If you are a VP of Sales how many times have you heard this question?
It does not mean you had a bad year, nor does it mean you will have a bad 2014.
Although making the sales number is a “job one” for a VP of Sales it’s simply not enough anymore.
The VP of Sales role has grown and expanded over the past 5 years. In our sales consulting firms engagements we have seen, the onset of technology, social media, customer awareness and other factors have caused many organizations to re look at the sales organization and ask a fundamental question.
How can or should we be doing this sales thing more efficient?
What does sales efficiency mean?
- Can we segment our customers to lower our costs and be more profitable?
- Will social media get us more and or better appointments?
- Why does the activity of most sales reps only account for 10-15 hours per week?
- Is our content educating our prospects or is our competitor?
- How do we shrink the new hire ramp time from 6 months to 4?
- Can we serve different customer sets with inside sales and not lose market share?
- Our numbers look good BUT our new named business is down, WHY?
- Our win-loss ratio at certain sizes is not where it should be. Why isn’t our sales training working?
- Sales turnover has cost us millions this year. Why?
What I have learned about CEO and their relationship to sales is that they are now expecting their Sales VP to be leading and guiding these sales efficiency initiatives and more across the sales organization.
How do we change mindsets for those VP of Sales who need to change, without the person realizing to late the job is bigger than what I thought?
The Sales VP needs to clearly understand the following:
- I think the first thing is that like the prospects, the CEO is much more educated as to the sales organization today than ever before thanks to the numerous articles, books and blogs. Sales are not the black box departments to leave alone anymore.
- Most CEO and senior leadership have coaches and peer groups where they get data and new ideas from. In fact the sales consulting firms are reaching out to them.
- Third, technology has made the selling process and sales funnel very visible to all the organization. No more can we hide in poor activity, poor efficiency or forecast accuracy.
- Finally get out of your comfort zone and start tackling the issues more than the number. WHY because these issues will help you make the number more efficiently and address some open sores that have needed to be mended.
So as this year end is approaching, and 2014 is in 3 weeks, take a look at what YOU are going to do differently in 2014 and what sales efficiency initiatives are you going to lead to make your sales organization a better place as in a lot of places your sales teams are screaming out for change. . Everyone is looking at YOU.