Every business is on a growth journey and that means that entrepreneurs must navigate different roles and responsibilities at each stage.
As I mentioned in Part 1 of these blog posts, it’s very likely that the entrepreneur takes on the lead sales role in the early days to win business. However, at a certain point, the business will require more people, and some will be hired for sales and marketing.
As you add to your sales team, you may need to transition from being the lead salesperson to the sales manager or simply the CEO. That comes with its own set of challenges. You might have been great at selling your products or services but managing an extended team of sales people might be challenging.
What motivates you as the owner of the business to execute a sales strategy might not motivate them. What you know about your pipeline is of less value because it’s not your pipeline anymore, it’s the business’s pipeline. That’s another shift in skills and mindset to manage people and keep track of key performance indicators and sales all at the same time.
Making the call to step away
If sales will continue to be part of your responsibilities, it is important to understand where that fits into your skillset. The tipping point will be different for everyone in terms of what sales and management functions you will need to take on.
I have worked with entrepreneurs that are very technically skilled and can answer any technical question because of their refined knowledge or can manage teams and goals but when it comes to closing a sale, their abilities become the issue.
At scale, can you build trust and a connection with your prospective client without impacting day-to-day operations?
Do you continue to be active in promoting the business as a front-line salesperson? What is your tolerance and ability to respond to objections? Do you have the tenacity to take a ‘No’ from a prospect and then follow-up and work with them until it becomes a ‘Yes’? Do you have time to do that?
Self-awareness is the key
Regardless, it is essential to look in the mirror and say with confidence that I am the BEST person to sell my products because I can present the value proposition, do the pricing and negotiation, close like a ninja, and follow-up, follow-up, follow-up. And I can do this without dropping any of the other 25 balls that will be in air at the same time.
Read part 1 of Being the face of your brand