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  • Writer's pictureRobert Tearle Consulting

Global VP Sales Operations


A replacement hire

The hiring challenge

The problem…. this European-owned SaaS vendor urgently needed an effective sales operations function to provide a platform for global expansions and revenue growth.

However, the existing job holder appointed some 6 months earlier had only worked for established big-name companies with 30,000 plus employees. This company had 300 plus.

It wasn’t working.

In former employer companies, the person had benefited from established processes, was supported by a big team and had lots of resources.

This was a player-manager, hands-on kind of role. They’d made the wrong hire and now needed to bring someone new in, in whom they could be absolutely confident of success.

Taking risks wasn’t an option.

With its sights set on a Euro 100M+ revenue and a Unicorn valuation, its goals were dependent on scaling up sales on a global basis.

To do so successfully and effectively, they needed a super smart sales operations function, in areas including:

  • Budgeting and planning

  • Accuracy of monthly and quarterly forecasting

  • Effective market planning, optimising sales coverage

  • Sales opportunity conversion

  • New logo wins and upsell cross-sell targets

  • Hiring at pace quality high calibre types

  • Onboarding to get reps up effective within 6 months.

We were instructed to find a replacement hire.


What the client wanted was someone from a small or small to mid-sized company background.

Someone who could set up systems and best practice from scratch. Pacey, agile and with growth potential.

And having lost 6 months with the previous job holder, they wanted someone who could hit the ground running. Ideally…

From a competitor

We discussed the requirements of the job holder/criteria, creating a meaningful and convincing candidate briefing document. And developed a roadmap for our search…

Identifying the ideal source backgrounds::

  1. Immediate competitors

  2. Vendors in adjacent areas, namely financial apps, procurement…

  3. Thirdly other relevant business app vendors.

The focus was on people with an ideal small company background, not a big one.

  • 105 target source companies identified

  • 31 were deemed the best sources

  • Identifying all the relevant “A” player talents

  • Reach out to them via a multi-touch approach

  • 32 people with whom we had screening calls

  • 10 of whom we interviewed

  • 5 were recommended to our client


The offer was made to and accepted by a high-quality, highly capable person from a high-profile competitor. Great kudos, a super positive message to send to the marketplace and internally.

Not just a statement hire… but a great pragmatic one too.

As the CRO stated, once the new hire had been on board for two months…

“I’ve never before had the benefit of such reports, meaningful data and insights.”

“We’re ahead in sales ops, beyond my expectations and now have a powerful platform for accelerated global growth.”


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