We Are Expert Executive Recruiters for Player-Coaches

The importance of a Player-Coach for a high-growth company cannot be overstated. DANA Associates has an outstanding track record of identifying these critical hires and placing sales professionals who can lead from the front lines and personally close deals to drive revenue.  

Typically reporting to the founder, CEO, CRO, or VP of Sales, the responsibilities for a Player-Coach may vary depending on the size and stage of a company, and often include: 

  • developing the sales playbook 
  • direct selling and closing
  • achieving individual and team quotas
  • hiring, training, and mentoring the team
  • coaching team members; retraining and eliminating bad habits
  • supporting sales reps to close difficult deals

An active Player-Coach significantly impacts revenue growth by getting involved with Reps on a deal-by-deal basis. Their leadership reverberates most during times of accelerated expansion while working with senior and junior Account Executives alike. The more engaged a Player-Coach is, the more equipped they are to develop effective strategies to help each Rep close deals. It means continuously observing, listening, leading by example, operationalizing best sales practices, and enhancing sales techniques to improve outcomes.

Evaluating Player-Coaches

High performers deliver exceptional results as both individual sales contributors and team managers. Proven experience is a must. Equally important, they must possess critical soft skills and personality traits to win on the job. During our rigorous candidate interviews, we uncover and evaluate for a range of essential characteristics that others may have missed. Our executive recruiters evaluate a few items when placing for the role of a Player-Coach, including: 

  • Competitive – Do they have the deep desire to win? Really win. This is one of the primary drivers of the highest performing salespeople. When a candidate is truly hungry to be the best, it is reflected in a variety of ways beyond their ability to consistently achieve their individual and team quotas. 
  • Analytic and Process Driven – The sales function is data-driven like no time in the past. The best sales leaders propel business growth by leveraging data to assess and generate leads, track and analyze pipeline performance, establish metrics and derive insights to determine what’s working and what’s not. Can they identify areas of the sales process that need improvement? What is their approach? What systems do they rely on? How do they use data to create a more effective coaching strategy?
  • Leadership – Integrity, agility, and consistency are some of the key characteristics of outstanding leaders. Self-awareness and a desire to continuously learn are vital as well. Is the candidate authentic? Are they accountable for their actions and for their team? How do they inspire their team and influence others to get to the desired outcome? How do they bring discipline to the sales process? Does their team innately want to follow them? 
  • People Management Skills – What does individual coaching and building a team culture really look like? How do they promote a healthy working dynamic? What’s their communication style? How do they recognize and enhance the strengths of team members? How do they address weaknesses in underperforming Reps? Do they value listening?
  • Inspiring Motivator – Does the candidate embody the company’s mission and increase buy-in and engagement with their team? How do they motivate their sales Reps to unearth opportunities or take on bigger challenges? Can they effectively adapt their coaching style to respond to the varied skills and needs of each individual Rep? 
  • Strategic Thinking – Player-Coaches need to live in the weeds and have a keen ability to see the forest for the trees. Can they flex and respond to the big issues? Are they able to think through challenges and issues in innovative ways? Do they excel at decision-making? Can they formulate a realistic plan to achieve specific goals?

Contact Our Team of Executive Recruiters Today!

As the top sales search firm in Boston, we know you want the right Player-Coach who can lead and deliver results…yesterday. Uncovering the special combination of character and personality traits and skills can only truly surface over multiple, in-depth interviews and comprehensive reference checking. Our rigorous evaluation process has proven to help companies find high performers who achieve stellar results. Let us help you find the Player-Coach you need to succeed. To learn more about DANA’s sales headhunting services, read our case studies or please schedule a call. We look forward to talking with you.

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