My Top Line Credibility: My Chief Sales Officer: Maximum Performance System
My C-level Coaches taught, coached and held me ice cold accountable to successfully execute my Chief Sales Officer: Maximum Performance System……….to successfully address the Critical Success Factors that Maximized my Top Line Revenue………to successfully transform my Sales Organization into a pro-active Maximum Competitive Advantage in my marketplace……..and to Measurably Maximize my Top Line Revenue.
My Top Line Critical Success Factors
To Maximize My Top Line Revenue: I became a 24/7 Lead-by-Example Chief Sales Officer.
I learned from C-level Coaches that the most effective, the most powerful, the most inspiring Leadership Tool I have in leading….in coaching….in igniting my sales organization to maximize top line revenue is my own personal top line leadership example.
I became aware that my daily leadership behavior as a Chief Sales Officer sent a continuous and very public top line message to all of my sales and sales mgmt professionals. My daily leadership example clearly demonstrated to each player in my sales organization how they will recognize their own top line potential….how they will take advantage of their own top line opportunities ….and how they will maximize their own top line performance!
Every word I would say…….every emotion I expressed……..every action I took would be observed, scrutinized and evaluated not only by my C-level Clients, but also by my sales managers and by every sales person in my sales organization. I was leading my sales organization under a continuous and constant “performance microscope.” And the only 3 criteria I was ever measured against was “Is Joe White uplifting, inspiring and empowering his sales managers?”………“Is Joe White uplifting, inspiring and empowering his sales professionals?” ……..“Is Joe White maximizing his top line revenue?”
To Maximize My Top Line Revenue: I Aligned/Inspired my Sales Organization with My Maximum Growth Vision.
I learned from my C-level Coaches that my constant and consistent Maximum Growth Vision created a common unifying passionate identity in my sales organization. It animated, inspired my entire sales organization. It transformed my sales managers into top line Maximum Performance Coaches. It transformed my sales professionals into top line revenue warriors. It ignited focused top line sales action and it achieved maximum top line revenue!
To Maximize My Top Line Revenue: In direct collaboration with my Executive Team I Cemented Revenue-Producing Relationships/Alliances with Customer/Client/Prospect Senior Management.
In addition to myself I held my sales managers and sales pros ice cold accountable to develop buy-sell relationships with customer senior management. As CSO I understood the unique world of the C-level senior executive. I understood C-level business language……..I understood what gets a C-level manager’s attention……I understood how a C-level manager views “business value”……..and what motivates C-level senior management to make buying decisions. I learned to skillfully and insightfully position my organization’s business value to customer senior management thereby closing our targeted accounts……protecting our strategic accounts…….and uncovering and winning new profitable revenue opportunities.
By deepening my relationships in my sales organization’s Key Customer Accounts I was viewed as a “Business Advisor” and a “Customer Advocate” by my key customers’ senior management. I addressed challenges/issues/problems in key customers’ growth strategies. Working directly with my Executive Team, I honed and developed key customer revenue growth ideas. I then enthusiastically presented them with a focus toward innovative and mutually profitable top line revenue growth for both parties.
To Maximize My Top Line Revenue: In direct collaboration with My Executive Team I continually Scanned/Assessed our Internal and External Business Environments’ dynamic impact on My Top Line Revenue.
Our External Business Environment: From my top line maximum growth perspective I continually assessed/interpreted my dynamic ever-changing external sales environment, my customers’ environment……my customers’ customer environment…..my competitive environment……..my economic/demographic environment…….my technological environment………my supplier environment and my regulatory environment.
I rapidly reported any top line revenue threats and revenue growth opportunities to my Executive Team. I continuously presented to my Executive Team my top line revenue growth insights to gain or maintain a sustainable competitive advantage in my Marketplace.
Our Internal Business Environment: I enhanced my top line credibility with my Executive Team by scanning and assessing my internal business operations and their impact on present and future revenue growth. My learning focused on understanding how my organization made money….…on identifying our most revenue producing/profitable product/service lines (and understanding why they are most profitable!)…..on identifying our least profitable product/service lines (and understanding why they are least profitable!)….and identifying how each business line was used by our customers to grow our customers’ businesses. I then was accountable to present to my C-level Clients new or adjusted top line revenue generating strategies.
To Maximize My Top Line Revenue: Collaborating/Aligning with My Executive Team I became a pro-active trusted “Profitable Growth Partner”
My sales organization continually faced the perils of “the commoditization trap.” My C-level Coaches taught me that I, as CSO, together with my sales managers and sales people were in the best position to creatively protect our organization’s profit margins. I, my sales managers and my sales people pro-actively uncovered new growth opportunities in our customers’ businesses……..I positioned those “growth ideas” back to my Executive Team………then we enthusiastically packaged, presented and profitably sold them to our customers, firmly re-establishing competitive advantage and market share growth.
Collaborating with my Executive Team I created top line metrics/measurements and analytics that delivered crucial market/sales data. I created quantifiable measurements (Key Performance Indicators) that reflected the Critical Success Factors that drive maximum top line revenue. As their “Growth Partner” I also alerted my Executive Team to important qualitative (non-measurable) data like sales morale, teamwork, growing internal conflicts between sales and marketing and customer attitudes and how that could impact top line revenue.
With my Executive Team I created the clearest picture of revenue achievement vs. projected outcomes and supported the highest probability of effectively maximizing top line capital-efficient revenue.
My C-level Clients appreciated and respected me as their “Growth Partner.” My day-to-day passion for top line growth became a restless curiosity that never stopped or settled. It became the all-consuming “growth purpose” of my work as CSO. I also developed an endlessly questioning mind among my sales managers and sales professionals that yielded a constant bubbling up of new revenue growth ideas for my C-level Clients that needed to be tested and tried out, no matter what time of the day or night.
To Maximize My Top Line Revenue: I transformed each of My Sales Teams into a publicly acknowledged Competitive Selling Advantage in our Marketplace.
My C-level Client Coaches directed me to uplift, inspire and empower my Sales Team Managers and Sales Professionals to enthusiastically execute my Maximum Performance System. My C-level Client Coaches vigorously insisted my Sales Team Managers and their Sales Professionals must clearly and measurably set my sales organization apart from our competition and sell with a clear pro-active Competitive Selling Advantage in our marketplace.
My Sales Managers empowered their teams with a Maximum Performance Customer Focus: My Sales Managers and their sales people continually assessed how their customers’ senior management viewed the changing dynamics in the customers’ industry………and how their customers’ senior management assessed the impact changing dynamics had on the customer-senior management’s growth strategy and on customer-senior management’s buying strategy/objectives. I then rapidly adjusted our value-based selling focus to accommodate the new dynamic changes in the customers’ buying (growth) strategy.
My Sales Managers empowered their teams with a “Strategic Big Picture Understanding” of our customers’ buying patterns and how they impact our top line revenue. My Sales Managers and sales people understood from each customer’s point of view, why the customer buys our products and services and why the customer buys our competition………we understood how the customer uses our products and services in the customers’ business operations……and we understood how our products and services contribute to the customer’s profitable top line growth.
In addition my Sales Managers recognized and understood the predictable patterns of buyer-seller strategies that lead to a high probability of our sales people winning revenue. My sales managers also recognized and understood the predictable patterns of buyer-seller strategies that lead to our sales people losing revenue. Having this kind of intimate customer knowledge I adjusted our value-based selling strategy and presented to the customer the most profitable/growth solution that would be aligned with his growth strategy……and of course a solution that would also be aligned with our own growth strategy (profitability.)
I empowered my Sales Managers to Sell to Customer Senior Management: In addition to myself my Sales Team Managers and sales pros developed buy-sell revenue generating relationships with customer senior management. My professionals understood the unique world of the C-level executive. My people understood C-level language……..they understood what gets a C-level manager’s attention……how a C-level manager views “business value”……..what motivates C-level senior management to make buying decisions. My sales managers and sales people skillfully and insightfully positioned our business value to customer senior management closing our targeted accounts, protecting our strategic accounts and uncovering and winning new profitable revenue opportunities.
Comparing my sales organization to our competition our buyers/customers continually and publicly acknowledged that our “Unique Understanding” of our marketplace…….our way of identifying and strategically addressing all the business components that would impact the customer’s ultimate buying decision……our way of building buyer relationships……..our way of relating to customer senior management……our way of positioning, presenting, and selling our value……..our way of closing business gave us a “Competitive Selling Advantage” and measurably grew our market share. Our C-level Clients………our buyers….and our competitors publicly described my sales organization as “Unique and Different” in our highly competitive marketplace.
To Maximize My Top Line Revenue: I Empowered my Sales Team Managers to manage/lead like Individual Business Owners.
My C-level Client Coaches unshakably maintained that my sales team managers are “the key to successful day-to-day operations” of maximizing top line revenue. Drawing upon my “Business Owner” top line approach, each of my sales team managers focused on the challenging tasks of selecting sales talent…………developing sales talent……..and inspiring/motivating their talented sales people to achieve maximum profitable revenue. With maximum enthusiasm and drive each of my sales team managers communicated a sense of urgency that inspired their sales people to follow them……a sense of urgency that inspired their sales people to commit to the same revenue goals, to share the same revenue growth beliefs and to vigorously execute the same top line maximum growth strategies. By maximizing the sales talent of their sales people and by maximizing their own leadership/coaching talents my sales team managers enthusiastically drove their sales team’s maximum revenue performance.
Acting like “Individual Business Owners” my sales team managers deepened their relationships in their sales team’s key accounts. My sales team managers became “Business Advisors” and “Customer Advocates” to their key customers’ senior management. My sales team managers addressed customers’ revenue growth problems. Key customer growth ideas were then developed and enthusiastically presented with a focus toward win-win innovative profitable revenue growth for us and for our key customers.
My sales team managers became bottom-up “Revenue Growth Advisors” to me, their CSO, by continually scanning and scoping their own sales team’s external business environment for short term revenue threats and opportunities. They were also accountable to identify emerging long term revenue opportunities and potential long term revenue threats. My sales team managers were also accountable to present a timely and concise business plan of action on how to profitably respond.
To Maximize My Top Line Revenue: I Empowered My Sales Team Managers to create Strategic Sales Solutions to Revenue Problems.
My C-level Client Coaches unshakably maintained that Top Line Performance Problems are not really the problem…….rather the way I addressed them is the problem. They insisted, as CSO I need to first apply my “power of calmness” to create clarity and strategic understanding of the true nature of my performance problems. It was only with calmness, with clarity and with “C-level Smarts understanding” could I then effectively and efficiently address my very real top line performance challenges.
I coached my sales managers to assess sales problems through a “big picture” top line strategic lens. I cautioned my sales managers about the dynamic interdependent nature of problems/challenges to my top line revenue. I cautioned them that when we were struggling with an overwhelming revenue problem or with top line uncertainty, we tend to want to simplify things, to create order and work with one problem at a time. My approach to sales problems did not advocate abandoning that approach altogether. I reminded all my sales managers that simplification, structure and linear thinking have their limits, and can generate as many revenue problems as they solve.
I pointed out to my sales team managers that my sales organization is a dynamic, complex and interdependent whole, continually being impacted by external business variables and also impacted by its own internal variables. I and my sales managers needed to be aware of all my sales organization’s business variables – both within it and external to it, if we are to successfully address top line revenue issues. Consequently my top line problem-solving approach went to “the why” (causation) of poor sales performance. My focus was on the business variables, on the complexities, on the dynamics, on the inter-connected nature of revenue problem causation.
My sales team managers learned to pro-actively look at the reality of their sales team performance from a real view of 10,000 feet: consequently with any given top line performance problem they learned to consider all the elements involved: the connections and the interrelationships among them. They became exceptionally good at noticing dynamic concepts, themes, possibilities, trends, patterns, implications……all impacting top line revenue performance. They developed a deductive kind of ability that enabled them to see how “present revenue performance problems” are suggesting many possible hidden causes in addition to what is obvious and explicit.
I coached my sales team managers to strike a balance between short-term revenue success and long-term revenue success, and to look for the sales solution that encompassed both. I coached my sales team managers to create sales solutions by first thinking through their likely ramifications…..by first thinking through their likely “unintended consequences”– both short term and long term. Whether my sales team managers were focusing on the long term or the short term, I coached them to be aware of all the potential top line revenue impacts of whatever sales solution strategy they would choose.
I coached my sales team managers to accept direct responsibility in causing revenue problems. I stressed to them the relevant problem-causing questions are always, “In what ways as a sales organization are we doing this to ourselves?”.….“how could we have contributed to this revenue problem?”……“What did we do to stimulate those forces, or to make ourselves vulnerable to them?”
Traditionally most sales managers take the perspective of being victimized by business variables external to their sales organization. They blame competitors, the economy, the government or even internal variables for their own poor sales performance. In my coaching I focused my sales managers on placing the responsibility for poor revenue performance squarely on my shoulders as CSO and on the shoulders of those who manage the processes, strategies and structure of their sales teams.
Like myself my sales team managers developed a passion for clarity and profitable sales solutions. They developed a restless “growth curiosity” that never stopped or settled. They learned to develop an endlessly questioning mind that yielded a constant bubbling up of new growth ideas/solutions that needed to be tested and tried out, no matter what time of the day or night. It became the all-consuming “growth purpose” of their work.
To Maximize My Top Line Revenue: I transformed my Sales Team Managers into Maximum Performance Coaches.
To unlock each sales team’s revenue potential I held my sales team managers ice cold accountable to coach their sales professionals to fully buy-into our Growth Vision……to coach their sales professionals to use our Growth Vision to inform and guide their decision-making…..and to coach their sales professionals to use our Growth Vision to inspire them to passionately and confidently execute their selling actions.
I held my sales team managers ice cold accountable to enthusiastically coach and develop the skills and capabilities to execute at maximum, the required tasks of each of the Critical Success Factors that impacted my Top Line Revenue…… to coach their sales professionals to engage and cement the required relationships of each of the Critical Successful Factors that impacted my top line revenue.
Across our entire industry my sales team managers transformed the way my sales teams performed in our marketplace and transformed the way my sales teams sold our value and measurably grew our market share. Comparing my sales organization to our competition our buyers/customers publicly acknowledged our clear Competitive Selling Advantage. Our Competitive Selling Advantage was also publicly acknowledged by our own competitors and of course, by my own highly satisfied C-level Client Coaches.
Accountability: Our Maximum Performance: Competitive Advantage
My C-level Coaching Clients often made regular sales calls with my sales people to examine the relationship my sales people had with their buyers, always to determine...….was my sales person’s buyer relationship producing enough revenue?…..was my sales person’s buyer relationship open to new revenue opportunities?…..was it innovative and creative enough? And if not, then why not?... And, of course, what was Joe White, as Chief Sales Officer going to do to improve it?
Accountability: Our Maximum Performance: Calling on Senior Management
In addition, my C-level Clients often personally accompanied me on sales calls to customer senior management actively examining what kind of “C-level relationship” I had developed in my Key Accounts. They always wanted to know.…..was Joe White “wired into” key account senior management?….can Joe White uncover and close new revenue growth opportunities with customer senior management?……and how is Joe White a living breathing competitive advantage in his marketplace?........does Key Account customer senior management see Joe White as a credible, respected and trustworthy “Business Advisor” and “Customer Advocate?”
Accountability: Our Maximum Performance: My Top Line Revenue
On a weekly basis my C-level Clients would measure my top line revenue results. Exacting and quantifiable top line metrics were openly published and on public display thanks to the meticulous scrutiny of the top three National Accounting Firms in the U.S. I and my C-level Coaching Clients were able to accurately read/measure/evaluate how effectively I, my sales team managers and my sales people were hitting their revenue targets and how well they measurably increased their market share on a weekly basis. This was public information open and available to all in the industry.
My CSO Top Line Revenue Pressure
Some would describe my top line sales pressure as enormous, but I would say right along with my sales team managers and sales people, that it was the way we all did business in our sales organization. Pressuring?.......Not really. It was exhilarating. It was expansive! It was incredibly satisfying! It was challenging, growth-producing (personally and professionally) and often uplifting and inspiring and empowering for all of us. I deeply appreciate my C-level Top Line experiences there.
Meet my Extraordinary C-level Coaches: They taught, coached and held me ice-cold accountable to Maximize My Own Top Line Revenue…..some of them you will no doubt recognize….perhaps even know!