You enter. He asks you to sit. You sit. He asks you to give a self-evaluation of your year.
“In what regard?” you ask.
“Three questions” he says. “They can tell a lot.” You listen. Be sure to answer honestly.
- Question 1: Have you upgraded your team?
- Question 2: Is your team’s ability to execute on the plan meeting or surpassing targets?
- Question 3: Are you making your number?
Where do You Stand?
If you aren’t able to answer YES to all 3 questions then sign up today for our Q3 Tour Research: How your Peers are allocating People, Time and Money in 2013. You’ll get access to the tools and information that will give you the ability to answer YES.
Question 1: Have you upgraded your team?
What the CEO thinks if you answered yes: This year you took the time and money to invest in your team. You’ve transformed “B” Players into “A” Players. “C” Players are either showing promise or have been replaced.
He’s impressed, and optimistic for the future. By upgrading the team, you have improved his organization. Even if 2012 was below targets, the future is bright. As CEO, planning for the future is crucial to the sustainability of the company. Good work.
What the CEO thinks if you answered no: The team looks the same – or worse – than earlier in the year. Your involvement in improving reps has been minimal. This could be a result of other responsibilities, lack of foresight, etc. Either way, the end result is the same.
He’s concerned. He’s not necessarily ready to make decisions about your future with the company. But he does question your ability for the long haul. If you can’t upgrade your team, the future could look grim.
If your having a problem with this, be sure to check out this blog by Ryan Tognazzini. His tool on measuring sales management impact can help you figure out where you stand.
Question 2: Is your team’s ability to execute on the plan meeting or surpassing targets?
What the CEO thinks if you answered yes: He’s secure. Field execution is crucial, and your CEO knows this. The importance of having “A” Players consistently bring in new business and executing the company’s plans can’t be overstated. Not worrying about the personnel being able to close the opportunities in the pipeline is a luxury. Since your team can handle this, your CEO feels safe.
What the CEO thinks if you answered no: He’s distressed. Because even if all other aspects of your job look good, field execution tells the story. He questions your ability to motivate your team. He wonders if you can assign reps to the right territories to be successful. Do you have solved the right problems causing the issue? He wants to invest in you, but can’t do so if your team’s execution continually falters.
If you’re having trouble with this, don’t miss this blog by Joel McCabe. He provides useful tips on improving field performance, and a useful downloadable tool as well.
Question 3: Are you making your number?
What the CEO thinks if you answered yes: He’s happy. The great elixir. If you make your number, other shortcomings will seem less important. While he will want you to continue improving, your job likely won’t depend on it. Don’t become complacent, but you can leave the meeting confident that he is happy overall with your performance.
What the CEO thinks if you answered no: He’s conflicted and stressed. He’s in a tough spot. If he has to answer to a higher authority, he’ll be pressured to make changes. Will that include you? Possibly. He’ll want you to prove that you should keep your job. What are you doing right? What are you doing to make next year better? No one likes firing people. Change is difficult. You need to show him that he doesn’t need to do that.
It’s unfortunately no longer good enough to just make 1 or even 2 of these criteria. CEOs know you can mask major issues in a number of ways. Market conditions, hot products, and blue bird deals. These aren’t sustainable solutions. Your CEO wants predictable, sustainable, continuous growth. You achieve that by answering yes to all three questions above.