A recent article in Selling Power magazine highlighted a growing problem in sales organizations: the average tenure of a Vice President of Sales is now less than two years. (And we don’t even have term limits going on here!)
Here are three reasons for the short tenure:
- Hiring practices – Companies are still not getting the right sales people on the sales bus. Research shows that most companies still do not have a defined hiring process in place. They hire an ineffective VP of Sales who turns around and hires an effective sales team. The wrong driver is driving the sales bus!
HINT: If you need to do one thing to hit sales revenues in 2010 and 2011, slow down and install an effective hiring process. Go to a workshop, hire a consultant but stop the insanity!
- According to IDC’s 2010 Sales Barometer study, half of all sales reps aren’t meeting quota. The study also shows that the number of leads required to generate a sale has increased for two-thirds of all sales organizations and 72% of sales professionals say their sales cycles are longer than they were six month ago. The market has changed, however, most sales organizations are still going to market the same way preaching feature, advantage and benefits. Today’s buyer expects and deserves a salesperson who can lead a high level business conversation. Does your sales team understand a P & L statement? Can they carry on a conversation with the CFO, the CEO? More importantly, can they add value to the conversation? Today’s buyer also is looking for someone who can interact with them by using many of the Sales 2.0 tools. Even if your industry still buys heavily on face-to-face, the prospect is going to be researching you on the net.
No need for VP’s of Sales to join the dinosaurs. Instead, hone up on new skills needed for leadership in the information age.