VP Sales job. Requirements: 10+ years experience, yadda yadda, must act like General Manager of the business.

Have you ever seen the above in a job post?

“VP Sales job. Requirements: 10+ years experience, (yadda yadda), must act like the General Manager of the business.”

The standard for GM roles everywhere is the GM owns a profit & loss statement (the “P&L”).

The top-level KPIs for a P&L are (a) revenues, (b) costs, and (c) expenses, and each can have additional sub-metrics.

These aren’t common KPIs for Sales VPs or any Sales roles that aren’t at the C-level. Even then, it’s rare for any Chief Revenue Officer or Chief Sales Officer to touch a P&L unless we’re talking about a publicly-traded company.

If you see this requirement in a job listing, one of the first questions you need to ask when meeting with the CEO/CRO or other leader is whether you’ll have P&L responsibility. If not, the second question you need to ask is for them to define what it means to “act like the GM”. It’ll then be 50/50 whether you keep talking or run for the door.

A business that wants its Sales VPs operating like General Managers needs to expose those people to the P&L so they can lead and manage accordingly. If you won’t get that exposure, you need to negotiate the requirement out of the employment contract.