If you have ever watched the NFL Draft, you can feel the tension and drama when the Commissioner announces a draft pick to the world and then proclaims the next team that is “On the Clock”. In that scenario, the NFL team has a set amount of time to make their selection. If you are a new Sales Leader, you are also on the clock from the moment you were hired. You were likely hired to solve a problem, seize an opportunity, or fill a gap. Regardless of the reason, the organization is expecting a rapid and meaningful set of results. The proof based on ongoing research is that the average tenure of an enterprise sales leader is less than two years. Needless to say, you need to come in with a plan and be able to hit the ground running.
What we have seen is that there is a natural honeymoon period for all parties. Executives know that change is likely at a process, structure and tools level and that things do take some time. Studies from the Corporate Executive Board indicate you should expect about 30% turnover from any sales transformation exercise. Investment will be required to get different results, but new Sales Leaders should be very focused on the need for speed and to be able to create some “quick wins”.
Without the quick wins and the formulation of a plan that the CEO/President and other Executives are aligned to and will support, the clock starts to speed up. Drama starts to increase. With some early success and the foundation of a plan, the clock starts to slow down and tension decreases. The challenge for the new Sales Leader is to be able to gather the right information to support decision making and at the same time doing their day job. Being the Leader, Manager and Coach is the day job, but help is often required to enable speed and valuable data accumulation. You need to be secure with yourself to acknowledge the need for support, after all you were just hired as the savior.
We have built some tools for exactly this purpose. The concept is to get the Sales Leader more fact based information on what is going on inside their sales organization, in their market and with their clients. In a few weeks, they get better quality data then they could gather in their first six months. Rapid, high value information that points the sales organization in a different direction based on what the facts reveal and identifying where the quick wins might reside.
You’re on the clock, so being able to make small bets that get you rapid results is a key to your tenure and your short term success. See the attached link if you are curious about how these types of tools can help change your results through a clear understanding of your overall sales effectiveness, your value proposition, your people, your deal positioning, deal qualification, your competitors, the factors of competition in your industry and your pricing strategy.