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CEO Advisor® Newsletter
December 2017

Hiring, Building and Managing a Sales Team

CEO Advisor Can Help You Build Your Sales Team


In many small businesses, you may be the sales manager, marketing director and salesperson all in one. As you grow, you have to bring in the right sales management to leverage your sales team and achieve your Forecast. One of the most critical positions you will need to hire is a Sales Manager (Vice President or Director of Sales) because sales are what drive your company's growth and profits. All other things being equal, the more well-managed salespeople you have the more sales you will generate. Adding salespeople and improving your sales staff with training and managing are essential to growing your company.


Measuring Sales Productivity
Tracking sales is an essential part of effective sales management. To track your sales team properly, you will need to set goals by creating a Sales Plan with sales goals by salesperson by month for the fiscal year. Then, communicate these goals to each salesperson regularly and hold each of them accountable for meeting their goals. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that is managed and monitored daily by sales management is critical to meeting your sales goals and growing your business to the next level.


Hiring Salespeople
Recruiting, hiring, training and managing the right salespeople can result in steadily increasing sales. This can free you up to better manage the company and spend time and energy on other critical tasks. Hiring salespeople could also hurt sales, erode profits, damage valuable customer relationships, and destroy your image in the marketplace. The difference between these two scenarios is hiring the right salespeople versus the wrong ones. CEO Advisor, Inc. has a 10-step approach to assist its' clients in making sound, effective, profitable sales hires.


Salespeople have the most daily contact with your prospects and customers. They need to be pre-screened, interviewed three times, have their references checked and have a background check performed on them. You also need to create an effective Sales Compensation Plan that motivates salespeople and is profitable for the company

To hire the right salesperson for the job, you have to have a clear understanding of what you need with a concise job description. Do you want someone who is a closer or one who takes more of a consultative sales approach? Do you need someone fully trained and experienced, or hungry and willing to dial 100 times a day to secure appointments.


Retention of Good Salespeople
Good salespeople want to be treated fairly and with respect. Misunderstanding your company's compensation plan is one of the main reasons for sales staff dissatisfaction and turnover. For all potential new hires, explain precisely how they will be compensated. In addition, clarify the territory, your sales goals and performance expectations, the training you will offer, and the sales tools you will provide including a CRM software solution, target lists and leads. You should also provide candidates with thorough training of your products and services, and a description of the market and the competition.


Once you initiate the salesperson search, consider the following:


  • Look internally. You may have technical, support, operations or administrative people who would and could successfully move into sales. Post the ad internally or discuss the opportunity with employees that represent a potential fit.
  • Ask for employee referrals. Chances are your existing employees know the kind of people who would be great salespeople and happy to work for you. 
  • Network with suppliers, customers, colleagues, advisors and social contacts. This can be cheaper, faster and more reliable than advertising to the general public.
  • Check with professional associations. They may have a job site to help members find employees.
  • Online advertising. The speed, freshness and searchability of online job sites make them attractive options for both candidates and employers. Create an advertisement that is compelling to top candidates.
  • Check with your local universities. You may be able to hire a recent graduate who's enthusiastic, effective and less expensive than a seasoned professional, or an aggressive intern for lead generation or sales appointment setting.


Sales Management
It's never easy to hand over responsibility for an important management position to someone else, but hiring effective sales management is a critical step to your growth. Once you hire senior sales management, you'll be able to eliminate managing salespeople yourself, and devote the balance of your time to the jobs you're uniquely qualified to handle, like devising the company's strategy, securing funding, making opportunistic acquisitions, developing new products, etc.


A good sales manager such as a Vice President or Director of Sales has to be able to:

  • Recruit and hire the right salespeople
  • Manage salespeople and train them effectively
  • Develop sales strategies and plans
  • Develop both a direct and reseller sales channel
  • Set sales targets for the sales team
  • Track sales performance
  • Personally handle key customers and assist in closing large deals
  • Prepare sales reports and monitor and track the CRM
  • Report directly to you or a superior and meet your sales goals to increase profits and the value of your business


A strong sales manager should have great leadership and communication skills and have a proven record of growing sales in past positions.


CEO Advisor, Inc. is a specialist in helping companies build and manage their sales team so they can grow to the next level. We address your specific needs with hands-on action and seasoned advice. Contact CEO Advisor, Inc. has the expertise and experience to help you make the tough decisions and execute your plan to turn your company around. Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.

Invest in Yourself and Your Business

As a business owner and CEO, you selectively make investments in your business on an on-going basis - meaning you invest in yourself! Given today's low interest rates, investing in yourself and your business may generate the largest return on any investment you can make anywhere on this planet. Investing in yourself and your business enables you to dictate your future and your success. Investing in yourself and your business also enables you to increase sales, profits and the value of your business toward an exit and the largest payday of your life.


Different than investing in real estate, bonds or equities, investing in your business is the key to your success provided you have the proper road map to achieve your goals.


Don't go it alone - this may be the most important step of your life. Meet with a business advisor that focuses on business owners and CEOs of small and mid-size companies to discuss the steps below.


Here are 5 steps you can take right now that will pay tremendous dividends:


1. Strategic Direction
The direction of your business is critical to your success. Now is the time to re-assess, strategize and review the year-to-date progress and make adjustments for the new year. Growing 10% year after year is not a gauge of success, and certainly will not increase the value of your business. Approach the next year with a productive plan, clear strategy and sales focus to ensure success in 2018. For over a dozen years, CEO Advisor, Inc. has helped CEOs create strategies for increased sales, profits and business value.


2. Set Your Goals
Establish clear near-term and long-term goals for your business. Create and prioritize tasks and deadlines around what is needed to accomplish these goals. Then, assign personnel, management or advisors to ensure timely completion of these tasks and projects. This can be one of the best investments you can make.


3. Review the Numbers
Create key metrics for your business that will clearly tell you if you are on track to achieve results. Review your financials and make sure to understand them thoroughly so you can address issues on specific aspects of your business, and make needed decisions based on your financials. Track these key metrics monthly (in real-time if possible) as a critical step in the health, growth and success of your business.


Defining and tracking these key metrics will substantially increase sales and profits, enabling you to make faster and improved decisions. CEO Advisor, Inc. regularly assists CEOs in setting up these key metrics to drive success, and can help you analyze your financials and provide feedback and hands-on advice on how to maximize your profits and valuation.


4. Focus
If you are not sure where you're going, you will never get there. Focus on your highest priorities and document what needs to be accomplished, who will accomplish them and when these priorities must be accomplished by. Focus on what meets prospects and customers' needs, drives sales and profits, and builds value in your company.


5. Invest in Needed Advice
The business issues above are just some of the more critical issues that you must tackle every day. The impact on your business, your life, your bottom line, your cash flow and the value of your business is tremendous. A trusted, seasoned business/M&A advisor can be the difference in your business success and achieving your life's dreams of a successful exit.


Contact Mark Hartsell, MBA, President of CEO Advisor, Inc. for a no cost initial consultation at (949) 629-2520, by email at MHartsell@CEOAdvisor.com or visit us at www.CEOAdvisor.com for more information.

Testimonial  


"Whether it is growing a business to the next level, turning a distressed company around or preparing a company for an exit, Mark's firm, CEO Advisor, Inc, provides a broad range of services and Mark is there for the CEO every step of the way."

Partner
Haynes & Boone, LLP

"Whether it is growing a business to the next level, turning a distressed company around or preparing a company for an exit, Mark's firm, CEO Advisor, Inc, provides a broad range of services and Mark is there for the CEO every step of the way."
Partner
Haynes & Boone, LLP

Whether it is growing a business to the next level, turning a distressed company around or preparing a company for an exit, Mark's firm, CEO Advisor, Inc., provides a broad range of services and Mark is there for the CEO every step of the way."
Partner
Haynes & Boone, LLP


"Mark Hartsell and CEO Advisor, Inc. provide a unique advisory service for CEOs. He not only tackles high level strategic issues to assist CEOs navigate through challenging times, but Mark also gets very involved in actually addressing important issues head-on by performing the work to achieve tangible results.


Whether it is growing a business to the next level, turning a distressed company around or preparing a company for an exit, Mark's firm, CEO Advisor, Inc, provides a broad range of services and Mark is there for the CEO every step of the way."

 


Partner

Haynes & Boone, LLP

Words of Wisdom


"Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now."


Alan Lakein
Business Author

""Planning is bringing the future into the present so you can do something about it now." 
Alan Lakein
Business Author




"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."

Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker

"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."
Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker
"Yesterday does not equal tomorrow. Forget the past and move towards your goals."
Tony Robbins
Motivational Speaker



Prime Minister of the U.K.