In our previous article, we discussed the Selling Sales Manger. This manager often works well in small or new divisions, building teams and transitioning to a more traditional management role. Similarly, the Start-up Sales Manager also works in new companies or divisions, building a sales team from scratch. The key difference, however, is that the Start-up Sales Manager does not take on a personal sales quota.
Starting with a clean slate and building a fresh team is an advantage of being a Start-up Sales Manager.
The focus of the Start-up Sales Manager is to build a new team without the framework of existing sales processes, resources, salespeople, or sales culture. These conditions require any Start-up Sales Manager to be resourceful. Since there are no preexisting systems, they will need to develop new processes for hiring, on-boarding, coaching, training, and assessing performance.
For the Start-up Sales Manager, experience with creating new sales teams will be critical. This gives them the insider knowledge to create processes that will be effective. It also gives them the foresight to take advantage of what is at hand, such as corporate resources, venture capital, or other funding. This role can be difficult at first, especially if the Sales Manager does not have access to the type of resources needed (lead lists, sales collateral, CRM system, marketing support, etc) to accomplish the initiative of quickly building and developing a quality sales team.
On the other hand, the Start-up Sales Manager does have the advantage of a clean slate. Since there is no organizational baggage or ineffective processes to overcome, the Sales Manager is able to establish expectations, set standards, create processes, hire the right salespeople, and build a true sales culture the right way.
Ideally, the life cycle of the Start-up Sales Manager should be relatively short. They need to transition as quickly as possible into a Pure Growth Sales Manager since success is measured by the achievement of initial sales goals and objectives within the time frame specified. This varies based on the company, market conditions, quality and quantity of sales talent, and product or service differentiation.
Whether it winds up being several months or several years, once the start-up phase is over, the Start-up Sales Manager should to move into a full-time sales coaching and management role. Then they are able to monitor the systems they have established, add new salespeople as needed, and generate greater shareholder value.