Average revenue coming from regions outside the U.S. is now 49 percent at SBI 100 companies, which constitute the world’s largest sales forces. As a result, CEOs and chief sales officers are leaning on regional sales leaders to hit their number each year. The days when one over-performing region might cover for another are fading fast.
Shift in Hiring Practices
Knowledge of culture, language, business trends, and emerging best practices in localized markets is in high demand. The shift has been to hire “A-Players” with these skills from within the region. Example titles include VP of EMEA (Europe, Middle East, and Africa); VP of APJ (Asia-Pacific and Japan); VP of LATAM (Latin America); and VP of North America.
To drive success, leaders must align the regional sales divisions with the overall sales strategy—and avoid treating localized sales teams as an afterthought. In fact, some regional leaders have greater responsibilities than the head of sales in a mid market company. The chief sales officer’s role is to set a macro sales strategy that aligns with the CEO’s corporate strategy, and then work with regional leaders in customizing the macro sales strategy to meet localized needs.