I’ve had the opportunity to serve on the senior leadership team of numerous organizations to navigate the complex waters of growth and expansion. This is where I gained invaluable lessons on how to achieve both Sales and EBITDA growth success.

The common denominator of these businesses was the ability to anticipate and swiftly execute critical changes throughout the organization that threatened sustainable growth.

These top performers understood the power of taking a holistic approach to expansion by recognizing that controlled growth extends far beyond hitting top line sales targets.

They knew that success hinged on senior leadership’s ability to work together in a proactive, cohesive, and productive manner to prepare the organization for supporting accelerated growth.

While specializing in sales and sales leadership, I draw from my broad business background to provide additive value by contributing to clients’ planning throughout the organization.

My unique Sales Sherpa vantage point allows for the sharing of insights and guidance to help senior leaders navigate growth pain junctures or, ideally, prevent them altogether.

This article aims to distill firsthand experiences from myself and Fractional Sales Leader colleagues, offering key strategies that can position you for smart business growth.

Key Article Takeaways:

  • How to avoid unintended consequences of uncontrolled growth
  • 4 sales leadership functions necessary to drive growth that is sustainable and scalable
  • Methods to evaluate company-wide readiness for double-digit growth

Structured Sales Leadership Approach to Growth

Let’s start by digging into the leadership scope and skill set required to achieve accelerated growth at the sales department level.

For a sales department to thrive, it requires multi-faceted sales leadership skills, more than just sales managerial oversight.

Covering the range of executive-to-tactical sales leadership responsibilities is difficult for small and mid-sized businesses.

High-Performance Sales Organization Transformation ProcessThe various functions are needed at different times and in varying velocity throughout a company’s growth journey.

Read on to review the differing sales leadership functions and their high-level objectives. Each responsibility is essential in developing and operating a high-performance sales organization.

Best Practice Sales Leadership Scope of Duties:

Architect / Visionary

  • Sales Strategy
  • Sales System Design (People, Processes, Systems)
  • Senior Leadership Team Contributor & Collaborator

Builder / Implementer

  • Sales System & Playbook Build-out
  • Sales Role and Key Accountabilities Definition
  • KPI/Scorecard Designations & Sales Dashboard Set-up

Operator / Coach

  • Deploy Sales Strategies, Processes, Tools, etc.
  • Manage, Train, and Coach Sales Team
  • Drive High Performance Sales Culture

Guide / Facilitator

  • Facilitate Strategic Sales Planning with Senior Leadership and the Sales Team
  • Guide Q-by-Q Sales Review, Goal Setting, and Accountability
  • Advisory Resource/Mentor to Builder and Operator roles

If you recognize gaps in any of these critical sales leadership areas, you will benefit from a gap analysis.

I lead clients through a process to identify, prioritize, and address critical gaps for achieving heightened and managed sales growth.

Ready to get your sales in order?

Senior Leadership’s Role in Sustainable Growth

Now it’s time to transition our focus to a company’s senior leadership team and the pinnacle role they play in controlled sales growth.

Even when sales achieves their predefined sales targets and secures “the right kind of growth”, their efforts will not sustain unless a company is prepared and equipped to scale operations.

In companies that are unfamiliar navigating accelerated growth, my Sales Sherpa vantage point becomes invaluable by raising the right questions at the right time.

Senior Leadership Team’s Role in Sustainable GrowthWhat I’ve noticed, especially in small and mid-sized businesses, is that it is very easy to misjudge what it takes to sustain double digit sales growth.

It’s inevitable that our workforce will be taxed during certain phases of fast-paced growth.

However, setting the right expectations internally and sharing well laid out plans to level out workloads will avoid unanticipated soft consequences such as morale and work quality decline.

Here is a sampling of key questions we’ve found enable productive senior leadership discussions and stimulate proactive action:

  • Do we have a successful track record utilizing a proven business management system that generates consistent achievement of short-term and long-term company-wide goals?
  • How can we stress test the organization’s capacity for X% growth beyond knowing we have X% underutilized production capacity?
  • Are we aligned on top, middle, and bottom tier customer segments that may need to be prioritized during times of operational strain caused by accelerated growth?
  • How do performance expectations for new customer segments align with our current standards to achieve retention and growth?
  • What investment dollars are needed for Sales, Marketing, Operations, Production and Back-office to fulfill each of their important roles in achieving and sustaining heightened growth?

Quick growth requires additional time, capital, and resource investment that is commonly overlooked.

Quick growth requires additional investment that is commonly overlooked in these areas - time, capital, and resources. My experience has been that operating within a formal business management system, such as EOS (Entrepreneurial Operating System), is paramount for a senior leadership team to effectively navigate accelerated growth.

In my Fractional Sales Leader role, I am well versed at seamlessly integrating into an already productive senior leadership team or being an active contributor to help instill order where there’s chaos.

Smart Business Growth with a Fractional Sales Leader

While my specialization is sales leadership, my unique background also enables the ability to help prevent top executives from falling into the trap of chasing bottlenecks around their organization – the common byproduct of uncontrolled sales growth.

I’ve seen too many companies soar by achieving their accelerated sales goals, only to plummet a short time later due to not understanding how to prepare themselves organizationally for responsible, sustainable growth.

Deploying my discovery and gap analysis processes are a comprehensive way for top executives to gain visibility into the likely gaps that are lurking in their organization.

The resulting Sales Discovery Report provides comprehensive recommendations that can be acted upon in a variety of ways based on the resources a company has available. Such as…

  • Leveraging your internal team to independently execute.
  • Blending your team’s capabilities with an external expert to guide their efforts.
  • Hiring a Fractional Sales Leader to take ownership of leading the charge.

If you’d like to discuss how you can prepare your business for smart growth, contact me through through either of these methods: (773) 203-7086 or jmcleod@salesxceleration.com.
Learn the right time to hire a fractional sales leader———————————————————————————–

I am part of a national group of Senior Sales Leaders who collaborate to share insights like the examples shown in this article. We formed because of our shared passion to help business leaders exponentially grow their revenue