Every organization, regardless of its size, needs a sales leader.
Smaller, entrepreneurial organizations don’t believe they need a sales leader. They believe that sales is a necessary function, but don’t believe that it is necessary to have someone lead and manage that function. Not providing the sales force with leadership is an enormous mistake.
The reason many small organizations stay small is because they don’t dedicate the necessary resources of time and money in the sales leadership or sales management function. Instead, they leave it to chance. Hope is not a strategy.
Even as small organizations grow, they dedicate most of their time and energy to operational issues. Operational issues are important, especially those operations that directly serve the customer. You cannot grow if you continually churn customers, but you also won’t grow if you do not continually add new customers.
Growing a sales organization requires sales leadership and management.
- Sales leadership sets goals and drives outcomes. Sales leaders decide what the sales organization’s goals should be, and they make sure that the sales force pursues the right activities, so they deliver the right outcomes. Without leadership, people drift. Leadership decides what is important, what isn’t, and what outcomes are critical.
- Sales leadership provides accountability. Nothing will destroy a sales organization’s ability to grow faster than a lack of accountability. A sales force only acquires new clients when prospecting work is done, and when the energy of the sales force is focused there. Sales leaders hold the sales force accountable.
- The sales leader, or manager, also provides the mindset (culture), skill set (training and coaching), and toolkits (sales processes and methodologies, playbook, nurture toolkits, etc.)
Every organization is a sales organization. The product you produce or the service you provide is not what your business does. Your business is a sales organization because the first step to serving customers is acquiring them.
If you lead an organization, you must ensure that someone is leading and managing the sales function. Without a sales leader, you are massively limiting your growth, and your organization will never reach its full potential.