I had a meeting yesterday with the CEO of a small business that currently has six people on their sales team. He is stuck in an awkward place because they are now big enough that they need to have a sales team, but they still don’t think they are quite big enough yet to have a dedicated sales manager. This is a tough spot that tons of business owners find themselves in. He needs to build sales to propel the business to the next level (so he can justify hiring a rock star sales manager). But until then, it means that the responsibility of sales management falls on him.
That is where the problem lies. Because despite being great business leaders and perhaps brilliant salespeople, CEOs in general don’t have what it takes to be great sales managers. How can I make such a sweeping statement? Simple. It’s because I know that being a great sales manager requires significant time, something that is in short supply for any CEO.
Unfortunately, CEOs like the one I spoke with are forced to muddle through the sales management process as best they can out of necessity. Finding a way to balance this role as effectively as possible with their other CEO duties is critical to getting over the hump and growing their business enough to adequately support a high-performing sales team.
With that in mind, I put together a list of the Top 5 Mistakes I frequently see made by CEOs managing sales. More importantly, they are accompanied by tips on how to fix them.