Making the decision to replace your sales leader can be a difficult decision for many CEOs, but it may be a necessary move to ensure the long-term future health of your firm. After the decision is reached, what is the best approach to finding and bringing a new sales leader on board? Two possible options are; keep the existing leader until a suitable replacement is found, or remove the sales leader and find an alternate method to manage the sales team until a replacement is on board.
The Best Approach To Replacing Your Sales Leader
If you know you have the wrong person in the lead sale role, regardless of how or why they got there, remove them immediately. Struggling sales leaders know they are struggling and can do a lot of damage to client relationships, team morale and future pipelines as they flounder along. Find a short-term way to manage the sales team and simultaneously start the recruiting process for a new chief sales officer.
The reality is that finding a new sales leader is at minimum a 60-90 day process that will require a significant time investment by the senior executive team to find the right individual. Leaving a low performing sales leader in place only reduces the urgency to find a new one and prolongs the problem.
Consider Hiring Interim Sales Leadership.
This approach has several advantages, the first of which is that an interim sales leader can be completely unbiased when it comes to assessing the sales team. The sales consulting firm you hire should be able to assess not only the quality of your sales team but also able to assess the health of your sales pipeline, lead generation program, and sales effectiveness.
The second significant advantage of interim sales leadership is that these outside resources can help fix issues and problems while the search goes on for a permanent CSO. This will help the new sales leader to hit the ground running rather than wasting valuable sales time trying to figure out whats broken, this is a real plus!
A very tangible final benefit is that interim sales leaders will have tremendous experience in recruiting and hiring sales leaders. Having them part of the recruiting, vetting and even final selection process can mean an expert set of eyes and ears to help you make a good hiring decision.
If a new sales leader is in your future take the action now to invest in the right resources to manage your current team and help fix sales and lead generation processes. A little money spent now will pay off handsomely in the near term.