CEOs and Sales VPs are key players in any organization’s success, responsible for driving revenue, managing operations, and ensuring growth. However, even the most experienced leaders can make mistakes that hinder their ability to achieve these goals. In this blog, we’ll discuss seven common mistakes that CEOs and Sales VPs make and how to avoid them.
Mistake No.1: Not taking responsibility for understanding sales and lead generation ☹️
- You may have the best players in the team yet a coach is always necessary to guide and plan out the whole game.
- Sales and lead generation do not work as subscriptions. Hiring executives will not yield in the sale of the product.
- A CEO must focus and delegate their understanding of sales and mop out the entire process for execution.
- If not the entire sales would be left arbitrary and the organization’s revenue will be indeterminable. An organization whose revenue can’t be determined would lack stability.
- In order to do so, the CEO must have a clear understanding of sales and lead generation and must take responsibility in guiding the team with realistic plans.
- This leads to clear growth and profitability!
Mistake No.2: Thinking account executives should prospect 😔
- Prospects is not equal to revenue, It is a clear mistake a huge number of organizations do. Prospecting only opens the opportunity to be converted to revenue.
- Closing deals and calling executives must be the major focus of the account executives. This will generate more revenue then just prospecting.
- Even if the account executives are actually prospecting, it must not exceed more than 20% of their total time in searching for leads.
- Prospecting should always be owned by a separate dedicated role, this free ups major chunk of time for the accountants to turn these prospects to actual revenue.
Mistake No.3: Assuming channels will do the selling for you 🤥
- Channels usually are the superstructure for any building, they help you build tall but the foundation is always expected to be done by you!
- Channels such as partners will always help organizations improve their sales and subsequently their revenue, but this doesn’t happen in the beginning.
- Especially in software and business services, you have to build your own sales results first and prove your success.
- After this step, the channel partners can step into the process. Once you have a proven result, you’ll then be able to benefit from the channel partner.
- Your success will act as a case study for your channels and push them further
Mistake No.4: Talent fumbles (Hiring, training and incenting) 🤕
- Building a great team requires a lot of effort, but it is worth the time and effort as it’s the only source of extracting quality work.
- There are two major mistakes made in the process of hiring, executives often look for the best resume. Taking resume for it’s face value would not be prudent, they’re sales people!
- The other mistake is not looking for leadership qualities among the candidates. It is by far the most important thing among all the other soft skills for a sales executive.
- Training is a huge component in order to have repeatable people processes. To help sales people understand customers it’s best to understand them directly.
- In order to achieve this, new hires should spend some quality initial time in support/services before they begin their ‘real-job’.
- The training always takes more time than expected. Minimum ramp time is 1-3 months and sometimes can also go up to 6-18 months.
- The last part would be Incentives, promoting the wrong people will always lead to more damage
Mistake No.5: Thinking ‘Product-out’ not ‘customer-in’ 🙃
- Understanding customers is a major factor in sales. Executives often try and talk to every possible customer rather than focusing on customer to whom the product would actually help.
- This can be done by actually understanding the customer needs and analyzing how the product can help them.
- Rather than explaining the customer about the feat of the company, it’s always better to utilize that time to detail more on how they can be helped. Customers cannot care less about the company other than how it can help them.
- Executives must spend at least 25% of their time with the customers in order to understand the requirements of the market and how their product can be positioned.
Mistake No.6: Sloppy Tracking and Measurement 🧐
- Pamplona encierro is a famous event in Spain with people being chased by a bull. It’s chaotic and unorganized, this will be the exact state of the company’s revenue if the sales is not tracked and measured consistently.
- Tracking and measurement is the only way to predict the sales growth and revenue, this also provides an opportunity to iterate with multiple different combinations of old and new metrics to improve the efficiency.
- CEOs and VPs often loose track of the new leads created per month, conversion rates of leads to opportunities.
- This leads to inefficiency and arbitrary growth in sales and revenue. The number of pipelines of quality opportunities created per month and their dollar value is the biggest indicator of revenue.
- It is best advised to keep track of a handful of metrics that would help in manage and measure sales and revenue.
Mistake No.7: Command-and-control Management 🥸
- The greatest structures in the human history that are ever standing were built by thousands of people, sometimes through multiple generations. All of them shared the same goal, this was only possible through right learning.
- Doing the job of your executive because you’re not happy with what they have done is the single greatest mistake that can be made.
- It take a lot of patience and time to help your people understand your expectations and train them, but at the end, it is worth it.
- Treating employees as resources rather than tapping the potential and ideas in each of them would be redundant. This will not help them contribute at the right time.
- Most employees have ideas and want to contribute to make a difference. They prefer to be helpful, trusting and communicative.
- It’s best to harness this immense potential!
Bonus Mistake: Under-investing in customer success 🤠
- A customer will always publicize you out of love and respect if taken good care of! It’s always in the way they are treated.
- CEOs and executives in the early stage are completely focused on acquiring new customer and frequently ignore the current customer base and the past ones.
- Bad customer experience is one step away from loosing trust of the consumer. Once that happens they devalue every thing, even the lowest cost with the best product in the market when it comes to customer experience.
- Always value your consumers as much as possible. Talk to them, take their reviews seriously. Bring out ideas and take their suggestion.
- Honest suggestions are very hard to come by. If you get it you’re one step close to customer satisfaction
TL;DR? Here’s a summary:
7 Mistakes that CEOs and Sales VPs make