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August 13, 2015
How to be a Great VP of Sales. Not just Good... Great
There are a lot of things that make a great VP of Sales, but one thing is clear — hitting your number is ultimately a huge part of how you are measured. Hit or exceed your number, life is great. High-fives all around. Miss your number, the scrutiny and questions come in — "What happened? I thought this "Big Deal" was coming in?”
To hit the number, you are pushing everyone on your team to help support you and, like a CEO, you always need to have answers to any questions.
"I don't know" doesn't fly.
"I'm not sure" doesn't cut it.
You want to have all the answers and you don't want to be surprised.
A smart VP of Sales is always ahead of the game
They know the problems and the suggested next steps, they know where to win, and how to work smarter not harder (though hard is never a bad thing). Most importantly, they help develop a culture of respecting people's time and ensuring their rep’s time will drive revenue.
You know the adage — “Time is money” — in sales, time away from selling is taking money off the table. Sales teams underperform because they spend an increasing amount of time on internal communication, updating fields, and filling out spreadsheets.
A smart VP of Sales values their reps time
They are conscious of not being interruptive but additive. They would never nag you for CRM updates, nor would they call you, repeatedly, asking about your next call/meeting/email with the customer. They understand that the rep’s primary focus is — selling.
Here is how a smart VP of Sales can help their sales teams succeed:
- Eliminate busy work — make it easy for reps to keep you up-to-date on deals
- Automate mundane tasks — that reps hate doing
- Provide tools that can help them sell more, faster
- Ensure every customer interaction — call, meeting, emails — is value-add
At Clari, we use machine-learning to automate the collection of rep activity — email, calendar, and CRM. This means sales leaders know when the next meeting is or when a proposal has been sent without interrupting the rep. Clari provides new visibility into what's happening with a deal — no more manual updates — so VP of Sales can spend more time coaching knowing exactly what's going on vs. wasting a rep’s time asking for constant CRM updates.
Being a VP of Sales isn’t easy — you are a cheerleader, coach, data analyst rolled into one — all while you are nailing your number. Next time you're asked a question about your business, you'll have all the answers and be one step ahead.