In the ‘good old days’ it was common for new senior sales hires to be given up to 100 days to listen to and learn the rhythms of their new role. This time was designed to allow you to properly diagnose issues within the sales functions and prepare strategies to overcome them.
The modern B2B sales leader has no such luxury of time. You are under pressure to hit the ground running or your tenure will more than likely be a short one.
The good news is that there is a huge amount of pre-hire activity that can be completed that will ensure you arrive equipped with a level of insight and knowledge that will allow you to contribute as early as practical. Analyse the numbers you are expected to hit before starting - If they are not available work with the founder/finance team to get them into a robust state for review
- Conduct customer interviews before you start/understand what parts of the buyer journey has been most memorable for them. Get visibility on all Ideal Client Profiles & Buyer Personas that have been generated - even historic ones that have since been decommissioned. If available listen to a cross-section of sales calls/recordings.
- Reach out to a selection of prospects who didn’t buy to understand the real reason for their ‘no’ – No one wants to get someone into trouble so be wary of any feedback being too biased towards price etc.
- Speak to members of all customer-facing teams in the business - installation, customer service, reception - They all have the voice of the customer in some shape and it is your job to extract it.
- Request a complete breakdown of the Sales & Marketing tech stacks you will be deploying so that you can familiarise yourself with any new ones and perform an audit to understand where the gaps are.
- Read customer review sites for your product and your competitors - these are a direct conduit to identify the problems your customers are facing/is the business current comms talking to these or are they more focussed on features?
This research and insight will allow you to build out your initial hypothesis for testing from day 1 and allow you to arrive armed with the foundation of your pilot playbook – ready for testing from the outset.