Your first 90 days are crucial. To the management, you’re promoted or hired to grow the business. They expect you to learn fast to lead the team and grow the business. Your stake is high.
Most onboarding new Manager programs last about one or two weeks. After that, you're on your own. For me, this is a familiarisation program, not a plan to develop your managerial skills.
If you're looking for a guide on how to get started as a Sales Manager, take a look at the following first 90 days plan. It is based on a THREE consecutive 30-day plan divided into these three steps: Strategize, Mobilize, and Standardize.
Step 1: STRATEGIZE (0 - 30 days)
First and foremost, get a clear picture of your job position. Sit down with your boss and clarify your role, responsibility, and job functions. Ask questions to know your boss expectations clearly. Often, you’re expected to play leadership, management and supervision roles effectively. The ratio between them depends on where you sit in the sales organisation hierarchy. The higher position you're, the more leadership role is expected from you.
The common mistake most new Sales Managers make is implementing drastic changes. Don’t get me wrong. I don't mean make no changes when there is a problem. But I think it should be done in a well-planned and coordinated manner. Do this one time in the beginning. Then you will have better clarity and know the priority which problem to fix first. Sit down and discuss with your boss the root cause and work out the strategic execution plan.
Step 2: MOBILIZE (30 - 60 days)
If you have analysed and strategized well, you’ll see sales opportunities untapped. To seize those opportunities, you need to communicate with the stakeholders before making changes to the available resources. The changes could be the start of measuring the right sales activities, automating some of the sales processes, streamlining to one customer information used by all functional units, re-assign salespeople to a different sales territory, more interactions and exchange of information between cross-functional units, and many more.
Often, new changes fail due to a short of supportive effort to sustain the momentum. It could be introducing sales role-playing simulation sessions to build salespeople confidence and narrow the skills gap, coaching them in the field to increase their success rate on promoting the core products, or sending out the customer satisfaction survey to receive feedback from them about the new changes.
Step 3: STANDARDIZE (60 - 90 days)
In a complex business setting, salespeople are trying different ways to meet the sales quota. Because their self-sufficient, they can be quite fixed to their own sales methods and habits making those numbers. This can be a challenge to align the team for goal accomplishment. Constantly communicate and clarify the team goal and expectations. Correct and align sales actions and behaviours so that the salespeople follow the sales process and standards practised in the Organisation.
What gets measured get done. Take a look at the sales performance metrics reports. Differentiate between the lagging and leading performance indicators. Lagging indicators are outcome data like sales revenue, the number of new accounts opened, the number of sales transactions made, and many more historical sales information. Whilst leading indicators are activity data like the number of daily sales calls made, prospecting frequency, closing rate, new product penetration rate, and many more dynamic sales information.
Managerial leadership development is a lifelong ongoing journey. It will take more than 90 days to develop a highly effective sales leadership, management, and supervision effectiveness. Take the first step. Keep exploring and experimenting. You will thrive and make a difference in what you do. All the best!
Get a free copy of the full version ebook. Also included inside the ebook a Checklist for the things to do in your first 30-60-90 days. Click the image below to download your copy now: