An innovative and profitable European company in the Internet of Things (IoT) space approached DANA Associates for expertise with recruiting their first North American Director of Sales. The company’s patented technologies employ a unique operating system and wireless radio modules for business-critical IoT applications in the industrial, HVAC, connected buildings, and commercial lighting sectors.

While well-known throughout Europe, this company was just entering the US market. Executives needed to tap into the proven, but entrepreneurial tech talent pool in the Boston-Cambridge area. They wanted a recruiting partner with a local presence who understood the market.


The company’s first US hire needed to be a highly technical sales manager and team leader, accustomed to steering through long sales cycles while seamlessly integrating within the company. As the first employee in a new geographic region, this individual was responsible for building the US market from the ground up, navigating and penetrating complex original equipment manufacturers (OEMs). This was a high stakes hire for the leadership team. They needed a precise process that would ensure they met the right candidates in an efficient manner. And, with the team located abroad, they needed a partner to act in an advisory role where strong and consistent communication would be critical to success.


The DANA team kicked-off the discovery process with a series of conference calls that included a thorough needs-analysis to uncover and understand the company and its culture, and help deepen the search beyond simply the job specifications. Subsequently, we began to leverage our local network, actively headhunting in order to deliver the specific candidate profile this organization was seeking.

Shortly after our search began, we identified three individuals who were highly technical closers, experienced in selling complex products that required a consultative sales approach. To save the international team time and narrow their choices, we engaged every candidate, applying our rigorous and proven interview process, to ensure we would only send the best possible candidates. Each candidate was pre-screened for relevant experience and compatibility with the company’s values and goals. The ability of the candidate to both reflect the-brand and effectively sell were priorities for the company’s US launch.

During our client discovery process, we helped the company define and prioritize what was most important for the individual to be successful in the role. This included helping them understand and accept the range of strengths and core competencies each candidate possessed. For such a complex role, it was important to identify where tradeoffs were needed.

Once we had the best candidates lined up, a few members of the leadership team traveled to Cambridge to our office for a full day of interviews. The team selected two candidates for a second round, and within a few days an offer was extended and accepted.


The client more than validated their choice to engage DANA Associates to find the right candidate. They were extremely happy with the process and their ultimate hire. The company continues to be very satisfied—telling us the new hire is an outstanding colleague and seamlessly navigates cross-functionally, deemed essential to the overseas leadership team.

Furthermore, as the new hire is highly entrepreneurial, he has shown an exceptional ability to roll up his sleeves and do whatever it takes to advance the company’s goals in the US. He has opened doors to industrial OEMs and is working closely with the European Sales Director. To date, they are successfully moving the dial to close highly-complex deals.

Our client affirmed they chose DANA because they felt there was specific alignment with our sales recruiting niche and high-touch approach. The team was really impressed by our process and felt that we delivered on our positioning and brand promise. The client stated that if they need additional high-caliber sales talent in the future, they will contact us.

About DANA Associates

DANA is Boston’s leading executive search firm specializing exclusively in placing sales professionals. From C-level, VP’s and directors to managers and AE’s, we build cohesive teams for start-ups, mid-sized and global companies with headquarters or regional offices in New England.

For over 35 years, our reputation has been built on an immersive, field-tested methodology that predicts the best outcome for both clients and candidates.

If we don’t make an impact, we’re not doing our job.

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