Congrats, you're the new Head of Sales.  What's next?

Start thinking about how you’re going to tackle the role.

Whether you’re new to the company or working your way up the ranks, what you do in the first days, weeks and months in your new position sets the tone of your leadership.

So what should you do first (and second, and third…)?

Here’s our agenda:

Item 1: Get to know everyone

Your first step is the most important one for establishing a great foundation: build relationships within your organization and learn what makes it tick.

Meet every person on your team. If you can, set up one-on-one meetings.  Ask them these three things, and really listen to their answers:

  • What’s working?
  • What’s not working?
  • What can I do to help you be successful in your role?

Sales can often be a solo sport, so encourage your team to build relationships with one another to foster a team mentality.  We love the Slack integration Donut, it pairs random people from your team using AI.  The idea is to link up with that person for 15-30 minutes and chat.   

Be curious. Ask every question you can about the products or services you sell, the sales process, past performance, your customer segments and what daily life looks like for your team.

Go cross-company. Set up meetings with marketing, operations, product development and customer service to find places where your goals may align.

Meet your champion customers.  Build relationships with your current champion customers, who live and breathe your product and find out what makes them tick.      

Item 2: Build your vision

A great vision is a rallying cry that unites a team and gives them a path to success. It also directs the smaller components of your strategy. With the information you now have, it’s time to start painting that 10,000-foot view of where you want the team to go.

Encourage participation. Tap into the experience of your team and other department heads to help direct the goals you establish.

Get buy-in. Because this is the foundation of your sales strategy, you’ll want the seal of approval from your own leaders. Listen, take their suggestions and keep them up to date with your progress.

Item 3: Find a quick win

Now you can start on more strategic and tactical milestones. Test the waters and kick-start the momentum by knocking out an early win for the team based on what you learned from your one-on-ones.

Find the best candidate. A quick win isn’t a band-aid solution, but rather a valuable and impactful change you can make relatively quickly.  

Think tech. If there’s a process you can automate, you’ll free up more selling time for your reps. For example, a sales enablement tool with easy onboarding like Kiite helps your reps find the answers they need right away so they can get back to the task at hand.

Item 4: But think long-term, too

While you’re achieving your quick win, think about the long haul. What initiatives are coming up in the next year? Two years? Five years? What trends are coming and going? What technology is out there? How will you stay competitive?

Pace yourself. Resist the urge to front-load your roadmap with lots of quick wins. Spreading them out keeps the momentum going as you work towards larger, more demanding objectives.

Set checkpoints. Set aside time to step back and evaluate how things are going. And don’t be afraid to change direction if it’ll mean getting closer to those goals.

Check in on your goals. Sometimes the goals themselves will change as different parts of the organization grow and evolve. That’s okay, too – just make sure you’re reporting on these changes regularly so everyone can keep up.

[bctt tweet="If there’s a process you can automate, you’ll free up more selling time for your reps. A sales enablement tool with easy onboarding like Kiite helps your reps find the answers they need right away, so they can get back to selling." username="kiiteHQ"]

Item 5: Pick your KPIs and track them

Once you have a roadmap to your objectives, you can start measuring your progress. Pick the KPIs that truly reflect the team’s goals and performance, along with how you’ll be measured by your leaders.

Follow the data. With the amount of data available to sales teams today, you can make decisions driven by facts and numbers, not intuition and gut feelings.

Apply data retroactively. It’s important to benchmark your future progress against the old way of doing things. Pull up sales records from the last three months and, where you can, bring the data up to date with what you’re measuring today.

Make adjustments. If you notice something isn’t working, find the root cause of the problem and take steps to solve it. Sometimes it’ll be outside the jurisdiction of sales, so keep those inter-organizational relationships strong and your executives up-to-date.

Item 6: Build the best team

Building and supporting your team might be the most important part of your job as Head of Sales. Investing in their professional development shows you’re making their success a priority.

Coach and train. Learn the strengths and gaps on your sales team – both as individual members and as a whole.  A sales tool like Kiite can report on your teams most commonly asked questions, which helps identify key gaps in their knowledge.  

Promote from within. Giving your team room for advancement is a great motivator. Plus, you leverage the knowledge they’ve already gained within your team.

Now go out there and nail it!

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