Leaders face a great deal of pressure right now, particularly in the case of the hospitality industry; both in terms of turning profit and also in managing teams (amidst a staff shortage crisis). The office landscape as we once knew it has changed beyond all recognition as the past year has led to a great home working community and now a future hybrid culture for many businesses. Yet the CEO must continue to lead the business in a way that inspires people and retains that all-important spirit of togetherness and culture.
The CEO has three important roles in the overall sales process; developing the umbrella sales strategy and agreeing financial targets with the FD are the two obvious ones. Becoming a supportive ‘live wire’ who is embedded within the team to ensure every single person in the business is behind the sales effort, is perhaps the less obvious role. Great communication is after all, one of the major strengths of any successful sales function and that has to involve everyone, across all departments from the top down.
Regardless of the size of the organisation, It is often surprising how little, other parts of the business know about what is happening in the sales department. This is usually because the sales team are so embroiled in the cycle of the sale, it is easy to become siloed and to shut everything else out (including colleagues in other teams). It is up to the CEO to drive visibility between teams and success is often dependent on instilling the right team culture. With a growing hybrid working model, that can become more of a challenge for some.
As a CEO, improving sales means you must be available to support the good and the bad times too. The good times might involve helping to clinch a sale or new contract win, ensuring the right elements are present in sales collateral or presentations as well as other steps of the sales cycle. Yet perhaps most importantly, helping the sales team to get back onto the horse when they fall at the first fence, is something a good CEO will always aspire to as a crucial aspect of improving sales.
At Caternet, our own CEO follows the four cornerstones of surviving a recession (having been through three recessions in his time):
- Cash is King (obvious, but cash flow matters)
- Employ the best people, nurture and look after them (they will ensure your business is operating at its best)
- Create the best products/services to sell (no-one wants to buy second rate)
- Invest in sales and marketing (buyers need to know what you’ve got, how it works for them and how they get in touch).