October 11, 2007
Part of our service to our customers is to help them write an effective offer letter to their top candidate. We adjust some words based on the candidate’s style, motivations and rewards to make the offer talk more directly to their preferences. One thing crossed my mind recently in regards to sales titles.
Many times we see some of our smaller-sized customers providing “big” titles for the new salesperson. The obvious goal in some instances is to provide more title and less money. That works in banks but not so much for B2B salespeople.
Nonetheless, here is an example of where the title can cause trouble. We have a customer who is hiring a business development salesperson. The salesperson’s job will be to find, qualify and close new customers. His title will be VP of Business Development.
The trouble is that he will be cold calling and prospecting for much of the day. With a VP title. The big title defeats the role in some regard when it could be avoided. A Business Development Manager title would be just as effective, if not more. Many of the prospects will discount a VP who is cold calling. My first impression will be that the company is tiny.
The worst example of this overstated title I have seen was at a previous employer with multiple owners. Each owner wanted a big title. The majority owner was fairly active in his referral network and often cold called into companies.
His title – Chairman.