How to Deliver Sales Success Before the Honeymoon Period is Over!
You are new to the role of sales director and possibly new to the organisation – a big gun with an impressive sales track record. It may be that your organisation is looking to grow or diversify into a new market where you have expertise, or it may simply be that the previous guy has jumped (or was pushed).
Whatever the reason for your new job, there will be a lot of hope and expectation weighing on your shoulders. You are the White Knight, the Savior, The One who will lead the team, turn its performance around and set the company on the course to sales success!
But to deliver on that high expectation, you need to understand whether your organisation is geared up to enable sales or prevent them?
So what will you do first?
- Sit down with each of your sales team to understand what they do, what’s in their pipeline, where they are against their targets, how reliable their sales judgment appears to be?
- Understand what your organisation is good at/ bad at and learn what you should/ shouldn’t be promoting to customers?
- Meet with the other department heads to see what they do and how well (or otherwise) they interface with your sales team?
- Drive the length and breadth of the country to meet your happy (or unhappy) customers to see why they do (or don’t) like you?
All of the above?
Depending on the size of your organisation, this initial “familiarisation” could take a considerable length of time. The same time that is ticking against your first quarter target clock…..
So how do you quickly balance the need to get under the skin of your organisation’s sales capability and learn enough about its idiosyncrasies to make you effective, before you lose the goodwill of your sponsors?
It is a dilemma that needs to be faced quickly, since very few organisations will afford a new sales leader the luxury of 6 months, or even 3 months “settling in” period, to get a handle on what is going on and understand how they can make the required business impact.
Here’s a simple plan to sales effectiveness:
- Get all the stakeholders of the sales process together in one place and enable the meeting through an impartial facilitator
- Use a proven benchmarking model which has been tried and tested by your peers to deliver improved sales performance in other enterprise organisations
- Quickly identify the performance gaps and define a realistic action plan to fix them
- Measure performance again at the end of 90 days to demonstrate the performance improvement you have driven in your new role as sales leader
This approach has been deployed to great effect by many enterprise businesses that have applied Get To Great® Sales Performance Improvement to deliver a step change in finding, winning and retaining customers. They have increased their ability to engage, qualify and close profitable sales as a direct result.
This proven and trusted framework for sales transformation is valuable to any business looking to tackle specific challenges such as lead generation, increasing its sales conversion rate, reducing cost of sale, or for continual improvement of its sales capability. It is particularly relevant in organisations going through a major change such as new sales leadership and there are additional benefits in applying Get To Great® early in your tenancy of the sales leadership role:
- you have no “baggage” or allegiance to the way things are done currently
- you can bring your external knowledge to the debate
- you will be able to demonstrate a measurable step change impact as a result of you joining the organisation