Accelerating Growth with the Right Sales Leader

Many of our Private Equity clients and the CEO’s leading their portfolio companies have done an incredible job managing through a very difficult and exhausting year.  For most firms, 2020 will not be the year of dramatic growth they had hoped for but rather, in many cases, a story of persistence, adjustments, or survival.  Nowhere has the repercussions from COVID stung more painfully than within the sales function.  For many months, countless variables were beyond everyone’s control to reignite growth and in certain industries today, growth has still not returned.  Yet, one theme has consistently emerged from all the conversations we’ve held in recent months and continue to have with Private Equity investors and CEO’s:  having the right Sales Leader is an absolute must, and must be seen a critical investment in the business and not “an expense”.  The absence of an “A Player” in this role could  jeopardize whether or not you achieve the goals of your investment thesis. 

The right Sales Leader brings urgency and is 100% focused on achieving/exceeding your Sales targets.  This starts with identifying the proper strategies for growth and executing on all necessary revenue-generating activities, while eliminating those that aren’t.  It includes analyzing the right data to segment desirable target markets/clients, identify new opportunities, spot trends, address problems, re-prioritize tasks, and re-price or discard unprofitable business.  Where needed, sharpening value propositions to enhance your differentiators is also critical and will stand out in an everchanging marketplace.  Complementing this laser-like focus is a need for speed.  The right leader will lead the pursuit and closing of your healthiest opportunities and terminate unproductive activities.

The right Sales Leader builds, energizes, and retains high-performing teams.  Having the right talent in the right roles requires a serious commitment of time, difficult conversations, and proper recruiting chops.  Experience matters here.  “A Players” (i.e., your best Salespeople) want to work for a boss who is also an “A Player” with a proven track record.  Great Sales Leaders mitigate risk, inspire confidence, and remove obstacles.  The very best ones are often inclusive Team Players who engage the entire organization and foster very healthy Sales cultures.

The Right Sales Leader brings a proven Tool Kit to accelerate results.   CRM. Margin Management.  Compensation Plans that drive the desired behaviors.  Enhanced Sales Processes.  Territory Planning and Segmentation.  Pricing.  Client Retention.  Value Propositions that differentiate from the competition.  Recruiting and Talent Development.  Lead Generation.  Social Media.  SEO.  Time Management.  Measuring the right KPI’s.  Gravitas.

The right Sales Leader is a highly valued by your Executive Leadership Team and Board of Directors.   The best partnerships involve a CEO and Board of Directors who embrace growth and are willing to make the necessary investments to support the success of their Sales Leader.  In return, their ability to provide you accurate and timely forecasting will give you the necessary visibility to make faster and better decisions that will positively impact your entire company.

The right Sales Leader creates Value and can accelerate the timing of a successful liquidity event.

Authored by Tom Shahnazarian, Kevin Hahn and Jay Lane, Founders of Spectrum Search Partners, a Denver, CO-based retained executive firm that specializes in private equity.  If you wish to reach out to us, please write to:,, or