When organizations are about to fail, they often turn to the Turnaround Sales Manager. While the Reconstruction Sales Manager must also manage a struggling sales team, the Turnaround Sales Manager is a sales manager with a more extreme task – saving the sales department. Essentially, companies employing this type of manager are looking at imminent failure if conditions do not change quickly.
One of the quickest ways to prevent a company from going under is to quickly increase sales and margins. To do this requires vision, creativity and fortitude. In order to be an effective Turnaround Sales Manager, a person must have an extremely focused approach to selling and the ability to quickly generate cash.
Many of the actions a Turnaround Sales Manager takes must be quick and decisive. They need to immediately save as much money as possible by reducing expenses and new business acquisition costs. This may mean lowering salaries while increasing sales commissions and removing unnecessary or poor performing marketing and lead generation strategies.
A Turnaround Sales Manager must also maximize the performance of their team – getting the most out of every sales rep. This means letting go of poor sales performers immediately and driving remaining team members to work longer and harder, all while maintaining morale and productivity.
Other actions may include:
• Scrutinizing quality of the sales pipeline to focus in on high priority sales opportunities
• Redefining the target markets
• Dismantling an antiquated sales process and replacing it with one that actually works
• Reducing or expanding the number of products the sales team can sell
• Updating the pricing model and either delegating or removing the negotiating power of the sales reps
• Renegotiating payment terms with existing clients to give better rates for immediate payment
• Identifying key revenue accounts and solidifying critical relationships to continue cash flow
The Turnaround Sales Manager is successful when the company is no longer in danger. Once revenue and margins have been stabilized, the sales manager must focus on maintaining cash flow from an expanding customer base, improved customer retention, and maintaining of margins.
This position is by far the most difficult Sales Manager role. The risks are high and the job is not attractive to many, but the rewards can be significant. Successful Turnaround Sales Managers have a unique form of leadership and for those who are effective, the sense of accomplishment often outweighs the potential losses.