I don’t want to count how many business owners I’ve heard say something like, “I need to invest more time with the sales team; it could really make a difference.”
Every business owner has far too many responsibilities and items on their to-do list. Combine that with the fact that sales management isn’t the most enjoyable job, and you have an endless loop of weak sales and CEO guilt.
If you’re a CEO, you should not be managing the sales team. Admit it, it’s not something you enjoy, and you have bigger fish to fry. Sure, sales are important, but CEOing the company is more important.
Do yourself a favor and let go of the guilt you may have about helping the sales team. You can help them plenty in your role as the CEO, but your time is better spent strategically than as a tactical member of the sales team.
If you follow my advice and let go of your guilt regarding participation in the sales department, you have three options.
- Higher and A-List sales leader so you can focus on bigger and better.
- Let the inmates run the asylum (i.e., don’t have a sales leader) and hope there’s no prison break.
- Bring in a fractional sales leader with the talent to augment your team.
On the flip side, please do not do either of the following.
- Hire an inexpensive sales manager. Save your money. Cheap sales managers are nothing more than sales babysitters. What’s holding back, your sales department can’t be fixed by someone keeping an eye on the team; it’s going to take someone with experience and talent.
- Promote your best salesperson to anything resembling a sales manager. I’ve seen it all – leaving a salesperson’s quota intact but expecting them to also manage the team, removing the top former from selling, and having them only manage sales, in many hybrids in between. In nearly every instance is a train wreck. Great salespeople don’t have the skills to be great managers. Many times, their pay decreases with this ‘promotion.” In 90% of the cases, the plan doesn’t work, and you will lose the salesperson. Once you realize this plan isn’t working, you will try to put the toothpaste back in the tube, and it will feel like a demotion to the salesperson, causing them to quit.
If you’d like to learn more about how fractional sales management works, click here.