When is the right time to hire your first VP of Sales?

When Marketing has determined that you need to do Sales and you have Sales people who need to be managed.

Economist Peter Drucker, “The aim of Marketing is to make Sales superfluous.”

His point, hidden among many observations about how businesses work, is that only two things create value in business 1. Innovation (doing something distinct) and 2. Marketing (the work of the market). No market = no business. No innovation = no compelling nor competitive advantage. Doing both means you’ve created a business that doesn’t require Sales – think Google, Apple, Tesla, or even (ironically) Salesforce. These are companies who products and services we seek out because they invest in and prioritize marketing so as to figure out what to offer, how, where, at what price, etc.

Thus it follows that if you’re doing those things well, Sales is superfluous. Not unnecessary, necessarily; it’s extra or needed only when marketing is failing to make it superfluous.

Hire that VP when you have Sales people who need to be managed. Hire sales people when your business requires people to tell others they want it.