Moving into any new role can be a daunting prospect. There are new challenges to overcome, new people to meet, and new processes to master for any employee. However, for a sales manager or leader, the stress and anxiety you feel is likely to be more pronounced.
After all, as a leader, you’ll be under more pressure to demonstrate your expertise and validate your value to business shareholders. That’s why it pays to have a plan of action, outlining exactly how you’re going to ace your new role.
Fortunately, we’re here to help. Here’s your complete guide to building an effective 90-day plan for your first three months in a new sales leader position.
Before we dive into the key components of our 90-day plan for sales leaders, it’s worth establishing what 30-60-90 plans are, and how they work. Essentially, a 90-day plan is a 3-month strategy, outlining the key steps you’re going to take to transition into a role, and or implement new strategies.
These plans are common for beginners moving into a leadership role for the first time. They cover important steps like getting to know your team, understanding business goals, and establishing sales plans. However, you can also use 30-60-90 day plans for other purposes.
For instance, you might use a 90-day plan when expanding into new sales territories, or developing a new structure for team training. Ultimately, a plan like this gives you direction and focus as you take steps forward in your career, or invest in growing your business.
The first 30 days (or month) of your 90-day plan will typically focus on learning, developing business acumen and getting to know your new sales team. Generally, during this stage, you won’t be trying to implement major changes. Instead, you’ll be focused on paving the foundations you need for future development and growth. Here are some of the key things you should do.
First, you need a clear understanding of what your business wants to accomplish, and what c-level executives and shareholders expect from you as a leader. Speak to other management professionals and executives in your organization to clarify the core objectives of the business for the following months. For instance, are you concentrating on expanding into new territories?
Is your company currently focused on accelerating lead acquisition, or improving customer retention? What KPIs and metrics will you need to track to monitor the success of your team, and how will your bosses be judging your performance?
The chances are you already have a decent level of business acumen if you’re moving into a new sales leader role. You should have a clear understanding of what products and services your company sells, the value they offer, and what your company’s unique selling points are.
However, it’s also important to ensure you have a clear understanding of your brand’s go-to-market strategy, the sales processes you use, and the methodologies your team will be using. Find out what processes and sales strategies are already in place, so you know how to guide your team.
During this stage, you should also be doing research into your competition, the current market trends in your industry, and the tools and resources you can use to improve your performance.
Speaking of your team, it’s crucial to get to know them if you want to succeed as a sales leader. While it may take time to build deep relationships and trust, you can begin to evaluate your employees during the first 30 days, collecting as much information as you can about their:
The more information you can collect about your team, the easier it will be to ensure you’re delegating tasks to the right employees in the future, and providing your staff with the right level of support and guidance.
As you move into your second month as a new sales leader, you’ll be able to start making more strategic moves, to improve employee performance, and generate measurable results. Using the information you’ve gathered during your first 30 days, start to:
With a clear view of your company’s wider goals and objectives, you’ll be able to start setting specific goals for both yourself, and your team members. For instance, if your business is currently focused on improving customer retention and lifetime value, you might set a goal to reduce customer churn by 20% in the next 2 months.
When you’re setting goals for your team, make sure you provide them with clear insights into how their performance will be measured. It’s also worth making sure every goal you set is SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound).
Achieving your goals as a sales leader may require you to make some changes to your current strategy, and the processes your team uses. For instance, if your overall mission is to improve the relationship your business has with customers, and minimize churn, you might decide to implement an account-based marketing strategy.
However, before you can start to implement new campaigns, you’ll need to gain the buy-in of other executives on your team, as well as your employees. To do this, you need to be able to explain why you’re advocating for a major initiative, and what kind of impact the initiative might have.
Once you’ve gained buy-in from your employees, and your executives, you can begin to develop and implement the new strategies that will drive you towards your goal. For instance, to achieve the target of retaining more customers, you might need to invest in training, to help your employees learn how to build rapport and stronger customer relationships.
You might need to consider investing in new technologies, implementing new lead qualification methods, or even introduce a new customer onboarding and success strategy. Make sure you consult with your executives and your team members throughout the strategy development process. You’ll also need to ensure you know which KPIs and metrics you’re going to be monitoring, to ensure you can validate the success of your strategies.
The work you’ve done during the first 60 days as a new sales leader should have laid the foundation for the successful implementation of new strategies and initiatives. Now, it’s time to start actively making changes, reviewing results, and gathering feedback.
Based on what you’ve learned about your team so far, you should be able to delegate tasks to your employees effectively, and start measuring their results. To validate and build your credibility, it’s a good idea to look for opportunities to earn “quick wins”.
For instance, if you’re trying to increase the number of leads your team generates for the business, you might devote a larger portion of your team to prospecting and lead qualification initially. Make sure you’re monitoring the key metrics and KPIs you set for success, and share your insights with employees, providing feedback on what they can improve and change.
By the time you reach the third month in your new sales role, executives are going to be looking for evidence of your success. Monitoring results, such as increases in average order value, improved retention rates, and increased win rates, will allow you to demonstrate the success of your strategies.
Gathering feedback from your sales team can also be helpful at this stage. It will give you insights into which strategies your employees are struggling with, and where they need more help, so you can implement new training and coaching initiatives as you go.
You should also be collecting feedback from the executives and shareholders in your team. Ask them how you can improve your leadership style, and what they feel you should change in your strategy. This will help to pave the way for better trust and credibility in the future.
The feedback, and results you receive from your first 90 days as a sales leader should also help you to plan future initiatives. For instance, you can use the results from training initiatives delivered to your employees to create a future long-term plan for employee development.
You can also use the data you collect about the success of your sales processes and strategies to determine which initiatives your business should continue investing in. For instance, if your ABM strategy successfully improves retention by 20%, you might suggest rolling similar strategies out to other sales teams or territories.
A 90-day plan can be a fantastic tool for sales leaders, giving them the direction they need to drive quick results and wins in their organization. While the key steps above will give you a basic idea of what you should be doing in your initial 90 days in a leadership position, it’s important to tailor your strategy to your specific role and business landscape.
Here’s a quick template you can customize for your own 90-day plan:
Need more help mastering your first 90 days in a sales leadership role? Learn from the experts and expand your network by joining Hypcccycl today.
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