How to Master Your New Sales Management Job in the First 90 Days
90-day plan for a new B2B Sales Manager.
The first 90 days as a sales manager represents a critical period. It is your chance to make a good lasting impression and to change the status-quo in B2B sales teams.
Your team will be concerned, and you will be under stress. In this article, we want to share with you some ideas to successfully overcome this defining first quarter. We also want to show you how our predictive sales tools can help you.
Why is your first quarter as a sales manager such a critical period?
Your first quarter as a sales leader in a new position represents a severe challenge for three key reasons. First, you only have only one chance to make an excellent first impression. Second, new tasks and responsibilities will overload you, and setting the right priorities will be essential. And third, you need to set in place lasting processes that will help you manage and control your sales team’s and manager’s expectations.
First impressions count, never second-guess them. Your character shows up in that one second of greeting. The salesforce will understand your management style by the first weeks in your new sales leadership position.
Your team will be worried, so will your customers, partners and managers. They will be asking themselves: is she fair? Competent? A good listener? Will she remain calm under pressure? A great first impression, from greeting your sales team to meeting your customers, will have a lasting effect on your career. Never underestimate it.
Furthermore, during your first three months, you will be overloaded with new things to learn: sales process definitions, industry jargon, key customers, products, team, etc. How do you set the right priorities? Which fire do you extinguish first? Which customers do you visit the earliest? How do you plan your financial year? To set a clear path to success, you need to set the right priorities first. Clear priorities also ensure that you provide the most value for money and you are held accountable to deliver on them.
This first quarter in your new sales leadership position will see you setting sales processes and goals that will have an enduring impact on your role, team, and company. You need to set in place efficient operations that will help you manage and control your sales team and to address your manager’s expectation.
Besides, you should remember that your sales team is probably the most valuable resource your company has, and you are responsible for it.
How to control, measure and report their costs, margins, progress? How to help them to plan and undercover hidden risks and opportunities effectively? How to set a reporting system that fosters accountability but also independence?
Role of sales management during the first 90 days. What should you do?
First and foremost, make a great first impression: smile, firmly shake hands, make eye contact, speak clearly, use empowering and relaxed body language. After these early moments, make sure you set the right tone with your sales team. Tell them clearly that you trust them, that you want them to succeed, and that you feel responsible for everybody’s achievement.
Take everyone in your team for a one-on-one lunch or meeting.
Listen to ideas and suggestions for improvement.
Visit every department in your company.
Put particular interest in finance, controlling, production, operations, and services. Show them you care about your role and your new company. Visit your key accounts as soon as possible. Do not wait to know everything about your own company or products; your customers will understand that you do not. Get out of the building! Your team and accounts will appreciate a visit together. Remember, nothing beats a great first impression.
To set a clear path to success, a sales leader needs to set the right priorities first.
Second, make sure you set the right priorities at every level, for you, your sales team and your company. Visit your bread-and-butter accounts, retaining them will be critical for your success.
Besides, visit the most promising accounts and those that have recently defected to the competition. Make a sincere effort to understand the key numbers making up your business. Make sure you pose profound, penetrating questions. Ask people for help. Listen a lot. You will use these first months to decide what to do next, and what not to do. Do not forget that regardless of how hard you work, you will not be able to do everything. Make sure you accomplish the things that matter most.
If you want to implement changes in the way you manage your sales team, these this first 90 days are your best moment. After you have listened to everyone’s feedback and suggestions, the time has come for you to decide which best-practices to follow, which sales processes, which promising projects to chase.
More importantly, your salespeople (and maybe yourself too) will be asking about quota-setting and compensation. Make sure you are fair, ambitious and realistic. If you have a sales quota yourself, the last of the three first months constitute your sprint to reach it. If you do not achieve it, make sure you understand why you did not.
Meet with your general manager at the end of your first 90 days. This is what can do:
Bring back the first conversations you had.
Ask her for feedback.
Give her your feedback, even if not required.
How can Predictive Analytics help a sales leader during her first 90 days?
There are several ways in which Predictive Analytics can help a sales leader during the first critical three months in a new sales position. In particular, Predictive Sales Analytics saves you time and helps you to achieve a much higher business success rate through better sales decisions.
In the case of Qymatix, our predictive analytics software offers a unique cloud technology that combines both specific data models for machine learning, artificial intelligence, and advanced data visualisation.
Our software effectively enables sales leaders in new positions to undertake the most successful sales action plans, based on mining sales data of past ERP transactions and CRM activities.
In a few seconds, a sales manager can access an overview of her key performance indicators and customers, listed and grouped by sales, margin, cross and up-selling potential, churn risk. Sales leaders can also visualise where there are price inconsistencies and how strong the current project pipeline looks.
With Qymatix predictive sales analytics software, a sales leader can enjoy an increased competitive advantage by mining ERP and CRM data with one click.
You will make a great first impression with your team and managers by knowing where to start working on – correctly.
Qymatix also helps you to choose the best performance metrics for your sales team. Selecting the right parameters will ensure you are on the right path to success.
Moreover, choosing the right KPI will foster fair and open performance management reporting with your sales team and management. Predictive analytics software will not replace a warm smile or a firm handshake. Advanced analytics software will save you time understanding what is going on, and it will help you hit the ground running.
Your 90-days plan as a new sales manager – Conclusion:
The first 90 days as a sales manager is a crucial moment in your sales career. Here you will have the chance to implement new processes and to make a lasting impression on your team and customers. Allocating the energy in the set of activities that ensure success while reducing risk will be the deciding factor.
Ruthless prioritisation, proper management, and open communication will help you make this first quarter sustainable over the years. Predictive Analytics can help you to set the right priorities and to focus on the most critical set of key performance indicators.
Do you have more questions about your 90-days sales management plan? Write us today to discuss how we can help!
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