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What's Important in Sales?

Recently, I got into an extended thread with a Search Firm on the topic of titles for sales roles. Specifically, the posting portrayed, "Director of Sales". I responded and, after a number of single sentence responses, it was established that the role was that of “sales representative”. My experience was that Directors typically had managers reporting to them, Sales Managers had Sales Rep’s reporting-in, and Sales Rep’s were responsible for field sales. The point which the recruiter was apparently making was that it was a senior role and the title was critically important.

Interestingly, the recruiter had harangued on about this approach to titling was industry-specific and provided 5 competitors. I went to the sites of each and downloaded job descriptions from 3 for “sales rep’s” where the titles ranged from “Sales/Account Rep” to “Sales Exec.”. Clearly, the “industry approach” was diametrically opposed to that which was being presented by the Search Firm.

Why would the recruiter mis-represent the role/title: to inflate the perception of the particular search. Here’s my point: does the title capture the attention of "appropriate candidates"? Would you (as a Sales Rep with < 5 years of selling experience) apply for a position as Director of Sales?

I'd have thought that the stature of the company or the compensation would have meant more that what the title does or doesn't imply.

Thanks in advance for your input.

Pat - by OUTSource Sales
My first thought is that the Director of Sales title was being used to get the resumes of more senior salespeople who (a) might be talked into a sales rep job depending on their current situation and/or (b) might demand a higher base salary thus driving up the fees to be paid the recruiter.

That said, many times sales executive titles are "inflated" to make them appear to be something more than a lowly sales rep to their clients. I mean, who wants to take a call from or meet with an Account Executive when they can spend their valuable time with a Director of Sales?

Frankly, I think it's a big load of you-know-what anyway. Salespeople are successful when they deliver value to their customers not because they have one title versus another. - by jcundiff
Would you (as a Sales Rep with < 5 years of selling experience) apply for a position as Director of Sales?
If I was a Sales Rep with less than 5 years of selling experience I would not apply for the Director or Sales position unless I believed I was a strong candidate based on the job description provided. - by Mikey
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