The first 7 days of a new sales director’s tenure are critical for setting the tone for their time at the company. In yesterday’s Advisor, we explored what questions companies should ask when hiring new sales directors. Today we’ll take a closer look at how to set up your new sales leader for success.
What meetings do they need to have during their first week to ensure they’re able to hit the ground running and achieve the big goals set for them during their first quarter?
A C-suite introduction. Even though the new sales director no doubt met with the C-suite during his or her interview, it’s important to introduce them again—this time as a colleague and collaborator. The company’s trajectory and strategic vision sets the tone for where your sales leadership will focus. During a C-suite introduction, the sales director should get the deep dive into where the company is headed in the next year and 5 years—and how it impacts the sales department’s activities. Consider putting together a background package with strategic, company, industry, and financial information that will help the sales director succeed in his or her new role, and have the C-suite put that data into action.
Connecting with marketing. The silos between sales and marketing have broken down significantly in recent years. As a result, sales and marketing teams are working closer than ever before, and building relationships with marketing early on in a tenure helps sales directors develop critical allies. From accessing deeper customer intelligence to establishing the foundation for future requests around sales enablement content creation, make sure new sales directors connect with their peers in the marketing department early on. It can help forge strong working relationships, as well as provide a wider perspective.
A level-set with the sales team. When a new sales leader comes on board, no one is more affected than the sales team. As a result, it’s important to conduct a level-set with the sales team to help them get to know their style, expectations, and goals for the first 90 days in the role—and beyond. Schedule this meeting during the first week, and don’t be afraid to map out what the new leader will be working on understanding as he or she dives deeper into the company. A group team level-set should be complemented with one-on-one meetings with the team wherever possible.
Meeting with a customer. It’s important that sales leaders have a direct line to customers. Often, companies have long-time customers who are very happy with their work and represent the best-case scenario. Connecting sales leaders with key customers early on gives them first-hand perspective on who buys the product, what they love about it, and the kinds of pain points and obstacles they’re likely to encounter.
As a new sales director onboards—even if promoted internally—the first few weeks are going to be incredibly busy. Create a road map that helps him or her gather different perspectives, build relationships, and put the work in context. It will help the sales director make short-term wins, as well as lay the foundation for long-term success.