Congratulations! You are the new sales manager or the new VP of sales. What you do in your first 30 days shapes your reputation and your future. Average sales managers blindly squander this precious time. Many fail to proactively identify the condition of their "ship". Many slowly figure out the potential of each salesperson reporting to them over months of trial and error. Do not squander this time. Hit the ground running.
Continue reading to learn how to successfully shape your future.
Chances are, most everyone including you is "drunk" with optimism. For a brief moment, the future is bright. Now is the time to proactively shape your future and that of your sales team. Now is the time to identify what obstacles are in the way of success.
Your "clock is ticking". You are living on "borrowed time". You will never have as much power as you do right now until you prove yourself. If you were hired to replace a poor-performing sales manager, your clock is ticking even faster than you realize.
Within the first couple weeks - 30 days maximum - you must identify...
Who / what / where are the sacred cows?
There are almost always people and processes that are golden - untouchable. Whether it is the low performer who is the childhood best friend of the CEO or the crappy CRM that the CFO does not want to jettison, you had best identify the sacred cows as quickly as possible in order to navigate through or around them in the future.
Who are the low performers?
You will know who your low performers are through an analysis of two critical pieces of information - historical sales figures and job fit. Historical sales numbers mean little to me because low performers are the last to be headhunted away. Instead, low performers scoop up the gold accounts as others leave. Job fit is measured by comparing the multi-science sales aptitude personality test results with the job benchmark for the sales position. If you are not using a sales personality test with validation backed by brain research, you are guessing and guessing gets sales managers fired.
Who are your "sales wolves"?
It is very likely that 20 percent of your sales team brings in 80 percent of the results. Identify these critical salespeople but make sure they are true sales wolves. Just because someone "sells" a lot does not mean they are a "sales wolf". With occasional rare exception, the only way to identify a true sales wolf is to have them complete a valid sales personality test.
What gets in the way of success of your "sales wolves"?
Identify and conquer who/what (people / processes) are hindering sales for your "sales wolves" and you will reap two immediate benefits - increased sales and the gratitude of your salespeople who will not forget what you did.
Does HR "get it" when it comes to hiring "sales wolves"?
In short, you need more "sales wolves" - asap. HR, more often than not - is usually in the way because they are too busy, too dumb, or stuck in the twilight zone when it comes to recruitment. One way to know if HR "gets it" is if they use a valid sales personality test or if they are even open to using one. If they are not using one nor are open to it, work around them.
What are the sales processes used?
It continues to blow my mind when I engage a sales team that does not use a CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system like Salesforce to record their sales activities and outcomes. If your new sales team does not have a CRM tool and/or is not using it, thank God for your good fortune and then get one asap.
Furthermore, every sales team must have a defined sales process. If they do not - again, thank God for your good fortune and implement one asap.
Where can you add higher margin sales revenues quickly?
Improved sales / profitability buys valuable time. You must identify where you are going to quickly get your "base hits" by creating extreme customer value. You must identify who your best Customers are and how they view the value of the products / services you offer. Where are the missing obvious holes and how do you fill them to create value?
Being a new sales manager is an opportunity to repent for the sins of the past - both for your past mistakes and for those of your predecessors. Make the best of it - hit the ground running with these tips.
How well does the team work together?
Sales teams that work well together get more accomplished - a LOT more. We recommend the powerful Five Dysfunctions of a Team Training Program to get your sales team aligned and focused.