May 17th 2007

The three things a CEO can do to help Sales. Tips from a CEO

1. Hire the right kind of sales people at the right time. Don’t hire salespeople too early in your growth. Wait until you have learned what is needed from several customers and you can determine a repeatable, proven series of steps to follow to bring in the right kind of customers. If you don’t do this, you will frustrate and lose the “coin operated” sales guys.  If you are in a very early stage looking for your first customers and have yet to “know” your repeatable method to use to capture sales you need a more consultative, “Business Development”
resource vs. a salesperson.

Different stages of commercial development, different industries, different distribution models need different types of selling.  Understand your requirements and target your recruitment accordingly.  Some sales guys are sniffers, some are killers, some are missionaries.  But don’t think solving your “sales problem” requires you to just “hire a sales guy.”

2. Use a simple consistent sales process/system. Explore inexpensive, open source automation solutions in the early stages (e.g., One size of sales process does not fit all sales models.  Keep it simple

3. You can manage activity, not results. When you measure, use metrics that are shared by the sales and marketing team. The entire team has to buy into the same numbers. Top down metrics do not work. So concentrate on finding with the team the activities that will move sales forward.  Then, measure and review them regularly.
Tips from Paul Maurer, CEO of Actenum to the Rocket Builders Go2Market Program (RocketAcademy) on May 16th 2007

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