When we come in contact with a company, especially SMEs, the common thing that we encounter are their sales challenges. We can solve those with a systematic approach. Too often, the CEOs hire a new Sales Manager and put our sales improvement project on hold. Either because they expect the new manager to solve the challenges on their own or because they want him to buy into the idea of our improvement project and they wait for him to say so.
It always ends the same way.
The Sales Manager feels the need to take the responsibility for the improvement themself (irrespective of whether the superiors really expect that from the Sales Manager or not);
At the same time, they do not have the necessary skills, thus fail to meet the expectations. Unfortunately, we cannot offer help when it comes to this situation because the new Sales Manager sees us as competition.
So, instead of win-win-win, lose-lose-lose happens.
It is important that the CEO becomes aware that a new Sales Manager cannot replace the systematic solution, as they are not experienced in building sales systems, especially if coming from a different company. The ideal scenario is a collaboration between the new manager and us - as the sales system experts - so that we jointly design a proper and improved sales approach from the existing know-how and good practices. Only then, is the new Sales Manager equipped for success.
However, Sales Managers should be aware it is too risky to take upon such responsibility as there are loads of unknowns and skeletons in closets waiting for them. Getting used to a completely new organisation is difficult in itself, sales challenges which surely exist are a whole other story. If there were no challenges they wouldn’t have been hired. Commonly, such a story goes awry.
To anybody going to an interview for a Sales Manager role, we advise asking whether there are an existing sales system and sales tools proven to work. If not, you can say that is your requirement for taking the position. They need to be aware they are the ones who need to have an existing working sales system.