One of the biggest challenges facing CEOs is the oversight of the sales force and sales leaders. It can be challenging to maximize sales productivity. Like anything else, it’s a balancing act – finding that point where productivity peaks. Considering that fewer than 7% of CEOs have sales experience, this balancing act becomes even more tenuous.
To compound matters, the average tenure of a VP of Sales or CSO is 18 months. This revolving door adds to the difficulty of making the number and managing sales. Finding ways to maximize productivity might slide into the background, while in reality it should be at the forefront. This is a key ingredient towards extending that 18-month stay at your organization.
Maximizing the productivity of your sales force allows sales to happen in less time. Less hours spent prospecting, scoping, and closing a deal means lower overall selling costs. By driving selling costs down, a company can charge less for its products. Plus create a price advantage over the competition. This simple tweak in your sales model could single-handedly allow you to outsell the competitors. It begins with finding inefficiencies in your sales force – and eliminating them.
Download our exclusive research report: The CEO’s Guide to Getting More Out of the Sales Force. In it, you’ll learn what other CEOs are doing to improve sales and avoid the 18-month sales leader exodus.
As many CEOs surely know, there are a myriad of tasks they need to regularly keep tabs on. Keeping these tasks organized and productive is half the battle to becoming a successful CEO. For that reason, this report has broken out 10 Findings that will help you hone your focus and effectively optimize your sales force.
- CEOs should focus on sales force competitiveness and developing effective sales strategies. A fundamental approach will include the three C’s (costs, customers and competition) of sales execution. Sales force competitiveness should begin with CEOs and not simply sales leaders.
- CEOs need to overcome their deficiency in sales domain expertise and focus on developing a trusting relationship with sales leadership. What elements can you leverage to bridge this gap and still be an effective and motivating leader?
- Develop an analytical framework to assess the sales force. Your framework should address core elements such as:
- Sales Strategy – should include account segmentation, market potential and alignment between market segments and product strategy.
- Go-To-Market Strategy – if you have a single sales channel for more than 5 products, then you may need to reconsider your strategy.
- Sales Force Design – an undersized sales force may mean you are not capitalizing on the full market potential. An oversized sales force means you are paying too much for sales and there are diminishing returns.
- CEOs can help sales leaders by focusing on a single change initiative annually, and by validating with customer/prospect input. Customers are one of the greatest sources of information, often left untapped by organizations. If there is anyone who can help you learn how to improve, it’s those that you currently service. What are they happy with? Unhappy with? Take this feedback and improve upon it. By narrowing this focus, your sales team receives a clear message from the top. Understanding the goal can go a long way towards increased productivity and improvement.
- Establish a 3-phased approach to setting sales expectations: triangulation, assumption iteration, and opportunity velocity. The combination of these elements will lead to greater clarity. The end result of a 3-phased approach is increased accuracy in sales expectations.
Get more detail about these 3 phases, as well as the other 5 CEO Focuses within the Report. By leveraging this type of focus across your sales force, you’ll find yourself managing a more productive team. Likewise, you’ll find that you’ve circumvented the typical 18-month sales leader exodus.