New to the VP of Sales role? Here’s a Road Map for Sales Success

New to the VP of Sales role? Here’s a Road Map for Sales Success

Categories: Sales Leadership

If you are a new VP of sales or head of a sales organization, you are more than ready to start driving results for your sales organization. Your execution plan depends on the current state of your organization. Perhaps you need to hire more reps or build an enterprise sales team. Or maybe, there’s been flat-line growth for the past two years and you’ve been brought in to fix it. The big question is where do you start? We've outlined six key focus areas below. This isn't an exhaustive list, but should get you going in the right direction.

1. Financial Information

  • What is the financial history of the company?
  • What are the short and long-term targets?
  • What are the internal revenue drivers? (e.g., demand gen, sales by type)

2. Target Market

  • What are the key market segments within the total addressable market?
  • What is the ideal customer fit?

3. Product Information

  • What is the key value and differentiation of the product?
  • What's scheduled to be developed?
  • What gaps are there currently in the product?
  • How is pricing and packaging determined?

4. Organizational Alignment

  • What is the organizational structure?
  • How is each group measured?
  • Where are the key collaboration points?
  • How aligned are these groups?

5. Talent

  • What is the capability and bench strength of current leadership?
  • What is the capability and bench strength of functional departments/roles?
  • Do you have hiring profiles defined by role?
  • On your sales team, do you have a gauge of who is at risk, the low performers and the high-potentials?
  • What is the current recruiting and on-boarding process?

6. Stakeholders

  • What is the company strategy and vision?
  • What are the key board and investor objectives?
  • How embedded are you with your top customers?
  • What are the exit, valuation and timeline expectations?
  • What are the communication requirements with the company, investors and board?

The Sales Leader's Execution Plan

When you're new to a role, fast track your way to success with these guiding principles:

  • Assess your current state quickly with functional reviews
  • Determine who is ready to help and who will struggle with change
  • Confirm the company strategy
  • Map prioritized sales initiatives to company strategy
  • Approach new concepts and capabilities over time (think horizons)
  • Establish an operating cadence or a Management Operating Rhythm® for yourself and direct reports
  • Reduce distractions and noise with a plan to communicate regularly and clearly

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