In this last installment of our “So, you’re a new sales leader” series, we will share more insights from our esteemed colleagues as well as a few of our own. 

We hope those of you that have moved into a leadership role for the first time have found this series helpful. We would love to hear more from our audience in the comments thread additional insights or advice you share with people who are starting their leadership journey. 

Focus on what’s working first – and don’t forget the priorities (People, Process, Tools)

This was a common refrain. Clearly, it’s important. And just as clearly, it’s a concept that many of us didn’t give its full due when we were new to leadership. 

“In the first 90 days especially, focus on what’s driving revenue —understand what success looks like, the challenges in replicating it, and who the key contributors are. Understanding what’s repeatable forms the foundation for the first year.” – Agnes O’Connell

Recommendation: Unsure where to start? Ask other leaders. What questions do they focus on getting the answers to? Others have blazed the trail, take advantage of it and make it your own.

Expectations & Accountability

It makes sense right? Clear expectations and everyone held accountable equally – we all need that. All you have to do is think about a time in your career when these two things weren’t true.

The primary focus on day one is to clarify expectations.  The biggest concern a team has when reporting to a new leader is the unknown.  Eliminate that fear by setting an example with consistent, clear bi-directional communication.” –  Dan Schoepf

“Have a framework to measure and coach your team…whether they are new or very seasoned you should have a strong framework for accountability.”  – Alicia Eimers

Recommendation: Ask yourself these (3) questions

  • Are the objectives I have laid out SMART?
  • Have I communicated clearly? If your team can repeat them verbatim, you’re probably doing well.
  • When someone is not meeting expectations, do I have a plan for how to handle that? Do I follow through on that plan? 

Ivory towers increase the chance of serious injury from falls. 

There is no more certain way to alienate your team than to spout certainties about how they should do their job when you don’t really understand their reality. Staying connected to that reality requires intentionality and a willingness to get in the trenches with them. 

“I walk the walk with my team. I don’t sit back behind my computer toggling amongst dashboards and spreadsheets. I bring some of my team along to my meetings and I’m always ready to join theirs.’’ – Alicia Eimers

Here’s to a successful 2024!