1) Measure Twice, Cut Once - Most of the time, when you're coming into a new position or role, you want to make fast changes to get things moving. However, I realized I needed to understand how the sales people were working and, with whom they were talking to. Having insight into how my people on the ground were working, whether they were meeting with decision makers and, the consistency of their schedules was crucial to understanding what the next steps were.
2) Adjustments - After following each sales person, and really learning their habits, I was ready to sort them into 3 categories.
- First, there was the 'Good Clay', these people were doing everything they necessary to get the sale, and succeeding. Obviously, I kept these people on and made sure they knew they were appreciated.
- Second, there was the "Bad Clay". These were the people who were unwilling to make the culture and value shift I required to sell more effectively. I already had an idea of how I wanted to sell in the market- quantifying value instead of qualifying, and challenging the customers on their assumptions. The 'Bad Clay' group were unresponsive to feedback or failed to implement any suggestions and it was clear they weren't going to make the changes. As a manager, as soon as you know the person isn't going to work out, it's important to let them go.
- The third category was the 'Questionable Clay', maybe they could improve, or needed better direction. I put these people on a 90-day plan, with specific goals, objectives, and behaviors I would need to start seeing if they were to stay on my teams.
3) Restructure Territory and Compensation Plan - I segmented the territories and set a quota for each manager in that territory. Most companies don't assign a quota for a manager based on the individual quotas for their team. For example, if there was a $ 1 Million quota for each sales person of the 8 sales people on Team A, the manager of Team A had a quota of $8 million. This was the new structure of which their compensation plan was based. The new structure made it very clear who was responsible for what, and what the expected results were.
Coming into this new position I assessed, adjusted and restructured for clarity to create the foundations for a more effective sales team.