How to Become a (SaaS) VP of Sales

We come across articles discussing the SaaS sales leaders ranging from Jim Herbold to Sam Blond, about how they have driven a stellar revenue growth for their companies. It can easily be concluded that behind every successful and ravaging SaaS is an amazing VP of sales. However, before you can leap up to the SaaS unicorn, you first have to move forward from where you are to the SaaS VP of sales, and to tell you the truth, it is going to be more of a jump than just a step forward.

So, the question you would be asking yourself is how one can become the SaaS VP of sales. There are two crucial components that can get you there, and these components are no piece of cake.

  1. Make sure you have the ability to identify a great opportunity before anyone else can
  2. Understand the SaaS metrics

Identify a Great Opportunity before Anyone Else

Getting to know how to accomplish this can be difficult, but it isn’t that difficult if you know what you are looking for. To know whether a SaaS company can rocket under your leadership or not, is by having some strong answers for the following questions.

  1. Does the company have an ARR between $1 million and $5 million?
  2. Is the average ACV greater than $3,000 and less than $10,000?
  3. Is the Churn less than 30%?
  4. Product Market Fit: The Product Market Fit should be kept 100% contingent to the answers of the above three questions.
  5. Are there any profits pouring in?
  6. Do they have a strong product team?

When evaluating a SaaS opportunity based on the question mentioned above, then there are just two distractions that can lead you astray:

  1. No leads
  2. Bad Website

Related: 6 Entrepreneurial Lessons You Can Learn From an Olympian and Ways a New Sales Leader Can Rapidly Add Value

Understand the SaaS Metrics

Once the criterion has been determined based on the questioned mentioned above, and then your next goal is to aim for the position of the VP of Sales.

Therefore, there are only two goals left for you:

  1. Master the SaaS Metric
  2. Determine how you can show it

To be able to master the SaaS metric, all that you have to do is to go through all the blog post, twice, that have ever been written about the SaaS. Becoming the SaaS VP of Sales means that you will be the highest paid employee in the company, then you should have a plan, and to become one, you need your playbook. All you have to do is master that playbook.

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There are a few key metrics that you should stick to for the purpose of getting a better chance to be a VP of sales.

  1. Monthly Recurring Revenue

For any SaaS business, all the payments made are upfront. Here before getting the customers you have to build the product by spending on it earlier, and the downside of it is that customers do no pay upfront. However, to build a sustainable business, you will have to survive this far. To do so, you will have to track the monthly recurring revenue. This is the amount of revenue that you are adding or losing of what you expect to receive every month. To achieve this, you will have to dive deep into the financials to get that number. Monthly Recurring Revenue is one the most important metrics that a SaaS business should track.

  1. Churn

Churn is a metric that measures the percentage of the people who leave your product every month. Retaining the customers is what determines whether your business can survive or not. For SaaS, churns are easy as the customer purchase every month; therefore, you will have to build the churn around that.

  1. Cost Per Acquisition

Marketing is an expensive feat, and utilizing wrong channels for the marketing can leave a huge hole in the profit margins. To avoid this, the VP of Sales can go for the tracking of the cost per acquisition of the campaign. If you are spending more money for the acquisition of the customers than what you are receiving, then there is a problem. As a VP of Sales, you will have to find the best solution for it.

  1. Average Revenue per Customer

This metric is straightforward. This is the average revenue that you are already receiving from your customers. Once the churn rate is brought under control, you get a sure way to acquire the customers. The basic keys for increasing the revenue are the up-sells and cross-sells. Up-sells are when you compel the customer to move to the expensive version of the product. Cross-sells are the extra features that you sell along with your product. Here the goal of the VP of Sales is to build the system that increases the revenue steadily, that you receive from the customers.

Understanding these metrics and the way to move around them along with your team members, you get the sure shot of being the VP of Sales. Since none of these metrics can be accomplished with only a single person, it becomes your duty to take the team with you and climb the ladder as you go.


Your sales pitch matters in order to implement the metrics; hence, it has to be compelling enough to show your scholarly understandings of the problems at some million dollars in ARR and a vision of how the revenue can be grown 2x, 3x, or 4x. Using the defined metrics in the SaaS business, you can determine how the metrics will give you the desired result.


Abe Dearmer

Abe has a vast experience running multiple SaaS companies and is an expert on all things Sales, Marketing and SEO.

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