Overview: It’s common for the top salesperson to get promoted to lead the sales team. But there’s a big difference between being a top salesperson and being a great leader. How do the best sales people cross the chasm into leadership and lead their team to BIG results?
On today’s show, Christian Stang discusses how his experience as a top-performing salesperson informs how he builds and manages collaborative sales teams.
Christian Stang on his sales philosophy:
“It’s about building relationships and making sure that we can build stuff that’s long-lasting for clients. A lot of our products have long cycle times and we’ve always focused on the long term rather than the short term. We’ll often make decisions that will allow us to win five years from now maybe more so than five minutes from now. We always want to do right by the clients. So if we approach sales with a relationship in mind and we always treat people the way they want to be treated, then it always comes back to us whether we want to continue that relationship or not. And I think clients really appreciate that because they see it.“
Christian Stang on sales relationship KPIs:
“We’re looking at constant contact with an existing client. A lot of our business is from repeat clients, and a lot of it comes from referrals. And so, if we’re looking at client satisfaction, we can look at the number of quotes that somebody does. But I find when you’re setting metrics like that, you’ll get people that’ll just create quotes for people even though they did not request the quotes. It’s really hard to decipher through that noise. When we look at constant contact with the client after the sale, satisfaction, stopping in, I think those are better indicators than a set number of quotes. I’ve seen a lot of KPIs where they’re like, ‘If we want to get 10 sales, we’ve got to quote 50 times,’ and drill it down that way. And I think if we lower the expectation of quotes but focus more on a smaller number of relationships, we see our closing ratios be a lot higher.”
Christian Stang on how coaching helped him grow as a leader and improve his sales perspective:
“I definitely did struggle becoming a sales leader after being top in sales. Kind of unlearning the things that I was so hard on. Lack of delegation would have definitely been something that I would have struggled with and then putting a process in place where we need to report on these things. I was your classic person who would buck everything all the way and now I’m put in a sales leadership position and I feel like such a hypocrite. So I’ve done a lot of coaching with Sheldon Harris and often I say, ‘I’m really struggling with this because I can see why we need this, but I’ve also been a salesperson and Christian as a salesperson doesn’t want to do any of these things. But Christian as a sales leader sees that we need to do these things in order to propel the business forward.’ And so it was really hard for me to put some structure in place. I think all too often when we look from an operations perspective, we have all of these things in which we do a review on our other people in every other level of the business, whereas I find in sales, it’s often dictated by how much sales are bringing in rather than all of the other things. It’s not closing a sale. It’s let’s spend some time with this person. That’s not really valued, right? And that’s where some of the structure comes in. And how are we measuring those things? Because we know that if we do a good job of maintaining a relationship with someone, you will get to the quoting stage.”
Forget Strategic Planning—Here’s How to Get Better Results – Christian’s coach, CEO Coaching International’s Sheldon Harris, explains a specific process that your leadership team can use to implement an “Execution Plan” and make your next 12 months your most profitable ever.
6 Ways the CEO Can Generate BIG Sales – CEO Coaching International’s Ken Eissing discusses six ways CEOs can assemble, manage, and motivate a top sales team that will drive fast growth and Make BIG Happen.
About CEO Coaching International
CEO Coaching International works with CEOs and their leadership teams to achieve extraordinary results quarter after quarter, year after year. Known globally for its success in coaching growth-focused entrepreneurs to meaningful exits, CEO Coaching International has coached more than 1,000 CEOs and entrepreneurs in more than 60 countries and 45 industries. The coaches at CEO Coaching International are former CEOs, presidents, or executives who have made BIG happen. The firm’s coaches have led double-digit sales and profit growth in businesses ranging in size from startups to over $10 billion, and many are founders that have led their companies through successful eight, nine, and ten-figure exits. Companies working with CEO Coaching International for two years or more have experienced an average EBITDA CAGR of 53.5% during their time as a client, more than three times the U.S. average, and a revenue CAGR of 26.2%, nearly twice the U.S. average.