CloserIQ is now Formative Search Partners. Read the announcement.

Evolving the 30, 60, 90 Day Plan

A better approach to assessing leadership candidates.
Alexandra (Adamson) Beal

When it comes to hiring sales leadership, the ultimate key to success is a rigorous interview process. One of the most critical components is an assessment section, where candidates can demonstrate their ability to actually do what the role requires. 

For individual contributors, the assessment step is historically very simple. For example, asking them to demo their existing solution or to do a mock pitch. But this step can be tricky for leadership candidates, as there is typically so much we need them to own. 

One of the most classic examples of a leadership assessment prompt is the 30, 60, 90 Day Plan. Companies ask the prospective executive to build a plan for their first quarter in the role. Although there's nothing wrong with the generic 30, 60, 90, and something is better than nothing, we believe that there's an opportunity for this structure to evolve. 

The “Road to $XM” Approach

Our recommendation is to adopt a more targeted approach in evaluating sales leadership candidates through a specialized prompt like "Road to $XM." This method allows you to evaluate their ability to hit a target goal through strategic planning and critical thinking, offering a comprehensive view of their potential impact on the company's growth trajectory.

There are 3 key things to keep in mind when assessing leadership candidates. 

  1. Be clear but allow for creative freedom. Provide sufficient and clear information about the objective of the presentation, but leave it open-ended enough to force the candidate to think critically and be creative. This also tests their ability to build a roadmap with ambiguity, which is often one of the most important skill sets an early leadership hire needs.
  1. Offer a brief prep call with the founder to clarify sales-specific questions. This will help set the candidates up for success by getting ahead of specifics they may not have gathered during the interview process up to that point. Ideally, the candidate has asked a lot of these questions already in the process in previous conversations, so if you get the sense that they're using this prep time to do all of their information gathering before the presentation, this may be a red flag.
  1. Invite key decision-makers to join the presentation. This is a great opportunity to bring in co-founders who haven't met with the candidate yet, any sales advisors, or Board members who may need to sign off on the hire. They'll learn more about the candidate’s skillset in a 60-minute presentation where they can ask pointed questions than they will in a 30-minute "get to know you" conversation.

Assessment Example Prompt

Road to $10M – 60 Minutes

Please create a presentation that outlines a strategic plan for 2024 to guide the X team in achieving $10 million in recurring revenue. This exercise aims to assess your strategic approach to revenue growth.

The format and process around how you choose to respond to these questions are entirely at your discretion. However, we are keen on gaining insight into:

  1. How you’ll become an expert in every stage of the sales process.
  2. The specific strategies and milestones you would put in place for yourself and your team.
  3. Hiring plans for the next year.
  4. How you plan to create sales team compensation structures.
  5. Any other critical actions within the first 6 months of the role. 

The goal of the presentation is to showcase your understanding of X's current and future

business needs, along with your expertise in scaling organizations to reach $10M+ in revenue.

Beforehand, we will arrange a short Q&A session with [Founder]. This will give you the opportunity to ask any questions you need to effectively prepare a revenue plan.


Explore other articles