New sales head? See 7 actions for job transition
The sales head is responsible for managing people and goals within the companies. It is he who is side by side with his team, motivates, trains and analyzes numbers to increasingly improve the process. When someone is promoted to head of sales, some actions need to be taken to start off on the right foot.
Your efforts have been rewarded! You have proven you have the ability. He always hit his goal, helped to improve the process and today he can manage his own sales team.
At first glance, the excitement and your previous knowledge seem to be enough to face the mission, right?
Managing people, setting the goal, being in direct contact with the directors, thinking strategically at all times…
However, it will take you a few seconds to realize that the management you are about to do is quite different than just managing yourself.
So where should you start?
Today’s text helps those who have just been raised to the position of head of sales to make a smooth transition from the position they had been occupying.
We will talk about routine, people management, goals, tools, training and everything that will help you to be successful in your daily life.
Stay with us and check it out.
How to be a good sales head? change your mindset
While this is an exciting and important time for you, it is also a time of change for sellers.
Adjusting to a new sales head can be difficult, especially if your predecessor was a popular person within the company.
If you have been promoted to the position within your company, you may encounter some resistance (jealousy and even hostility may be common) from your former colleagues in the sales department.
Whether you’re in the company you were in or a new one, you’ll need to find a way to earn the team’s trust.
To be able to follow the relevant indicators that the position requires. And to enable everyone to achieve goals and objectives defined by you.
That’s why the mindset change is so important: it’s time to be analytical and strategic at all times.
Being present, managing closely and being in tune with the sales team.
What do they need to be able to sell more and better? How should their training be? How will relevant sales metrics be monitored?
This is all analytical and strategic thinking. And all of this goes through the sales head, ok?
7 ways to transition from salesperson to sales head
A good sales head – already anticipating some topics to follow – needs to be concerned with certain essential aspects.
His main one, in any leadership position, is people management.
As much as you have the right tools and good training, it won’t make any real impact if you can’t motivate your salespeople.
The sales process is a collective construction: everyone needs to contribute so that it is improved day after day.
So, without having motivated people in order to do more, this part gets complicated, isn’t it?
That’s why we’ve separated 7 actions for you, sales head, to make the transition and be able, from the beginning, to succeed in your new mission.
1 – Understand immediately your new role in the company
Before you start leading your team to create new business, make sure you have a thorough understanding of the expectations that accompany the role of head of sales.
More than that: why did the company need you to be in this position?
That is, keep in mind the reason for your hiring or promotion.
- was hired to replace a sales head with poor sales performance?
- Are you stepping into the shoes of someone who performed well but left the company?
- what improvements does the board expect you to implement in the sector?
- improve salespeople who are underperforming? Or simply change them?
The goal is to make the transition clear and smooth so that you get off to a good start in your new role.
Check-in regularly with the company’s CSO. This will help, at least in the beginning, to get a better sense of why you are hired.
So don’t be afraid, whenever you feel the need, request a meeting with the director
2 – Talk to everyone individually
It can be difficult to lead a whole new team when you’re still trying to memorize everyone’s name and position. That, of course, if you’re new to the company.
However, no matter the size of your sales team: you should do your best to get to know each member.
Find out what they believe is the strengths and weaknesses of each one and their personal and professional goals.
You are an enabler for people to achieve what they won’t – remember that.
This one-on-one conversation is especially important if you’ve been promoted to head of sales at the same company.
Now you are in a management role and run someone who used to be your colleague before. Which was hierarchically equal.
What did the team think of the change?
That’s a question that needs to be asked of everyone – and if it’s individually it’s better to get more accurate feedback.
The transition process is much easier when your team is as sincere as possible.
As you are taking over someone else’s role, ask the team what they liked about your predecessor’s leadership style. And what he left to be desired.
A simple question may be enough for each of your team:
- “If you were the head of sales, what changes would you promote?”
This will not only make your team think about collective and individual improvements, it will also show that you want everyone to be strategically involved.
It’s important to keep them motivated, feeling part of the whole.
Also, discuss end-to-end what works and what doesn’t in the current sales process.
Make it clear that you are there to help. To make the sales routine better. To make it easier for everyone to achieve their goals.
Listen. Understand. Analysis. Changes can be frightening at first, so it’s important to pass security on to your teammates.
3 – Set realistic goals and expectations – for yourself and the team
To do this, you can start by answering a few questions – always aligning the answers with the board.
- What do you want to achieve in your first quarter as head of sales for the company?
- What, in order of importance, are your priorities?
- How many sales (in quantity and/or value) need to be achieved in the period?
Make a list and share goals with the team. Let them know that they can (and should) hold you accountable for the mission as well.
You also need to have ongoing conversations with the team about your expectations of them.
Talk about collective and individual goals. It’s time to be clear and directly communicate exactly what is expected of everyone.
Goal setting doesn’t have to be a 100% vertical exercise – although the final word is yours.
Encourage team members to create their own individual goals. You can apply the SMART goal method at this time.
Ask them to set a number they feel comfortable with, and if they match what you thought, validate them.
4 – Manage numbers based on numbers
A good sales head is – and always will be – preoccupied with numbers. Performance indicators are your best friends.
Sales metrics speak volumes about the business. About the quality of the process and activities carried out in the sales area.
Therefore, it is important to be aware of the conversion rates in each of the steps of the funnel, be it pre-sales or sales, for example.
Is the rate of closing deals below, above or within the segment’s normal?
Without the right indicators, you will not be able to identify bottlenecks in the process.
It won’t know why you sell well or why you sell poorly – and that’s pretty bad.
Understand what the relevant fees are. Consume a benchmark of your area and constantly improve the process.
5 – Have the right tools
To be able to have rates and metrics for your business, the first step is to have technology within the processes.
That is to say: the company must have gone through the digital transformation in the sales sector.
The use of tools such as marketing automation platforms and CRM are essential.
The first one brings the director generated leads to the CRM integrated into it, which makes it easy to handle every opportunity.
The second one has the relevant metrics and rates that we mentioned above and guarantees much higher productivity for your team.
The functionality of a CRM makes your team need to perform fewer tasks to sell more.
The choice of this tool is extremely important and needs to meet the reduction of the CAC and the sales cycle.
6 – Build team unity
Whether you’re meeting your new team or rising through the ranks, it’s critical to build your team’s unity.
A unified team is a prerequisite for success. So it’s important that both you and your salespeople feel comfortable with each other.
For this, activities outside the office can be a good way for you to get to know each other better. How about happy hour?
Team lunches once a week are a great way to start bonding.
These are great ways to “break the ice” of that almost mechanical and extremely formal relationship.
It also shows that you will always be there for them – available, ready to listen and improve.
The one-on-one conversation we mentioned earlier is critical to understanding how each salesperson works.
Some need to be stimulated all the time, others have greater capacity for self-management.
Different information is obtained in different contexts. You won’t know everything you need inside the office.
That’s why these moments outside are important, to understand the essence of each one and how you can extract the best from everyone – collectively and individually.
7 – Have good sales meetings
The sales meeting cannot be an unpleasant, bad, or tense time for anyone.
That is to say, your salespeople can’t assume that whenever you get together, it’s to talk about problems.
Even so, tip: set a fixed day in the week for a larger meeting. And, in the mornings, every day, at the beginning of the journey, 15 minutes to talk about the previous day.
The meeting is the time to analyze the week’s numbers, talk about what was positive and what was not, interpret the numbers and propose improvements for the next 7 days.
Everyone must participate and engage. To do this, guide each one to focus on some specific report: give this mission to each of the members.
Thus, they feel part of the whole: they contribute with actions as well as ideas.
If that happens, your process only tends to improve and sales, of course, to grow.
So, how can we help you?
If you have any questions about the article or want to talk about your challenges as head of sales, talk to a consultant whenever you want.
Enjoy and read two articles that will help you manage sales daily.
The first talks about how your sales team’s motivation goes through your CRM.
The second talks about the importance of having a successful mentality when running a commercial team.
The sales head is responsible for managing people and goals within the companies. It is he who is side by side with his team, motivates, trains and analyzes numbers to increasingly improve the process. When someone is promoted to head of sales, some actions need to be taken to start off on the right foot. Your efforts…