How to get results on Day 1
You’ve just been promoted to Head of Sales and you want to make a good impression and get results fast. How?
As part of the Superhero Sales Manager programme, one of my clients has recently got the promotion he was looking for and now has a sales team to manage for the first time. He asked me what he should do first to make the best impression. I told him to focus on the 3 most important groups of people.
Your Senior manager(s) are going to be judging how well you are doing at the end of the day and the value that you bring to the organisation. So it is worth spending time right at the beginning clarifying expectations and goals.
Not having clarity in your new role can hold back your progress. For example, I’ve had sales managers focused so much on delivering VOLUME of sales that they’ve discounted, given special offers to their customers so the actual VALUE of the sales and therefore the profit actually dropped rather than increased. Make sure you are focusing on the right measurables and Key Indicators.
Insist on a clear job description, transparent goals, incentives and sales targets. So the company’s expectations of you are clear. Check your understanding of them by asking questions. There is nothing worse than putting your efforts into achieving a goal only to find you have misunderstood it and wasted your time and resources at the end of the quarter or even at the end of the year!
2. Your team
You are not going to deliver any results without your team
Speak to each member of the team individually . Find out what suggestions they have for improving sales, customer relations, marketing, etc. Find out what they love most and least about their jobs. This team meets the clients more often than anyone else in the company so getting feedback from the Sales Team is nearly as important as getting it from the clients themselves. At this stage your job is to listen. They will feel good about being listened to and even better if you agree and can do something about it. It sets the stage for them coming to you with ideas and suggestions in the future.
By really listening you may find that something as simple as having a kettle and tea/coffee making facilities within the department could boost morale, save time out of the office and improve productivity . You are not going to please everyone all the time but some decisions may be a no-brainer, perhaps no-one has actually listened and actioned it before.
3. Your clients
Use the Pareto Principle (which states that 80% of results come from 20% of effort) – learn where to put your effort. It’s crucial that you look at your most important clients. They are probably bringing in 80% of the sales. Make sure you are aware of who they are and what more can be done for them. Create a plan aimed at improving results from your key clients (encourage your Sales Team to help you in this).
Use the news of your new appointment to connect with your client base as a whole – send an introduction letter stating which products and services you are delighted to be working on, invite them to contact you with any ideas or issues they have about your products or service. Really make the most of the “new broom sweeping through” idea so you can draw a line under any problems in the past.
This is what I said. What would you advise? Is there anything there you could implement now, even if you have been in the job for a while?
If you have any questions about Sales Management, send me an email Nicola@superherosalesmanager.com or post your question on my new Facebook page Superhero Sales Manager and they will be answered every Thursday.
To make the most of your first 7 days as a Sales Manager – download the free Induction Kit “Superhero Sales Manager in 7 days” – fill in the box on the home page.