Vice President, Commercial Excellence

Who we are
Our Mission

Build winning companies to deliver superior returns to our investors.

Our strategy

Acquire good businesses and partner with management to drive fundamental improvement.

Our values
  • Partnership
  • Passion
  • Discipline
Our core competencies
  • Sourcing
  • People
  • Evaluation
  • Continuous Improvement
Our Firm
  • Lean, collaborative team, working directly with Partners and senior management
  • Successful track record resulting in exciting growth
  • 6 out of 7 current Partners started as associates or Vice Presidents at Sterling
  • Resources Group, comprised of subject matter experts in Human Capital, Operations, Commercial, Strategy, Technology, and M&A, are members of deal teams and help drive improvements at portfolio companies
  • Hands on investing model resulting in deep engagement with our portfolio companies
Our Culture
  • We believe in long term partnership and collaboration
  • Relentless, firm-wide commitment to continuous improvement
  • We say "we" more than "I"
  • Entrepreneurial spirit
  • Passionate about building winning businesses


The Sterling Group is an operationally focused, middle-market firm focused on the industrial sector. Founded in 1982, Sterling is one of the longest standing private equity firms in North America. Today, the firm has $6 billion in assets under management. Sterling’s returns consistently rank in the top quartile of private equity firms globally. Further, 80% of its returns have been driven by organic EBITDA growth as opposed to financial engineering, a result of Sterling’s operational investing style. Sterling’s investor base is comprised of some of the largest and most respected global institutional investors.


The mission of the Vice President, Commercial Excellence (“VPCE”) is to drive value creation through the commercial function within the firm and across the portfolio. The VPCE will serve as a trusted advisor, technical expert, and execution facilitator to our deal teams and portfolio company executives – focusing on commercial excellence and organic growth projects that include pricing, salesforce effectiveness, and marketing.

The role will be focused on two main areas:

Platform diligence and value creation (~80% of time) – The VPCE will work with the Commercial Operating Partner to support portfolio company executive teams and deal teams in advancing the commercial effectiveness of those platforms. The VPCE will help deal teams identify commercial opportunities during diligence and will ultimately work to execute on a prioritized subset of those opportunities (and others identified post-close) as part of the Sterling Value Creation Process. The scope of work will include assessing, initiating, and helping plan, monitor, and execute commercial initiatives across the Sterling portfolio. An effective VPCE will leverage deal teams, portfolio company management, and third-party resources to help successfully execute initiatives. Further, the VPCE will need to adapt his or her methods of engagement by platform to achieve the goals outlined.

Sterling value creation (~20% of time) – The VCPE will work with the Commercial Operating Partner, across the firm and through committees (primarily the Operations Improvement Committee) to be a thought leader and contributor who can further develop the Firm’s commercial operating capabilities. The VPCE will also work across the firm and with the Commercial Operating Partner to develop best practices in commercial excellence benchmarking, training, project planning, and execution.

The VPCE will also help develop and codify relationships with third-party consultancies aligned with Sterling’s processes and methodologies, and he or she will be expected to attend appropriate conferences, webinars, and other forums to learn new best practices that could be applied at our firm and/or portfolio companies.


Working with the deal teams, portfolio company executives and third-party consultants, the VPCE will be responsible for supporting the portfolio companies in identifying and executing 5 to 8 major commercial initiatives with varying degrees of complexity at any given time. The areas of expertise and impact for the VPCE will span the full range of commercial activities, including:

1. Commercial Strategy

Working with the growth strategy and commercial excellence groups (within Sterling, at the portfolio company, and/or at third-party firms) to analyze markets, customer segments, and competitive landscapes to provide informed, thoughtful and actionable commercial opportunities.

Developing comprehensive and clear commercial strategies, along with actionable plans that will deliver profitable, organic growth (e.g., by improving salesforce and pricing effectiveness, marketing, etc.).

Creating clear value propositions (e.g., for customers, employees, vendors).

2. Go-to-Market (channel, organizational design, coverage model)

Working with portfolio teams to develop enhanced channel and sales coverage strategies – including defining the organizational design of the sales and marketing teams, as needed.

Supporting specific strategic planning sessions related to channel partnerships, distribution models, sales rep. management, etc.

3. Commercial Operations (KPI, systems, tools, reports, organization, large quote process)

Establishing and measuring KPIs.

Identifying and implementing tools and systems needed to successfully improve the sales function (e.g., CRM).

Implementing sales forecasting and sales and operations planning practices (S&OP).

4. Pricing (strategy, control design, tools, and execution)

Optimizing pricing (e.g., transitioning portfolio companies from commonly seen cost-based pricing models to value-based pricing)

Supporting initiatives to improve pricing segmentation (e.g., cost-to-serve, engagement model).

5. Sales Organization Design

Assessing the sales team’s effectiveness, and identify areas for improvement.

Identifying roles and competencies needed to deliver the value proposition.

Developing and improve salesforce compensation plans to help achieve goals.

6. Sales & Marketing Process Design & Methods

Designing sales processes (pipeline, customer engagement, service, etc.) for various go-to-market models.

Designing and/or developing sales training programs as needed.

Familiarizing the team with sales enablement marketing methodologies and frameworks.

7. New Product Development and Commercialization

Using best practices to obtain voice of customer and other inputs needed to outline opportunities to improve and/or expand the portfolio company’s products and/or services.

Improving new product development/commercialization processes.

8. Customer Service Excellence

Supporting the evaluation of potential new and existing customers and needs – and leading the team in a proactive, post-sales approach with a focus on solutions efficiently and effectively delivering products and services;

Leveraging customer insights to identify business opportunities and strategies.

Working with management to improve customer service processes.

9. Marketing (strategy, brand, product, lead generation)

Helping develop marketing and branding strategies as needed.

Evaluating and improving lead generation practices.

10. Digitalization & AI

Developing new tools to leverage digital and Artificial Intelligence technologies to enhance customer experiences, improve sales operations, lead generation, pricing strategies, customer segmentation approaches, marketing content, etc.


Bias to be in the field with management teams to build relationship, monitor progress, and advise as needed

Ability to influence the executive teams to drive outcomes

Mentor investment professionals and high-potential executives

Achieve planned revenue, margin, and related commercial objectives.


At least three years of experience working on commercial engagements with a consulting firm that serves the industrial segment and three to five years working as an operator in revenue/sales operations (e.g., sales, marketing, pricing) function – having held supervisory roles in organizations with over $500M in revenue

Experience with and/or comfort with dotted-line reporting structures / primarily influencing roles

Extensive experience overseeing/utilizing third parties

Experience working in a “performance based” and fast paced environment

Proven record of developing/improving sales and marketing infrastructure and processes


Competent in building analytical models and tools in MS Excel, Power BI, Tableau, and other analytical tools

Possesses a mind-set for continuous improvement

Active, execution-focused ‘change-agent’

Familiar with basic project management practices and tools (e.g., MS Project, Asana, Instagantt)

Working knowledge of and experience implementing CRM systems (e.g., SFDC, Hubspot, MS Dynamics, etc.)

Persuades, collaborates, and builds networks

Strategic, partnership-focused mindset.

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