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Part One: Sales Leader to Succeed the Owner

Background

Mason is a driven sales leader with an excellent track record of improving sales teams and increasing revenue. He has 17 years of sales and sales leadership experience and recently applied for a new role, a step up, with more responsibility with Widgets Inc.

The interview with Widgets Inc. went really well. The company was thrilled with his new ideas and strong track record of getting results for the organization. Mason left that interview feeling like he nailed it!

Day One

Fast forward a few weeks. 

Mason started at Widgets Inc. as the new Sales Leader. He's in charge of six inside salespeople.

On Mason’s first day, he was welcomed by Mila, from Human Resources. She gave Mason a detailed tour of the office building and various departments. She also arranged for a meeting with Richard the CEO. Richard loves meeting with his leaders within the first days to help set direction, give guidance, and get to know the leaders better.

He intensely explained how he was formerly running the sales department "his baby," but no longer had the time. Richard reviewed Mason's new role, his team, and how their success was measured. Richard was very clear in his direction and also noted that he doesn’t hire people to micromanage them.

After meeting with the CEO, Mason was swept off to another meeting with his sales team. He introduced himself, told them a little bit of his sales leadership background, and had the team introduce themselves.

Mason left the meeting feeling good about the introductions. His gut quickly told him that something was missing from his sales organization, but not to act too soon. He wanted to gather more data points, understand everything, and then take action.

The last thing in the day was a formal HR onboarding meeting that included details about benefits enrollment, company holidays and policies, company structure, team culture, and a review of the company vision, mission, and values.

Week One

During Mason's first week, he felt one of the things that worked well in his career was helping everyone get on the same cadence with meetings. So he set his one-on-ones, ride-a-longs, and pipeline meetings with the team. He wanted to focus on getting to know his team, culture, and driving better performance.

Mason was tasked by Richard with getting to know the CRM, significant accounts, offerings, operations, and processes.

Mason was given clear goals and performance objectives for his first quarter and had a good outline for the year. Frequently Mason recalled Richard's voice in his head saying, "I hired you to get results and drive the team just like I had done."

Mila also scheduled introductory meetings with each department throughout the company to help Mason get a full understanding of the different parts of the organization and how they work.

Month one – three

Mason continues to do regular one-on-ones with his team and the CEO. Mila holds a weekly check-in to address any immediate concerns, followed by a 90-day check-in to make sure they're on track.

She always asks for feedback on the onboarding process and things that can be done to improve it for future hires. Mason is really impressed by how Mila has tailored the onboarding process to fit his learning style. He feels like this aided his learning tremendously.

Overall

Onboarding went well, and the sales team seemed to enjoy Mason. Richard wasn't as involved as Mason would've liked, but he always responded to questions a week or two later.

Mason has been starting to take full charge of the sales efforts at Widgets Inc. In these past few months, he has made some adjustments to the sales strategy and sales procedures. He's been training and motivating his sales team and working towards achieving sales targets and revenue goals.

In his last role, one of his leaders that he really admired taught him that there are two truths to growth.

  • To gain new business each year, you should always be hiring more people year over year and growing existing accounts.
  • Buy a business; you make an acquisition of another company.

From the first day, Mason has felt that his team needs to be in more of a growth mindset. It was evident that his team could use another salesperson who was a hunter in the worst way.

Next Week - Part Two: How Mason overestimates his political capital with the organization (The Spend)

Pivotal Moments:

If you read this blog and thought to yourself, I’ve been faced with some of these (Pivotal Moments) situations and handled them differently for better or worse. We’d love to hear from you. Sales Leadership can be a lonely trail at times. I’m here to tell you, it’s not as lonely as you once thought. Let’s connect. The power is in the collective wisdom. I’d love to hear your story.

About Steve Hoeft

Steve is a Partner, VP Client Services at Pivotal Advisors. Leadership has been forefront in his career for over 20 years. He has also been a Vice President of Sales for a number of companies in Minnesota. Steve has been a guest speaker for many groups such as Sales Leaders Roundtable, Trust Vets, Marine Corps Events and more. If you want to find out more about Steve check out his profile here.
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