What do new CROs and VPs of Sales need to care about in their first 90 days? And why are the first 90 days more important than ever right now?
Pressure is high on sales leaders, even the new ones. With so much uncertainty, new sales leaders can't afford to wait until the end of their first year or even their first quarter to make changes to poorly performing GTM motions. You need to quickly react to what's going on in the market and refocus your energy into areas where deals are moving still reasonably well.
So, what are some areas you can dive into early on to make real, measurable progress in your first 90 days?
Ensure your ICP is well-defined and precise.
Start by conducting a thorough analysis of your existing customer base, identifying the common traits, characteristics, and attributes of your most successful and valuable customers. Leverage data-driven insights and feedback from your sales team to refine and validate your findings. It's essential to go beyond basic demographics and delve into firmographics, such as company size, industry, and location, as well as behavioral indicators, such as buying patterns, pain points, and specific needs your product or service addresses. Continuously review and iterate on your ICP as your business evolves, and leverage technology and analytics to gather real-time data and insights. By ensuring your ICP is well-defined and precise, you'll empower your sales team to target the right prospects, personalize their approach, and drive higher conversion rates and revenue growth.
Find the holes in your current account coverage.
How well is your sales team covering your addressable market? How are your territories or books divided up between reps? Are individual reps hitting quota? You want to look for quick wins - and you'll definitely find some - where you can reallocate quota capacity or help your team focus on higher-potential areas.
There's more about account coverage and segmentation here.
Get 1:1 time with as many sales reps and sales managers as you can.
Meet with individual team members to understand their roles, challenges, and goals. Meeting with different sellers helps you understand the extent of salient issues. Evaluate the current sales team's strengths, weaknesses and capabilities. Identify skill gaps, training needs, and areas for improvement.
Meet with customers.
Meeting customers allows you to gain a deeper understanding of their needs, pain points, and challenges. It provides an opportunity to listen and gather valuable feedback that can be used to improve the buyer journey. Meeting with customers also allows you to gather success stories and testimonials that you can incorporate into the sales process.
Evaluate your GTM strengths and weaknesses.
Evaluate your team's existing sales processes, methodologies and tools. What's working and what isn't? Identify areas for improvement to enhance efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Are there processes or methods you want to bring in? Are there areas that could benefit from an overhaul to generate quick wins?
Assess the health of your CRM data and processes.
Evaluate the level of user adoption and engagement with your CRM system. Monitor if the sales team consistently enters and updates data, and if they leverage the CRM tools and features effectively. Low adoption rates may indicate a need for user training or system improvements. How well are reps following existing guidelines for what data to update? Are they completing all the necessary information? Identify any bottlenecks, redundant steps, or manual workarounds that can be optimized or automated to improve efficiency. How does your ops team feel about everything?
Get to know the rest of the executive team.
Meeting with other executives in the first few days on the job promotes collaboration and cross-functional integration. You can gain a clear understanding of the company's overall strategic objectives and vision - and how the business is tracking toward those goals this year.
Meeting with the team also ensures that the sales department's initiatives and targets are aligned with the broader organizational objectives, fostering a unified approach toward achieving company-wide success. In addition, executives from different departments possess valuable insights into the market landscape, customer needs, competitive analysis, and product roadmaps.