CEOs and Sales

September 10, 2019
By Rowan Belchers

In this current period of economic and social upheaval, one of the most important things to watch is sales – the lifeblood of any organisation. It matters not what leadership skills are built, or what CRM system is in place, or the quality of your onboarding policy if there are no sales to keep the business going.

And so it stands to reason that in these sorts of economic conditions, that CEOs are thoughtful about their relationship to maintaining a healthy sales pipeline.

While it is true that CEOs of organisations of any meaningful size will be fairly removed from direct sales, that is not where the conversation ends. CEOs have tons of leverage and control over the securing of revenue just through the way they lead.

At Lockstep, we codify leadership into 4 core modes: Guide, Drive, Inspire and Connect. All 4 leadership modes are required to ensure that sales are maintained.

  • Guide: explaining to your organization why sales is a focus during tough economic times.
  • Drive: ensuring that there is urgency and energy in the system.
  • Inspire: getting the organization to feel confident and excited about the prospect of boosting sales – if for no reason other than to sustain the business through this rocky economic patch.
  • Connect: getting people to work together cohesively to drive a collective sales effort.

A few questions to consider:

  1. How healthy is your sales process? (Is it mechanized, does it have CRM backing, is your pipeline full?)
  2. What is your own relationship with sales and are you adept enough at it.
  3. What is your leadership plan to make sure sales are chased and achieved? (knowing that closing a sales is seldom done overnight and generally takes some time)

If this topic interests you, read Daniel Pink’s ‘To sell is human’.

My experience is that in tough times, the experience, perspective and sway that a CEO carries is simply a requirement.

Rowan Belchers

Rowan Belchers is the founder and CEO of Lockstep, a business leadership consultancy. Lockstep works with CEO’s, executive teams and future leaders across the African continent, partnering with clients who seek customised leadership solutions. Rowan is a highly respected advisor to CEOs with over two decades’ experience in guiding businesses and their leaders towards reaching their fullest potential. Rowan leads The CEO Project, a Lockstep initiative.
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