Are You Out Of Tune with Your Salespeople?
CEOs are charismatic leaders who have a vision for their company and many responsibilities such as developing products, selecting the right people, engaging with the marketplace, and making critical decisions across the organization. This means they may not always know precisely what their salespeople are doing. Here are three things all CEOs should be doing with their sales teams.
Watch your leading Indicators
Stop and think, do you know which events or milestones in the sales process typically lead to sales or results? Is it discovery calls or meetings, new “qualified” opportunities, demonstrations (demos) of your product or service, site visits out to your plant, or something else?
Knowing the opportunity numbers or leading indicators will help you predict your business and revenue for the month, quarter, and year. These metrics will help provide insight into the quantity and quality of salespeople’s behaviors as well. It also allows you to measure your sales leader’s progress and your needs for cash flow, product production, capacity, and customer trends.
Get Crystal Clear on the Right Customers
You should take care of all of your customers, it’s true. But not all customers are created equal, which is why it’s essential to take extra care with high-value customers with a great customer experience.
Do you know who your high-value customers even are? It’s often not your highest revenue clients but rather those that continually purchase, follow your processes, promote you in the marketplace, and see the value you create by paying the prices you need to provide this excellent service. If you can get specific on what makes these customers good for you, it will help you focus your sales efforts to attract similar customer types.
Once these strategic target customers are defined, it is critical to engage directly with them to understand their needs better. You’ll also want to make sure your team is checking in with them frequently. According to Zendesk, “Roughly 50% of customers say they would switch to a new brand after one bad experience.” You don’t want to lose out on revenue or a high-value customer.
Get In The Field
When was the last time you were out in the field with your salespeople? Maybe it’s time you jump in to see what all the fun is about.
When you are out interacting with your salespeople, you can provide the necessary support, insights, reinforcement, and additional coaching and training.
In many scenarios, CEOs only become involved with sales when an issue arises or when sales are below target. Getting involved early allows you to see what is actually happening and redirect any potential problems.
If you aren’t as engaged with your salespeople or sales leader by the time a problem reaches your ears, it may be too far along to prevent. Seeing firsthand the challenges the sales team faces and hearing directly from your customers sooner will allow you to address issues first and usually gives you more choices before things go wrong.
As the CEO, you may have taken a step away from sales, trusting that everything is running smoothly. But you may not know precisely what is happening. Once you figure out your leading indicators, which customer is right for you, and join your salespeople in the field, you’ll be in a much better position to provide the guidance the team needs.