article | October 12, 2017
3 Questions CEOs are Asking to Judge Your Performance
You’re called in for a meeting with the CEO. What’s it about? You run some numbers in your head as some quick prep on your way.
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.
Where do You Stand?
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 this year 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, “Three Ways Sales Management Can Move ‘C’ Players to ‘A’ Players. The ‘A’ Player Trait Scorecard in the post can help you set a solid foundation for a highly skilled team.
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. Have you 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, “Drive Revenue Growth Through Sales Execution“. There’s useful tips from Scott Tapp, the EVP of Global Sales, Marketing and Field Operations at PGI. He shares his secrets to flawless sales execution. It’s an 8 step process.
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.
You’re not alone – don’t try and do it all yourself. Contact us today to see what we can do. Specialists in talent management/improvement and sales strategy are ready to help. Start leveraging SBI’s “How to Make Your Number in 2018” or to ensure you have the best strategy planned for next year.
© 2017 Sales Benchmark Index (SBI)
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© 2018 Sales Benchmark Index (SBI), B.V.
A Business Strategy Consulting Company
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands