You’re the VP of Sales. You’ve evaluated the role, accepted it, and you’ve nailed your first impression. But now it’s time to get some real work done.
The first 90 days as a VP of Sales will set the tone for your entire run. We’re here to make sure you manage them properly.
We’ll divide them in three 30-day periods in which you will focus your efforts in different areas. By the end, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a rockstar VP of sales.
Plan for Your First 30 Days as VP of Sales
Your first 30 days as a VP of Sales will be the most passive out of your 90-day sales management plan.
You’d be tempted to jump right in and start proving your worth. We ‘d advise against it. At this point, you still don’t know enough about the organization to make any meaningful changes. You don’t know what works and what doesn’t. Furthermore, you’ve barely met your team, so you still don’t know the dynamics.
This is not a good position to start making changes. You don’t want to become the antagonistic “boss” who starts firing people on his first day. It may be entertaining in sitcoms, but it will not end well in the real world.
Instead what you want to do is simply observe, listen, and learn. That’s all you need to be doing during the first 30 days as a VP of Sales.
Learn the product
As the VP of Sales, it’s your responsibility to know the product inside and out. If you don’t know it, there’s no way you’ll be able to sell it.
Dig deep. If someone asked you in your sleep, you need to be able to answer:
- What does the product do?
- What problem does it solve?
- What’s the ICP?
- What’s the USP?
- Why is it the best product for that target market?
- Why should clients use this product and not the competition?
- What does feature X do?
This should be your first job after establishing yourself and nailing your first impression as a VP of Sales. Learn the product inside, out, and backwards.
Watch some product demos. At this point, you’re still not going into meetings with the reps. You’re only reviewing recordings to get a better feel for the product, as well as the sales process.
Write down any impressions you’re getting. This will become important later. But don’t be too quick to judge.
Learn and document the entire sales process and pipeline
With all the data we have at our disposal, it’s almost criminal not to use it.
Get to know the sales process and make sure everything is handled properly. Make sure:
- Leads get tagged on the way in
- Leads get correctly qualified
- The funnel is kept in a pristine condition
- Everything is regularly updated
If you don’t tag it, you can’t track it. If you can’t track it, you can’t use it.
Identify the proper metrics to track
As a VP of Sales, it’s your responsibility to make sure everything runs smoothly. You’re the one setting the course. You’re the one setting the targets.
However, your first 30 days on the job is a bit early to be doing any of that. What you want to do at this point is identify the proper metrics you will want to be tracking later on.
Make sure you get a realistic picture based on average deal size, average sales velocity, and average pipeline age.
First 30 days as a VP of Sales are about settling in and absorbing as much data and information as possible. Having the right tools in your belt could help make this process a lot smoother. Software like MoData can make sifting through all this data almost completely painless and save you a ton of time. Remember, you only have 30 days to settle in. After that, you need to become more involved.
Plan for Your Second 30 Days as a VP of Sales
Your second 30-day period marks your jumping into the action. You’re still not going to be making organization-level changes (yet), but you’ll be more involved. Introducing some small changes and best practices is fine, but at this point, we’re still not looking for tectonic shifts.
Start selling with the team
Now that you know the sales process and the product, you’re going to start selling. It’s time to test things yourself and see what works and what doesn’t.
Nothing will give you more insight than going in the trenches with your team. This will also serve as inspiration – they won’t see you as “some suit”, but as a true leader. This is how you gain their respect.
Attend demo meetings
You’ve already seen some demos. Now it’s time to attend them. Let the reps lead for now. Only jump in if you feel it’s absolutely necessary. Don’t leave the client with the impression the rep doesn’t know what to do. And don’t leave the rep with the impression you don’t trust them and you’re there to micromanage.
Make sure all client questions and concerns get addressed. Also, pay attention to client feedback and client needs. If a few clients ask for a certain feature you don’t offer, this is a good indication you want to make adjustments. You don’t make a sale with one big “yes”, but with a bunch of small ones along the way. So pay attention.
Get familiar with how people operate
You already have a basic understanding of how your team operates. Now it’s time to dig deeper. Poke at and analyze everything. If there’s something that doesn’t quite work, people are unlikely to point it out outright. So you need to discover it on your own.
This is another place where data can help you. By using pipeline management tools, you can get a pretty good idea about the current state of affairs. Then, you can use it to ask your reps specific questions and identify the weak links in the process.
Your second month as a VP of Sales should be marked by getting knee-deep in the trenches and getting your hands dirty. Doing this well will set you up for success on your third 30-day period in your new role.
Plan for Your Third 30 Days as a VP of Sales
Your third 30 days as VP of Sales is where you finally get to exact bigger changes in the organization. Now that you’ve done all the prep work for the past two months, it’s your time to shine.
Refine the sales process
You’ve spent the past two months studying the sales process. You should have an idea where things work and where they stand to be improved.
Now is to time to begin implementing your own improvements of the process and leaving your mark. Data should make it pretty clear if there are any bottlenecks or leakages that need fixing. It’s your job as a VP of Sales to take care of that. You can use MoData’s revenue finder to make that a walk in the park.
Start coaching the team
Now that you’ve acquainted yourself with the process and you’ve seen the reps in action, it’s time to start coaching. This will be one of the most important aspects of your job as a VP of Sales. The effectiveness of your team is a reflection of your own effectiveness as a sales leader.
By this point, you should have a pretty good understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of each team member. You can also use activity tracking software to put the data in order. Combining activity data with your own assessment will give you a more complete picture.
Start making company-level changes
Finally, it’s time to take charge. This is what your new role is all about. This is what you’ve been preparing for during your first and second 30-day periods. At last, you get to test your mettle.
Company-level changes are no laughing matter. But thanks to the extensive time spent in studying the org and the processes, you can make a real impact. If something doesn’t work, you can either improve it, or toss it aside and get something that works better.
At this stage, you’ll be the one setting the targets for the team. This is also where you can start hiring or firing people. Now you can make those tectonic shifts we were talking about earlier, because you’ve laid all the groundwork.
Why is Data Important for Your 90-day Sales Management Plan?
During each step of the process, data is going to be invaluable. It will allow you to get acquainted with the org and the pipeline in no time. Furthermore, it will enable you to follow the flow of the deals and identify any underlying problems.
Data will give you the full picture. Especially in bigger orgs and big teams, it’s hard to listen to every rep individually. This is where data will fill in the blanks.
With software like MoData, processing your data and getting an action-ready insight is as easy as clicking a few buttons. Nothing will make your first 90 days as a VP of Sales easier.