Sunday, July 11, 2010

The CEO's #1 Job

Most people think that the CEO's main job is strategy, mission, vision. That is certainly the responsibility of the CEO, Chairman, or President of the division, but most of the CEO's time is spent on sales.

The CEO of a Broadsoft-based ITSP told me that he closes 65% of the business for his company. The President of an MSP closes more than half his company's sales. And the partners in another telecom company account for "something like 60%" of sales.

All of these companies have salespeople, so why is the executive closing all the business? Here are the three reasons.

  1. Some prospects want to make the deal with the boss.
  2. No one has more passion or enthusiasm for the company than the CEO! Sales is all about Emotion.
  3. No one else in your company has the drive or desire or the financial risk to get out there to close business. Motivation if you will.

Which makes you ask: How do I find someone to sell for me? Here are 3 things to look for:

  1. Attitude. It's all about friendly and attitude.
  2. Sales Process. Do they know what it takes to make sales?
  3. Is it a fit? Can the sales candidate interact with your target prospects? Will they be able to find and make a connection with your marketplace?

Maybe as CEO you will be closing all the Big Deals, but you will need a sales team to be closing on the rest of the revenue. You just have to find the right person with the correct attitude to be tooled with the right message for your target marketplace.

What about all that Vision/Mission/Strategy? The working ON the business instead of IN it? Well, the CEO needs to schedule time for that on his calendar. But revenue comes first. INC has an article about the traits of successful small biz owners.

BONUS: Cold Calling still works, according to this article in INC mag. It just isn't always immediate results. It's part of the process and must include scheduled and regular Follow-up.

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