From high performer to high performing leader

DIRECTOR OF SALES

We worked with a data warehousing director of sales, who was taking longer than he had expected to transition from high performing account director to leading a sales team. He had spent his first twelve months in post doing what he did best – being the best salesperson on his team. Unfortunately, this limited team member autonomy and slowed down the sales cycle. Further, he was heading toward burn-out. He realised things needed to change significantly if he was going to make his target for the year. The pace of work wasn't sustainable and if he wanted his team to succeed, they needed to break out of the cycle of chasing every deal just to make this quarter’s number and start acting more strategically, which required him to stop micromanaging and start leading.

Through his Leading From the Middle programme he was able to step back from operational issues and trust his very talented team to do their job. He developed a sustainable vision and strategy which would enable long term success and cascaded this down to his team as clear goals, with milestones and a robust reporting framework. He coached and mentored individual team members in planning and problem solving but didn’t interfere with implementing solutions. And he made sure they had the necessary resources to do their job.

By the end of his programme he had aligned team goals with wider business goals and established longer term targets, not just for revenue but for targeting new clients where there was a good fit and prospects for long term and productive relationships.

It’s still early days for this director but he is getting results. He has a sound strategy for growth which is supported by his vice president. Team members are much more motivated, clearer about what they are doing and work with far greater autonomy. The director of sales is less stressed and confident he is moving in the right direction.