July 2, 2022

Head of Sales – How to unlock one of the most potential roles?

“The best opportunity for someone in sales is the ability to build constant focus to create success”

When we talk about the sales team and the Head of Sales, I first want to highlight that they are in an advantageous position to create success and growth for the company, making sales one of the most important departments in a company. 

Let’s dive into exploring the potential by understanding the core job of the Head of Sales 

Question 1 – What is the core job of the Head of Sales? 

It takes a good amount of experience and seasoning to head the sales team and add value to a company. Here‘s what I feel the 3 most important aspects of being a Sales Head are: 

  1. Managing performance 
  2. Managing people 
  3. Visionary for the future 

To explain in detail, 

  1. Managing performance 

Managing performance essentially means that the Sales Head needs to manage the performance of the team and their own. As credible sales professionals, they need certain qualities to create success in business. It could be helping teams get more sales closure or demonstrating what good sales is, a Sales Head needs to reflect the needs of the role. 

The Sales Head also needs to be able to solve problems and demonstrate the same to the entire team, to pick up from. They need to build connections in the market that lead to long-lasting relationships and business, for the team to be able to replicate. 

As the organization starts getting bigger, the Sales Head can lessen the intervention in sales and focus purely on managing the team and only pitching in when needed (literally). The Sales Head assess the team’s ability to build new connections, acquire customers and retain them. 

The ideal Sales Head ensures that 75% – 90% of the team reaches the set target. They focus on coaching the ones unable to achieve the targets and see how they can get the ball rolling. 

  1. Managing people 

People are the soul of the company and it is important to nurture the soul and the sales team is no different. The Sales Head needs to ensure that the people in the team are constantly building capabilities for the advancement of the organization. This happens through mentoring, constant authentic feedback, building the right mindset, the right culture and executing plans as a team to achieve the targets. 

The key to managing people is to build their capacity to do their core job and excel at it. It doesn’t mean they build a superficial rapport or host parties for them but it means that they need to work with the teams to open out their potential and share valuable feedback. 

I often coach people to help their sales team focus on DAC – Discipline to do the routine, Ambition to grow and Creativity to solve problems. Creativity and discipline are mutually inclusive and the Sales Head needs to show that perspective to the team. 

I strongly believe in leadership and not artificial popularity. 

  1. Visionary for the future 

The Sales Head needs to envision what the sales team will be like, in months and years to come, reflecting their ability to reach targets and get better at their core capability. It starts with choosing the right talent for the team and coaching them. 

Question 2 – How to hire the right Sales Head? 

First, the company needs to get the evidence of inclination and performance track record of the prospective candidate. The track record of customer acquisition, customer retention and problem-solving ability. 

The next thing to look for is the capability of the Sales Head as they enable the entire sales team. It is beyond how they perform in the interview and about how they have a proven sales record. 

The key thing for a sales head is remaining effective in unpredictable situations. 

The other thing to look out for and be intuitive about is the vibe of the prospective candidate. If they seem to be off sync with any aspect of the company, they’re not the right fit. This is quite overlooked but is a crucial aspect. If the prospect has a shade to them that doesn’t match the company’s credibility, it’s a clear red flag. 

To structure this, the Sales Head should have 

  1. The ability to get and retain customers 
  2. Ability to handle unpredictable situations 
  3. Have no shade that’s bad for the organization 

I keep sharing on coaching calls that the Sales Head is like an all-rounder of a cricket team or the captain. They need to carry out multiple responsibilities with ease and bridge the organisation with the sales team to meet the targets. 

A seasoned sales enthusiast can make an immense difference to the company. Finding the right people is a make or break for the organization and that’s why one needs to hire with extreme heedfulness and care. 

Dinkar Rao is the Managing Director at Groval Euler’s Consulting and Enabling Organisations building a high-performance Sales and Service Culture.  He enables Leadership Culture Creation for Better Growth. Get in touch at – [email protected] 

#headofsales #saleshead #salescoaching #salesculturecreation #salestraining #salesteam

#salesandserviceculture #highperformance #bettergrowth

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