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As a former top performer, you’re now getting started in your new sales leadership role. You’re excited about the promotion and now you want to be wildly successful. But it all may seem so overwhelming right now. Perceptions about you will be formed within your first few days or weeks of wearing your new hat. And you know you must show results quickly to prove yourself. So, where should you start to ensure a you’re successful from the get go?
It can take months or even a year to get your feet wet as a sales manager. It takes time to truly understand the nuances of how things work. Unfortunately, a high percentage of sales leaders fail within 1 to 2 years in their new position. This is why you need to look a solid approach to ensure a successful transition within the first weeks and months.
When you start off in your new sales leadership role, it’s crucial that you take an inward look and “get real” with yourself. That means being honest about your strengths and weaknesses. It also means figuring out where you stood prior to the transition to your new leadership role, which talents got you to this point, and what you need to work on in the future. Start by answering these key questions:
To be a successful sales leader, you need to also look outside of yourself and even beyond your precious circle. If you’re new to the organization, you’ll need to get a firm grasp on its inner workings and what makes it tick. And if you’ve been with your organization for some time already, the view from your new position will be quite different to you. Answer these questions:
Be open-minded and don’t jump to conclusions. Ensure you understand the big picture from multiple points of view. Make friends and don’t alienate your potential supporters.
By taking both inward and outward views from your new post, you’ll uncover a lot of information and gain a clearer understanding of the business. It’s essentially an “open book” that will enable you to:
To build your credibility quickly, talk to multiple people to assess the situation, listen carefully and make decisions that could affect the success of your transition. And, at all times, focus some time on finding your replacement – having a succession plan in place is crucial to future promotions.
Making the transition to your new sales leadership role may seem daunting and there is a lot at stake. Stay focused and create a 30, 60 or 90 day plan to ensure your success. Remember, you are not in this alone. Ask those you trust for advice and listen without jumping to conclusions. If the outcome of your decisions is good for everyone – your company, your employees, you and your clients – then go for it and begin to make your mark.