Within the framework of operational leadership the role of Chief Sales Officer is one of the greatest challenges in top management. It extends far beyond the traditional role of sales managers - particularly in four areas:
Sales goals: for today and tomorrow
Sales Managers must lead their sales units to meet their sales targets "of today" - today, this week, this month.
Chief Sales Officers need not only to lead their sales manager (the "goals of today"), but are also responsible for the sales results of their company in the future (3 to 5 years).
Plans: From Strategy to Sales Opportunities
Sales Managers are responsible to develop and lead operational sales plans for their sales units and are responsible for the quality of these plans.
In addition, the Chief Sales Officer is responsible for the development and quality of
* The sales strategy of the company (the sales related elements of the company strategy,
* The company's top level operational sales plan,
* All operational plans driving towards the company sales goal (eg sales plans for regions, countries, industries, products, key accounts ... down to detailed plans for individual sales opportunities)
People: both in "space of responsibility" and in "space of influence"
Sales Managers lead people in their "space of responsibility" - their sales units.
Chief Sales Officers lead all people in their "space of responsibility" (their sales units). However, far beyond that they need to lead all those people who influence the sales results of their company - both inside or outside their company. In other words, they lead people in a wide "space of influence ".
Policies: Leading compliance to company policy as well as the design of new and the revision of faulty policies
Sales are responsible for ensuring compliance with company policies in their units.
Chief Sales Officer are responsible for compliance with these guidelines in their space of responsibility - and beyond that for developing new and adapting existing company policies, if they prevent the success of sales.