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Sales Training: CEO Frustration with Executive Sales Talent

Category: Sales Training  |  Permalink

Published: Monday, January 23, 2012

Sales Training Article: Why the CEO is frustrated with Executive Sales Talent

By Matt Sharrers, Sales Benchmark Index (SBI)

We spoke with over 200 CEO's in the fourth quarter as part of our 2012 sales force design study. When asked to state their expectations of executive sales talent, there were 6 keys for 2012. Regardless of industry, implement these 6 keys to reduce the frustration level of the guy in the corner office.sales training

New Products- The CEO's number 1 job is to make investment decisions. In doing so, he bets that the time and money spent on developing market leading products will generate a return. Equip the team to land a beach head account that can sing to the rest of your customers and prospects about the quality of the new product. Give the CEO a victory for the April board meeting.

Sales Strategy- The CEO has received approval on the 3 year plan from the board. He is looking for his VP of Sales to design a well thought out sales strategy that can deliver on this promise. Bring him a strategy that is tailored to the maturity level of the sales force.

Dashboards- There is data and then there is informative data. Why does it take you days to give him a report on the business? If you are world class, the CEO (and the entire executive staff for that matter) is viewing the dashboard in the CRM. Yes, i said in the CRM.

ROI- You have asked for budget to make improvements in the sales force or hire more staff. Show the CEO the leading indicators and have the courage to pull the plug on something that is failing. But whatever it is you spend money on, measure the ROI with early leading indicators vs. waiting for the lagging indicators.

Courage- Proactively make some tough Q1 decisions. Quit trying to run for office; you got elected. The CEO wants a sales leader who is respected by the sales force. When he travels in the field, he wants to hear a few people comment that his sales leader is tough minded and expects a little too much. This is music to his ears.

Evolution- Are you pushing the envelope on bleeding edge ideas? Or are you trying to recycle the same plan from the last 3 years with a different shade of lipstick? How many hours of self development did you have last year and what sales best practices did you bring to the team? The view only changes if you are the lead dog.

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