If you’re in a new sales leadership role in a small-and-growing B2B organization, you have your work cut out for you. A lean team can mean hefty expectations and miniscule support for a new leader. But, of course, there are oversized opportunities as well.
No matter how you slice it, if you’re going it alone (or with a skeleton crew), there are some challenges ahead. Namely, one really massive challenge: how do you create new leads to fill the funnel and ultimately your sales pipeline?
Maybe it’s your first time in sales management.
Maybe you have previous experience but with support from a marketing team.
Whatever your situation, how can you make a big splash in your first six months as a sales leader without a full-fledged marketing team? Here’s how to make a big impact in a short time as a new sales leader.
How to Make an Impact as a New Sales Leader
1. Put your people first
As a people leader, you need to get to know your people. If you’ve climbed up internally, this might not be a monumental task. (Or at least it’s a different task: getting people to see you in a new light rather than getting to know everyone from scratch.)
But if you’re a new face around the watercooler, you’re going to need some time to get to know your team, build trust, and figure out how to best motivate them and put their unique strengths to use.
With the four walls of the office now regularly giving way to a mix of in-person and remote teammates, much of that can be a little trickier than taking the team out for lunch or scheduled some one-on-one coffee runs.
Beyond that, you’ve got plenty of other work to get the sales machine up and running well under your mindful watch:
- Dig into the data you’ll be reporting and acting upon
- Set objectives based on metrics
- Strike a balance between delegation and micromanagement
- Potentially do some hiring (and get properly plugged into the hiring process)
That’s a lot of work. That’s why...
2. Don’t moonlight as a marketer
Besides all the personnel-related work and data-digging to-dos you have on your plate, you could spend time crafting content, figuring out how to generate B2B leads now, building B2B webinars that drive SQLs, dabbling in email marketing and social media management, and so on.
Or you could just focus on sales.
Building out pipeline is a bit of sales-marketing plumbing that—like real major plumbing jobs—is typically best handled by a team of pros.
Rather than sinking time into doing it yourself, you can focus on what you do best and bring in other people to do what they do best. (If that’s not the textbook definition of a smart leadership move, what is?)
A B2B marketing agency can take pressure off you and your team so they can focus on closing deals and stop trying to moonlight as marketers, which is why...
3. Hiring a B2B marketing agency can be a smart first move
You can do a lot. (You’ve got this!) But you can only do so much as a lone leader with a small team.
If time is of the essence (and it always is in sales), you need some additional support fast. Bringing in a B2B marketing agency can be a smart first move.
Shocker we’d suggest that, I know. But hear me out!
Benefits of bringing a marketing agency in as a new sales leader
There are plenty of reasons why tagging in a B2B marketing agency can be a smart move for sales leaders in their first six months on the job.
- Tap into the power of sales enablement Sales enablement is a game changer. A B2B marketing agency can help you with everything from creating nurturing email campaigns, lead scoring that keeps salespeople focused on efforts most likely to pay off, and reporting and analytics to help you plug some predictability into the equation.
- Get going quickly and see results faster Improving your pipeline is a combination of tasks that deliver quick wins and strategic plays that will pay off months from now. But it can be tough to do either when you don’t have the headcount. An agency can tackle your most pressing needs and offer guidance on what to do going forward, allowing you to move the needle quicker.
- Do more with your budget Investing in a B2B marketing agency can be a smart financial move, giving you an entire marketing team on-demand with different skills and specialties for the rate of one full-time employee.
- Get support now without rushing the hiring process Hiring internally takes time, and finding the right people is crucial but difficult. Get the support you need now, and take your time to find the talent you want to bring on full-time later.
What to look for when hiring an agency
An agency is basically help-in-a-box that you can open when you need it. But how do you pick a B2B marketing agency? Here are a few things to consider and questions to ask to help speed up the process—so you can spend more time celebrating sales wins and less time shopping for an agency.
- Ensure the agency has the skill sets to plug in where needed What areas do you need help with the most? Demand management? Content creation? Website work? If you don’t know the answer to this, a full-service agency is likely your best option. (See below for more on this.)
- Have they worked in sales and sales enablement before? This is a must-have. Ask for examples.
- Do they have technology experience? Can they get up and running in your CRM quickly? Or even better, can they clean up your database and make your CRM perform better for your organization? If the answer isn’t yes, then your answer should be “thanks, but no thanks.”
- Understand business strategy and goals This requires a bit of homework on your part. But to get the most out of your agency, you should have your near-term and long-term goals in mind. Chat about these with potential agency partners and get a sense of how your organization and your agency of choice can align to reach those goals.
Is a full-service agency right for you?
You can find speciality agencies for unique needs as you have them, but for many growing sales organizations, a full-service B2B marketing agency is a smarter choice.
Here are a few questions to ask to help you determine if a full-service agency is right for your needs.
- How fast do I need to turn things around? If it’s fast, full-service is the way to go. A full-service agency is basically an entire marketing department at your disposal.
- Is hiring an internal marketing resource the best investment at this time?
- Do you know what has and hasn't worked in the past? Measuring performance is key to getting the most bang for your marketing buck. A good full-service agency will track your wins and misses and report on results, giving you transparency into your ROI.
How Thaynes Marketing can help new sales leaders
At Thaynes Marketing, we’re a team of insiders who have intimately worked with sales leaders for years.
We provide full-service marketing. That means we can quickly connect with your business strategy and create effective output in just weeks.
We’re also technology driven. We understand marketing and sales tech, and we know how to put processes in place to maximize your investments.
And, last but certainly not least, we’re data and results driven. We’re in the business of driving results. Bringing us on board at the beginning of change will multiply the positive effects of change. There’s no guesswork here. We set goals and use data to make sure we get you results.
If you’re looking to make a big impact in your first six months as a sales leader, get in touch and let’s talk about what we can accomplish together.