When Should A CEO Hand Off Sales To Executive?

All business exists for the purpose of becoming profitable by making a worthwhile contribution to the marketplace. Whether your business specializes in taxidermy or babysitting, it cannot exist without income. Income, of course, comes from customers who receive your product or service.  But where do customers come from? Furthermore, who is responsible for getting them?

When you are the founder and chief executive of a start up, you will be faced with the same questions. You’ve found out that you are the Lynch Pin of the company. If you are out of commission, so is your business. Because of this intimate correlation between yours and your business’ vitality, you cannot afford to place marketing in the hands of another person, just yet. As a relatively new or unknown company, your marketing won’t be a mere suggestion, appealing to the customer to try your service.  It will be your Brand’s first impression. You can’t afford to have 99% passion when engaging your prospects.

Every entrepreneur starts their business leading sales.  A sales-focused entrepreneur spends 50% or more of their time in planning and the execution of sales and marketing.  This includes posting fliers, making cold & warm calls, networking, presentations and digital marketing efforts.    As your company grows, you might see the need for more of an operational approach to your leadership.

Consider these tips:

Why you should stick in sales

  1. Sales are the financial life-blood of the company.  Keep yourself close to it to manage the actual “flow” of your business.
  2. The founder usually has the most natural passion for the company product or service.  Most importantly, they are intimately tied to the Brand story and values.  Customers buy out of emotions over logic.
  3. Customers feel special when they are talking to the head honcho.  This feeling of importance never gets old.
  4. Salesmen seem to require more resources and tools than a capable CEO, perhaps they need help bridging the gap between what they can do and what the CEO is willing to do.  This means they might also need coaching and what would seem like an unnecessary budget.
  5. Operations-focused CEO means you are tinkering with your product or service to make it better, most times frustrating your staff.
  6. Some Operations-focused CEOs feel they’re not good in sales and try to escape from the job of driving market share.

So, it should be clear to all my dreamers out there that we should never really take our eyes off of sales.  No matter how big your business get, one thing will always be needed:  THE NEXT SALE.


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