During the last few years of downturn there has been much discussion about leadership, or lack of, and how this is impacting not only local markets but the global economy.
What are you doing in your SMB (Small Medium Business) about sales and marketing leadership? Is your sales and marketing strategy and plan clear to your people?
When you started your business you probably did all the sales and marketing yourself. This then evolved into you hiring a dedicated sales person and perhaps using a marketing agency or marketing part-timer. The sales team grew but still there was no need for any robust “management” as it could be handled with the odd catch up phone call or meeting.
Now, however, there is a small dedicated sales team, they need direction and attention and you are too busy running a larger more sophisticated business. What do you do?
One situation we come upon quite regularly is that SMB Owners promote their best sales person into a sales management role. This follows a number of assumptions; 1) that their sales ability will rub off on those in the team; 2) that they will coach them all to be heavy hitters; 3) that they are also strong sales leaders and managers; 4) that promoting them will mean that they are more likely to stay and increase company loyalty; 5) that they can get two for the price of one. Wrong…
You just took your best sales person out of a direct selling role into a more administrative/management role which will either mean that they’ll get bogged down in non-selling related tasks and become frustrated that they aren’t selling anymore or remain totally involved in selling and feel they’ve failed to properly lead and manage the sales team. Your sales figures will most likely become impacted, you’ll return the sales heavy hitter back to selling and they’ll feel and be perceived as being demoted that “it didn’t work out” or that they failed.
Is this a risk that you want to take particularly at this time?
The reality is that at some time in the evolution of your sales and marketing team it will make sense to hire a professional Sales Leader and Manager in your business full-time but what can you do in the meantime to make sure that your sales team have leadership. Hire a Part Timer…
A part-time experienced and professional Sales Leader brings an established tool kit and way of working that is cost effective, resource effective and time effective. It may only need 1 or 2 days per week to rally the troops, agree the sales forecast, advise on the sales pipeline, agree tactics to close more business sooner, evaluate any sales development gaps, and coach and mentor the sales team to be the very best.
Jefferson Sales has been providing part-time sales management services to SMB Owners since 2005.