Your first 2 weeks in your new sales leadership role

What do you need to do to get off to a good start in your new sales leadership role? Peter Crosby, who has been there and done it, shares his advice.

In June we staged our first Sales Confidence conference at HereEast, in London’s Olympic Park. We called it SaaSGrowth2018. We had over 200 SaaS professionals in the audience, watching more than 30 of London’s foremost SaaS experts share their knowledge. Even if you couldn’t make it, we want to share the inspiration and education with you through our SaaSGrowth2018 articles.

If you’re looking for exciting new career opportunities in SaaS sales, check out Sales Confidence’s all-new hiring site.

Peter Crosby

Peter Crosby is CRO at Ometria and a long-standing friend of Sales Confidence. He previously spoke at our Canary Wharf live event and brought the house down. Peter is also the current holder of our UK’s Top SaaS Sales Leader award, although he doesn’t like us mentioning it, so keep it to yourself!

Peter recently moved jobs, from Triptease where he was also CRO, to Ometria. As part of his talk titled ‘What it takes to grow SaaS sales from £0–10m ARR in London’, he talked about what to do in your first 2 weeks when you start in a sales leadership role.

‘Your route to success is in your first 2 weeks.’

Here are Peter’s 4 tips to start as you mean to go on.

1 — Make a 90-day plan

To make sure you start your new role with impact, you must construct a plan for your first 90 days. However, you won’t know what your plan is straight away. What you need to know are the right questions to ask to help you make your plan. Think about those before you start.

‘When I got there, the only things I knew were the questions to ask and the mistakes I made previously. I’ll try to avoid those this time.’

2 — Ignore your senior colleagues (for the first 2 weeks anyway!)

If your route to success is in the first 2 weeks, you need to spend that time doing only what is essential. Unfortunately, that means you must ignore your senior colleagues. The CTO is going to want to sit down with you. The founders might want to take you out for lunch. Ignore all of them! You must spend your time with your team, not the C-suite.

‘That first impression is so important. Spend time with your team. Find out everything you need to know from your team. Give them belief.’

3 — Build your team

One of the first things you should do in a new sales leadership role is spend money on ‘elite people’. Ignore your founders’ budget worries. Hiring great people is an essential component of changing your team’s trajectory.

There will be things in your job description that you are either not good at or don’t enjoy. Hire people that are really good at those things. However, remember that there are parts of your role you can’t get out of. Like putting the bins out at home, some jobs just need to be done. In sales leadership, it’s the admin tasks like working out commissions and payroll. They’re dull, but people get upset if you don’t do them!

‘Figure out what stuff is ‘putting the bins out’ and what stuff you’re bad at. Hire to cover the stuff you’re bad at.’

4 — Prioritise

While making your plan and getting to know your team, you will probably work out that there are a lot of tasks that need to be done. However, you can just run at them like a bull in a china shop. You need to prioritise. Think about short-term, mid-term and long-term goals.

‘The hardest thing is the mid-term stuff. They’re the complicated, sticky problems you’ve been brought in to deal with. Put them to one side for the moment.’

‘Short-term stuff. That’s stuff like giving self-belief to the team. Give them a sense of direction.’

‘Long-term stuff is the plan to take you 3 years down the line. If things go wrong along the way, you can recalibrate it, but you need to know in what direction you’re going.’

For the best opportunities in SaaS sales, make sure you check out Sales Confidence’s brand new hiring site.

What do you think?

Over to you now. What do you do in the first 2 weeks in your sales leadership roles? What didn’t you do, that you wish you had done? Let us know down in the comments.

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