The CEO of a new company is Chief Salesperson. If your company’s CEO stinks at sales, you better have a bunch of money to burn. I stated that in my last article and I restate it now. I have seen some pretty good ideas and products go unsold when the concept of the CEO being a salesperson is ignored. The CEO should understand and demand results personally and from the sales team. The CEO should also have a sales-process checklist. Here is what needs to be monitored:
- Written Goals and Plans – If you expect to succeed you better have written goals and plans. Review them often, reach high but do not overreach. This topic is repeated so often that it is often ignored. Ignore at your own peril.
- Prospecting System – How are you getting leads? What is the most effective prospecting system? Is it association meetings, lead groups, alignment with mutually beneficial companies or is it the old standby of cold calling? Whatever the system is, it must be monitored and checked.
- Sales Recipe Book – If you are new, there is not likely a behavior set that gets sales. However, sales is a game of numbers and the success percentages can always improve. How many calls are you making? What is the average sales cycle? If you don’t know it, guess and evaluate your results to make sure that it becomes more and more predictable when followed.
- Accountability, accountability and more accountability – Your team respects, what you inspect. If calls are not being made, you better know about it. A system to hold your team accountable is a must. You should even make sure that you are being held accountable too.
- Sales Courage – Is there fear in the ranks. Prospects can smell it instinctively even over the phone. Are you conducting three-way calls to listen to how a call is made and is your team listening to your calls to learn?
- Skill building activities to encourage better:
- Listening and Questioning
- Handling Stalls and Objections
- Ability to Close Sales and Meet Goals
In new companies there are always many questions to be answered. You are likely going to be wrong with some of your assumptions and systems, but start now to begin building a system and your success as a company is much more likely.