17 Jan Congratulations! You are our new VP of Sales
Frank made it! After years of dedication to his craft he was named the new Vice President of Sales. While he was settling into his new office, he received an email from the President of the company asking him for his strategy to achieve the lofty revenue goals the company established for the upcoming year. Frank had sold for years. In fact he was the top-dog at his firm for the past several years, so promoting him to VP of Sales seemed like a well-deserved promotion. He began to carefully craft his response and his stomach began to churn. What was his plan? Maybe the burrito he had for lunch wasn’t such a good idea.
Frank already knows that in today’s hyper-competitive environment, hard work, charisma and a swollen data base of contacts isn’t going to do the trick. He also knows that past sales revenues alone don’t tell the story. In the past, he personally experienced sales targets that were somewhat arbitrarily assigned, often a result of adding a percentage to past performance and then assigning new goals to individuals on the team.
It’s been a struggle for Frank’s company to create higher revenues with win rates falling, longer sales cycles and a lack of sustainable competitive advantage. And as his products become more commoditized, brand awareness less distinct and more expensive to create, where can he turn for that competitive advantage that can act as the cornerstone for an executable strategic sales plan?
It starts with a few basics:
- Aligning his sales process to the “new customer buying process”
- Balancing the consultant and strategist sales roles within his team
- Confirming the sales compensation plan supports corporate objectives
- Installing definable performance business development standards for the team and holding them accountable to those standards
- Understanding the difference between supervising, coaching, training and mentoring – fundamental skills for any sales manager
- Ensuring the forecasting model and pipeline of opportunities is real and not a work of fiction based on hope
- Developing a rock-solid and robust business development playbook with and for the team
- Ensuring that as the sales leader, Frank adds value
And avoiding the common missteps sales managers often make:
- Concentrating more on closing deals instead of developing people
- Focusing the sales team on “more” calls instead of “better” calls. More is not a strategy.
- Assuming that because someone has been trained, they understand the science of sales
- Spending the majority of time isolated in the office, instead of working with the team in the field. You can’t coach a team from the locker room.
- Resisting the idea that developing a common “language” of selling is not necessary. Managing process is always more effective than managing personalities.
So, now that Frank has something other than the numbers to consider he can begin to significantly improve the performance of his business development team.
Have questions? Call us, we are here to help.