Collegewise is hiring: Head of Sales

After running Collegewise for 18 years without a dedicated sales team, the decision to finally install one in 2017 felt like a long-overdue first step, the chance to begin our journey towards sales done the Collegewise way. It worked. Today, we have a remarkable sales force driven by a sincere desire to help, a crew we’re proud to have as the first contact for so many of the families who come to us during a stressful time. They’ve helped our business grow, our customers make more informed choices, and our counselors stay focused on what they do best. Our sales team is indispensable to us. We can’t imagine our work life without them.

But now that we’ve successfully gone from zero-to-sales team, it feels like we’re starting to reach the natural limits of that initial transformation’s benefits. Our company and our sales division have big dreams about what’s next. We want to do for our sales team what we’ve done so successfully with our counseling—make us the best-in-class within our industry. For us, that means the smartest strategy. The best training. The place the most talented salespeople want to join to do their very best work. The team the competition aspires to emulate. The thought-leaders who move both our company and the entire industry forward. The paragon of sales done both well and right.

To get there will take expertise and vision, someone who’s studied this craft, who can see what’s possible, and most importantly, who can rally others towards a common goal. We’re ready to hire someone to lead that charge and own the responsibility. It’s time for Collegewise to take our next sales step. We’re looking for our first Head of Sales.

How does that challenge sound to you?

About the job and the work
Fundamentally, this job is about developing and executing a broad strategy to successfully enroll more families at Collegewise. We’re not looking for someone who believes in a by-any-means-necessary approach to selling. A successful sale for us is one in which both the customer and the counselor thank you for bringing them together. But we’ve got the best counseling in the industry, legions of happy customers who rave about our work, and too many lost opportunities to do the same with more families. We need our Head of Sales to assess the areas where we must improve today, establish a vision of what’s possible tomorrow, and demonstrate your impact with bottom-line results.

That means you’ll drive and take responsibility for:

  • Sales strategy: We can’t hold someone accountable for outcomes if we legislate all the steps to achieve them. So you’ll work with your Chief Marketing Officer to craft a comprehensive sales strategy for your department. This will include working with our marketing team to study our customer funnel, making recommendations to bring in more qualified leads, and taking action to improve our conversion. You’ll also be expected to regularly detail progress, setbacks, and sales insight for the entire company. You have to drive results, and you’ll be given the freedom to find the best path to get there.
  • Management: You’ll manage a team of 10-13 salespeople, driving their individual success and engagement while rallying them towards a shared vision of sales success. At the management core, we’re looking for someone who is fascinated with the uniqueness of each individual, who can identify and coax more of what each teammate naturally does best, and who finds joy in watching those under your care thrive as a result.
  • Recruiting and hiring: Winning coaches don’t want the owner making every new draft pick for them. So as your team grows, you’ll work closely with our Talent Department to find and select the best people to join you.
  • Coaching and developing: Talented employees want to experience the thrill of getting even better and making meaningful progress in their careers. You’ll make sure each of your team members has plenty of opportunities to learn and grow. From working with our Talent Department to develop training for sales team members, to finding and sharing best sales practices, to becoming a vocal champion for sales done the Collegewise way, you’ll lead—and teach—by sales example.

Who are we looking for?
We’re looking for someone who makes work a way of life without making it your actual life. You’ll work hard, but we care more about the heart you bring and the impact you make than we do the sheer number of hours you’re willing to put in. You’re ready to commit to a calling that matters to you, and you have high expectations of yourself, your job, and your employer.

Our Head of Sales should have a point of view–you’ve invested time honing your craft and want to share that passion to make both your division and your company successful. Candidates should be prepared to back it all up with a proven track record of team-based sales results.

We recognize and reward contributors who eagerly pitch in, who leave work a little better off than they found it each day, and who pair a drive for individual success with a joy in bringing others along for the ride.

You’ll be inheriting a successful department staffed by a crew eager to continue their progress towards sales mastery. If you’re someone who will challenge yourself and your team to continuously improve, who will build a positive, engaging work environment, and who is comfortable creating both the structure and the processes to help the people you manage do their very best work, you may be the candidate we’re looking for.

We embrace experimentation and are comfortable with new ideas that might not work. But we first push hard to understand the thinking behind the proposed action. We don’t do anything just so we can say we did something. That means you should enjoy solving complex issues by thinking ahead, planning for contingencies, and taking an analytical approach.

Bottom line: our business should be better with you in it. We have very high expectations for this role, and we’ll pair them with a willingness to listen, an openness to change, and a commitment to supporting you in pursuit of it all.

Work Life at Collegewise
We’ve worked hard to create the company we’d want to work for, with a culture that draws smart, fascinating professionals united by a desire to do the best work of our careers. These ideals are well described in this short video, in the “Careers” section of our website, and in our employee handbook, which we’ve made public. For two consecutive years, we’ve even scored in the top 98% of the Gallup Organization’s employee engagement survey administered to over 25 million employees.

Salary, location, and start date
For the right person, Collegewise is prepared to offer a competitive compensation package. We’d prefer a candidate who lives in the Los Angeles or Boston metro area but will consider any strong applicant with at least 4 hours of overlap with Los Angeles time in your normal work-day routine. We’d like our new Head of Sales to start as soon as possible, but we can adjust the start date to accommodate the right person.

How to Apply
If your interest is piqued, please start by writing us a cover letter. We value good writers, so please take your time. Like a great college essay, a great cover letter helps us learn about the person behind the application. Help us understand who you are, and why you want this job, not just any job. You’re more interesting than a generic “insert-name-of-company-here” letter. So please be yourself—smart, thoughtful (maybe even funny). You might also consider checking out our five tips for job-seekers.

When you’re ready, click here to apply (you’ll see this post repeated there, with application instructions to the right).

Thanks for reading our post. We hope to hear from you, but if we don’t, we hope you find the perfect professional fit someplace else.