Interim Sales Management For B2B Sales Organizations
Have you lost a key B2B sales executive?
The abrupt loss of a sales leader due to resignation or termination is disruptive to a sales team, and if not rectified quickly can cause you to miss your sales objective. Not only are personal bonuses lost, but the situation may ultimately place your job in jeopardy as well. Unfortunately, reacting to this change by quickly filling the position in a knee-jerk reaction to the crisis often exacerbates the problem.
The pressure to hit sales objectives has never been more intense, and the fire drill thrust upon you due to the sudden loss of a sales leader or manager sometimes makes you do things you would not do under normal circumstances. Considering the ten-year trends for domestic U.S. B2B sales organizations, there are no signs that the environment is improving for sales organizations in 2014:
• Sales costs as a percentage of revenue are increasing
• Lead conversion is declining
• The B2B sales cycle continues to lengthen for roughly 75% of sales organizations
• Sales turnover has reached epidemic proportions
As a result of poor sales performance resulting from these metrics, the average tenure for CEO’s, sales executives, and sales managers doesn’t afford the luxury of making mistakes in the sales hiring process:
• Chief Executive Officer’s average thirty-five months on the job
• Sales Executives (CSO’s and VP’s of Sales) are in their role for nineteen months
• Sales Managers are on the job for only about eighteen months
Let’s translate what these numbers are telling us.
By having a tenure of thirty-five months for CEO’s versus a tenure of nineteen months for sales VP’s, we can infer that CEO’s get two chances to get it right before they are replaced due to sales non-performance. They fire their head of sales after a year and a half, and then give it a go with the new guy for just over another year before the plug is pulled on their executive career.
How many chances does the VP of Sales get before they are replaced?
Assuming that they inherited an existing team when they assumed their role, they probably replace their non-performers after about six months. Then the biggest decision of their professional career is placed in front of them: “Who do I hire to get this ship moving in the right direction?”
The pressure to accelerate B2B sales now is paramount, and sales are absolutely not going to improve with sales managers and sales reps lacking vision and direction as orphaned children. Therefore, they face a real dilemma. Hire someone ASAP to keep the ship moving, OR take their time and hire the right person for the job. They know that they are only going to get this one hiring chance, so they better get it right or else they are going to be out of a job.
So what is the sales executive who is faced with this crisis to do?
They need to do both!
They absolutely can’t afford to flush three months of sales revenue down the drain while they conduct a thorough internal and external search for the right person to lead their team. And, they absolutely can’t afford to hire the wrong person due to an uninformed rapid-hire decision while operating in crisis-mode.
This is where Sage Warfield interim sales management can help. We can step in immediately with an experienced sales leader that is qualified to drive sales for your organization or division. Our sales leaders don’t just steady the ship as an administrative captain; instead, we will equip you with a fully decorated battleship admiral who will provide vision, direction, training, and coaching to quickly accelerate sales for your team, division, or organization.
Meanwhile, while we are leading and growing your team, you can take your time to make sure that the next sales leader is the right sales leader. And when you find the right person for the job, we will be there to properly integrate them into their new role and insure that a smooth transition sets them up for excellence.
By hiring Sage Warfield as your interim sales management team, you are getting the best of both worlds in order to insure the short and long-term success of your sales organization. That's how great sales teams transition their leadership, and that's the Sage Warfield way!
"The Sage approach states that each location is worked with individually. Does this mean that our company will have multiple sales processes?"
No. The sales process will be customized for the entire sales organization. However, the sales process itself is a relatively small part of sales improvement. Implementation and utilization of the process is much more important than the process alone. Our implementation addresses psychological and behavioral issues that effect user adoption and internal belief systems. These factors ultimately determine the success of the process.
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