The VP of Sales is the most fired position in corporate America today. The reason is simple. Their forecast number is tattooed on their foreheads for everyone to see. Make it and the Sales VP is a hero for a day. Miss it and well….
But consider this. Before any sale goes up on the big board, there are at least 10 critical functions that your sales leader has to perform. As CEO’s, and business leaders, we would do well to inspect these critical functions and to help our sales management succeed. Otherwise, you’re going to start over, which can be even more costly.
You can help sales management by looking at what’s not working. Here are a few questions to ask when your sales management is not delivering the number you both agreed to.
- Do we have the right sales and go-to-market strategy?
- What kind of sales structure do we have in place to support them?
- What kind of motivation and comp system will accelerate results?
- Is the team sufficiently trained on our product or services?
- Are they trained on industry and competition?
- Do we follow an effective and predictable sales process?
- Is marketing providing qualified leads?
- Are we supporting sales with the right tools?
- Are we mentoring and coaching our sales team?
- Are we hiring the right high-performance sales people?
If your first reaction is to fire the VP when the number on his or her forehead doesn’t match yours, then ask these questions. If you’ve asked, and coached to these questions, and not gotten answers, only then must you answer question number 10 with respect to your VP of Sales. But the final question to ask is, “What makes a great sales leader?”
(Take our 90 Second Sales Performance Benchmark)
Do Great Things!
L. Hobart Stocking