A CXO Love Story: Part 1 – Assessing the Terrain

When I was promoted to Vice-President of Sales, I faced a daunting challenge. Many of my regions were under performing and I, nor my team, knew exactly why. In talking to my regional managers and directors, they held to their story that they were trying anything and everything to oust the incumbents and win business. Of course I got the standard complaints about how they needed more salespeople and tech support to be able to touch and service more clients in the region, respectively.

So my first duty as VP was to get on a plane and visit each of the regional offices that were underperforming to get a firsthand look at what was going on. The salespeople took me around to see their existing clients; only the happy ones of course. After weeks of flying, and an estimated 200 packets of peanuts consumed, I began to get a sense of what was wrong or better yet, what was causing these regions to underperform.

The obvious red flag was the fact that our salespeople weren’t penetrating the big accounts. We didn’t have a stake in terms of sales with any of the major technology players in the region. We were picking up small deals here and there, but I surmised very quickly that we were missing out on the big proposals.

We had to switch strategies and aim higher if we were going to hit our quota for the year. What was the quota? The region had never surpassed $14 million. My goal as the new VP was to make sure we hit the $14M and build from there. Expectations were running high! Ha! Aren’t they always when you’re on the sales-end of the stick!

A CXO Love Story continues next week with Part 2: Let’s Play Nice


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