We were referred to a division Vice President for a large communications company. The division had missed its quota for the last eight quarters and was under pressure to turn things around.
We took a close look at the sales organization. We thoroughly studied the sales people, sales management, sales process, pipeline and key deals. It was clear that the sales manager was overwhelmed and unable to give the sales team what they needed to produce more results. The sales manager was well respected, had tremendous skills/knowledge, and was seen as a strong asset because he was a specialist. However, what they needed was a strong sales leader.
We put in one of our folks as a temporary Sales VP while participating in a search for a permanent one. Our guy put in fundamental sales infrastructure and best practices that the permanent Sales VP was going to have to do anyway. The sales manager was moved into a major account role after much conversation. The sales team received training in an effective consultative selling process. For each rep, we reviewed and strategized the top five deals expected for the quarter and held weekly progress/coaching conference calls.
Within ninety days, the team exceeded quota by 70% and was on track to exceed quota for the next two quarters. A topnotch sales VP was hired, who was aligned with our thinking. And the former sales manager was mentally onboard and producing excellent results!
The Common Mistake
There is a big difference between intention and commitment. We often hear executives say they will do whatever it takes, but rarely (and I mean rarely) do they put the action behind the words. The division VP was exceptional because he was truly committed to making the hard changes needed to achieve the expected results. In his words, “failure is not an option” and his actions prove it!