As a business owner, you've likely experienced the excitement and anticipation that comes with hiring a new Sales Leader. You've put in the time, energy, and resources to find the right candidate who fits your vision for your business. But what happens when the initial honeymoon period is over and your Sales Leader isn't living up to your expectations?
Here at Pivotal Advisors, we have seen this scenario play out many times. In our experience, there are several reasons why the honeymoon period ends, but it all boils down to the hiring process, onboarding, and adjusting along the way.
One of the biggest mistakes that business owners make is not being specific enough in their hiring criteria. Hiring Sales Leaders is difficult because they all have different skill sets. Some are good at coaching and developing new salespeople; some excel at working with more established salespeople and keeping them focused. Others are more strategic and do great at figuring out where the next level of growth is going to come from. Then there are Sales Leaders that are perfect for running your existing system or, if you’re lucky, developing and implementing new systems. That’s a lot to consider, but owners often don't go into that level of detail. In their eagerness to fill the position, they focus more on a candidate's past performance and industry knowledge than on their sales leadership skills. As a result, they end up hiring someone who may not have the right skills for what the company needs.
Another reason for the end of the honeymoon period is poor onboarding. In their haste to get their new Sales Leader up to speed, many businesses only give them a few weeks of training and shadowing. They’re not properly introduced to the company, its solutions, and its competition. This results in a Sales Leader who is not fully equipped to lead the team. It’s important to think about things like authority levels. What do you want them to take and run with, and what should be worked on collaboratively? A lot of times that discussion never even happens, and that causes a lot of angst between Sales Leaders and owners. You've got to ask yourself, "Did we really do a good job of onboarding them?" According to the Sales Management Association, Sales Leaders who receive formal onboarding are 2.5 times more likely to be successful in their role.
Finally, business owners often fail to make adjustments along the way. They may not be happy with their Sales Leader's performance, but they don't have the necessary conversations to address the issues. This lack of communication can cause frustration and misunderstandings, which can ultimately lead to the Sales Leader's failure. It’s important to be specific about the things that you're expecting and let them know if they’re meeting them or not. Talk about what needs to be done differently going forward. Without these discussions, your Sales Leader can’t take the necessary steps to improve.
The end of the Sales Leader honeymoon period is a common issue for many businesses. According to ProventusHR, Nearly 40% of Sales Leaders fail to meet their objectives in the first 18 months on the job. But by being specific in your hiring criteria, investing in proper onboarding, and making necessary adjustments along the way, you can set your Sales Leader up for success and achieve the results you're looking for.
If your Sales Leader honeymoon period is over and you're experiencing these issues, there are solutions. Our advisors can help turn the situation around. With the right tools, coaching, mentoring, and proven systems, it's possible to get your Sales Leader back on track and turn a potentially bad hire into a good one.