “VP or Director of Product Marketing” for a VP of Product job.  Again, a mistake.  They know how to present a product.  But they have no idea how to build one.

Just be wary.  Trust me.  At least — dig deeper.

Image from here

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