In the recent post, CEO’s, Do You Have a Sales and Marketing Blind Spot, we clearly picked on the Marketing leader more than Sales. Let’s now revisit that pretend lunch meeting to suggest the kinds of answers we hope you don’t receive from your Sales Leader.
To recreate the scene, we are suggesting CEO’s schedule a lunch meeting with both their Sales and Marketing leadership to ask them this question. “How our we doing on creating new leads for the sales force?” The only additional instructions for the CEO are to require each leader to answer separately.
Sales Leaders still grounded in traditional selling models will answer the question like this.
“Look I read the same articles everyone else does about ‘sales 2.0′, new buyer processes, social networks, and all these automated ways to build a pipeline, but I’m telling you it’s just a bunch of consultants and software companies trying to make work for themselves. In our industry selling comes down to relationships. Period. Companies buy from sales people they know and trust and our guys have the best contacts in this business.”
We need to hit the pause button here to warn you these lines are straight from the “Sales Is An Art” playbook. They are designed to deflect any deep, probing questions around sales process, success metrics or goals vs. performance. It only likely to get worse from here, but let’s read on.
“As head of sales I know better than anyone that new logo wins are slower than what we want, but we are making progress and new opportunities are about to hit the pipeline. If the economy hangs on we can have our best fourth quarter in a long time. I will also tell you that Marketing passing my guys a bunch of leads every month just because they visited our website – or even worse – suggesting we start blogging or looking for leads on LinkedIn is an absolute waste of our time.”
If your sales leader’s response was anything like this, then as we said before, your challenge is now clear. Your only choice is retrain or replacing your sales leader, because the sales world this leader grew up in is long gone.