What do you do when your sales team continues to lose money, marketshare and fails to close sales? At that point, companies often hire a Turnaround Sales Manager. The Reconstruction Sales Manager must manage a struggling sales team, but the Turnaround Sales Manager must save the sales department. Ultimately, an organization could enter into bankruptcy if conditions do not change quickly. Therefore, they hire an expert to turn things around.
Make Tough Decisive Decisions
The hallmark of a Turnaround Sales Manager is making tough and decisive decisions. Time is of the essence. Therefore, one of the quickest ways a Turnaround Sales Manager prevents a company from going under is to dramatically cut costs. They need to immediately save money by reducing expenses, employee overhead and/or lead costs. This may mean lowering salaries or laying off low performers. Finally, removing unnecessary or poor performing marketing and lead generation strategies can really help.
In addition, a Turnaround Sales Manager focuses on retaining valuable customers and increasing sales and margins. To do this requires vision, creativity and persistence. The old ways that got the company into this mess won’t work. Effective Turnaround Sales Managers hyper-focus on sales and quickly generating cash. This means they can also increase sales commissions to incentivize reps to sell more and sell quickly.
A Turnaround Sales Manager must also maximize the performance of their team – getting the most out of every sales rep. This means focusing on supporting top performers and driving team members to work smarter, while maintaining morale and productivity. Focused sales training is a key ingredient for achieving new sales.
Take Action on the Strategy
Turnaround Sales Manager s have a strategy to change the course of the sales department. It can be difficult for many people, but the changes are necessary. Here are a few items to consider:
- Scrutinize quality of the sales pipeline to focus in on high priority sales opportunities
- Redefine the target markets to only the essential, high value ones
- Dismantle an antiquated sales process and replacing it with one that actually works
- Reduce or expand the number of products the sales team can sell
- Update the pricing model and either delegate or remove the negotiating power of the sales reps
- Renegotiate payment terms with existing clients to give better rates for immediate payment
- Identify 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 they stabilize revenue and margins, smart leaders focus on maintaining cash flow by expanding customer base. In addition, they improve customer retention, and maintain margins.
This position is by far the most difficult Sales Manager role. The risks are high and the job is not attractive to many. However, the rewards can be significant. Successful Turnaround Sales Managers have a unique responsibility to the company. For those who are effective, the sense of accomplishment often outweighs the losses.