If you are like most Chief Sales Officers you know you have a tough job. Experts claim that they average about eighteen months on the job before getting fired. In fact, we contend that being a sales leader in today’s market is the loneliest job in the world! The pressures you get from both above and below are tremendous. Where do you turn? Sales Summits are peer-groups of sales leaders who meet every other month in half-day sessions with closed doors with an experienced, ex sales executive facilitator to discuss their issues. No pitches from consultants, no bull, just a confidential, safe, honest, open discussion with other sales leaders with whom you can discuss your issues. Members have used the group to:
- Evaluate possible acquisitions and discuss best practices for acquiring companies from the sales perspective
- Plan expansion into new geographies – Europe, Asia, South America, etc
- Determine if they have the best mix of people – should they hire, fire? What is the profile of the best salesperson?
- Network to find the best talent. On more than one occasion members have referred talent to other members saving many thousands of dollars to a search firm
- Network to find a new job for them self! Companies get acquired or new CEOs bring in their own people. The group has an excellent track record of helping members find new positions.
Sales Summits meetings are all about the members and their issues. Each person is given time to discuss what’s going on with their business and the personal and professional challenges they face. Other members provide counsel, advice and needed support. We also have bigger issues and we call them “Member Challenges”. Here are some examples of Member Challenges brought to the group recently. If you had a group of peers who could help with your most pressing issues, what issues would YOU like to bring to the group?
My boss, the CEO just got fired!
- Should I be worried?
- What should I do?
- How do I spin it with my people?
- How do I figure out why?
- What are the best practices for launching a new product?
- Should we sell it directly or through a channel?
- Should we use an overlay sales force, or train our existing reps to sell it?
- How do we figure out our ideal customer profile for this new product
I just lost a big chunck of my revenue because government cutbacks.
- Pay reductions?
- What’s the best way to deal with my boss?
- What’s the best way to deal with my board?
- How do I adjust forecasting?
- How do I renegotiate my number?
We are doing an acquisition, how do I plan for it?
- How do I figure out who are the “keepers” and how do I convince them to stay?
- How do I break it to their customers?
- How do I explain it to our customers?
- How do I integrate the products?
- How do I integrate pricing into our scheme?
How do I know if I am paying my people right?
I just had two people leave for money.
- How do I know their concerns were valid?
- What are the rest of the members paying their people?
- Do I have the right base, commission structure, OTE?
- My CEO thinks we’re okay, how do I convince him we are not?
Members are asked to prepare well for their Member Challenges and distribute supporting material prior to the meeting. They are asked:
- What is the situation and why is it causing you problems?
- What have you done already to solve it?
- What possible solutions are there?
- What specific help do you need from the group?
I find it really healthy to be in a group discussing the issues I'd normally think about alone.
I find the giving to be as rewarding as the taking.
This group saved my job!
This group has become my personal board of advisers.
Bringing my issue to the group before presenting to my Board was incredibly useful. They beat me up more than the Board!
Not everyone will be accepted
Not every sales leader will be accepted into a forum. You’ll have an interviewing process with current forum members and a try-out period. As you might suspect, with such a tight-knit group we’ll be looking for members who are willing to make a commitment to the group.
Other topics we've discussed.
- Talent Acquisition and Development
- Ramping Sales Professionals
- Sales Process Management
- Sales Operations
- Demand Generation
- Opportunity Development
- Channel Partnering and Strategic Alliances
- Sales 2.0 – What and Why
Sales Summits are expanding!
Sales Summits launched first in Boston and are expanding to the the rest of the country.