Sales Leadership Training 101: First Week On The Job: Part Two Of Two

Sales Leadership Part 2A new vice president of sales needs to gauge where the company stands prior to making any real decisions concerning the future of the business. This may require the executive to sit down with each employee and listen to their views on what could be done differently.

The executive needs to work with the existing sales management team to discern what employee feedback is helpful to promoting growth within the company, according to Heather Kivett, president of Resolution Systems, Inc., a sales training and consulting firm.

“It is important to let people be heard, they don’t like it when their voice is not heard and acknowledged,” noted the executive. “It doesn’t mean you have to agree with them or even that their grievances are legit.”

The executive has to realize that although employees may not present an unbiased view of what is going on, there is a lot of bad management out there. If a new vice president of sales is brought in, something is wrong and needs to be fixed, according to Kivett.

“You may be brought in to slash and burn, embark on a listening tour, rally the troops, or you might have to come in and save one of the major accounts,” said the executive. “You may have to go in and advise the CEO on how to address the shareholders on the future of the company and the next steps. The most important thing is for the VP to get a lay of the land before they start to make wholesale changes, unless it is a drastic and timely situation.”

Kivett noted that she knew of a new vice president that came into a company with the wrong attitude and turned all of the employees and executives off immediately. This individual was arrogant and opinionated, two things that may lead to workers losing respect for a leader.

“His idea was, leadership means I have to be the smartest guy in the room, they have to respect my opinion, and if I am loud enough they will follow me,” noted the executive.

This type of takeover will lead to a lack of cohesion within the management team and, ultimately, a lack of progress and growth. You need to listen to the other employees and work together.

The vice president of sales needs to listen, find the condition of the customers, supply chain and financials, and then move forward with the help of the other executives.