Should I Hire A Sales Manager?
For many companies the roles of sales leader can be properly served in less than seven hours a week.
If that shocks you, hang on a second.
I coach and advise executives on how to build best-in-class sales teams. The biggest mistake I see quickly-scaling companies (in the $2–10M ARR) make is hiring a sales leader before they master the basics of building a sales team.
Every week I get approached to help an executive or founder hire their first sales leader.
Here’s my response:
Can you afford to spend $15,000 a month for six months with little to zero, or even a negative return on investment?
The answer is usually “no.”
57% of sales teams miss quota annually. That’s an indictment on sales leaders and their ability to influence salespeople and customer behaviors.
The average tenure of a sales leader is less than 18 months. The tenures are much shorter for companies hiring their first sales leader.
Not every company needs a full-time sales leader.
Instead, they need to:
- Understand the anatomy of a successful seller in their organization, and that usually is very different from their current top performer
- Clarify 3–5 ICPs, Really understand your buyer and the total addressable market
- Build a sales process around how the ICPs want to do business with them
- Invest in sales coaching for your team…you don’t need to be the coach
- Support the sales team and business with the right technology
- Ensure sales strategy aligns with business strategy
Seems like a lot, but it can be done in less than seven hours a week. There’s a better way to spend the $200K+ that you would have wasted on a failed sales leader experiment.
A Better Way To Scale
Instead of spending $200,000 on a sales leader that likely won’t work out, try something like this:
- Get clear on what it takes to be a successful seller in your company and go hire 1–2 more sellers. Hold them accountable to producing results quickly. Publish and report on goals, results and opportunities to improve. Add more selling capacity. Sales leaders rarely sell. ($100,000)
- Invest in affordable technology that give you and the team better insight into your sales funnel and sales economics. Buy enablement and automation software to maximize the productivity of your sales team. You need the right CRM, email nurturing and sales enablement tools if you want to lead a sales team in less than seven hours a week. Today’s technology gives you all the data to make really good decisions at a very reasonable investment. ($15,000)
- Hire sales coaches for each of your salespeople. Good sales coaches can make good salespeople rock stars. If that sounds expensive, then consider subscription programs like those offered by Jeb Blount, Anthony Iannarino and Scott Leese. Providing your salespeople with a community of peers outside of your company is invaluable. ($6,000 per salesperson)
- Work with an advisor that’s built sales teams to help you build systems, process and structure so that your business can support a sales leader at some point in the future. The right expert can help you turn decades of experience into days of progress. ($40,000)
In the past year I ‘ve seen a real shift in the sales leadership economy. Technology, especially that supports virtual teams has eliminated data gathering and report building from the sales leader’s day. The essence of the role is coaching, clarity and strategy. Chances are good that you or someone on your executive team, coupled with the right resources can lead your sales team in seven hours a week better than a 40-hour sales leader.
For those considering hiring their first hashtag#sales leader in 2022… Maybe read this first.
Teaching Sales Managers How To Become Indispensable C-Suite Executives 👉🏼 nigelgreen.co