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The VP of Sales is a coveted position. You worked hard to get where you are, and learned a lot of valuable sales best practices along the way. However, it may be one of the most nerve-racking positions that a person can hold. As long as your team is converting leads and hitting quota, you’re on the top of the world. But when that changes, what does that mean for your future with the company?

A few missed quotas and you may be filling out job applications again. To prevent this from happening, the most obvious solution is to look at the makeup of your Sales team. Have you recruited the best talent? Have you trained them well? Have you put processes in place that enable you to identify their biggest challenges?

Whether or not you hit your goals depends on the people you have supporting you. This includes your superstar Sales development team, as well as your go-to, strategic Marketing team. To maximize the potential of your support team, follow these tips:

1. Always be focused on talent.

For every company, talent is the biggest asset. Sales VP’s that don’t hire (and retain) the best talent are destined to fail. A Sales Development team must include top talent at all levels. Hire great managers to support great reps. Companies that have a strong mentoring program enable future success from their junior employees. For Millennial employees today, many cite having a mentorship program at their job as a largely contributing factor of accepting a job.

2. Provide best in class training.

Enlist mentors to help run training sessions for new reps. The best way for newer employees to learn is by shadowing already successful Sales managers and picking up the ins and outs of their industry. More sales enablement tips:

  • Create a Sales playbook
  • Offer each new rep a mentor
  • Create short term and long term strategic goals for hitting your numbers, and detail-oriented action plans for each rep

3. Bring Marketing into the conversation.

VP’s of Sales, when considering their A-team, most likely don’t include Marketing. To most in Sales, Marketing is a separate department, with separate goals. But this couldn’t be farther from the truth. In forward-thinking companies, where Sales and Marketing are more closely aligned, these two departments are become closer to one and the same. Marketing should know more about your prospects than anyone, because they are the ones engaging with them at every stage of the buyer’s journey. From trial and error of what content works at different stages and what doesn’t, they are working hard to connect with leads, qualify leads, and eventually hand them over to Sales when they are deemed sales-ready.

Rely on Marketing to create excellent Sales collateral that will help your Sales team connect with leads. Open the lines of communication between these two teams and collaborate on what works, what doesn’t, and a game plan for the future. When Smarketing (Sales + Marketing alignment) is enabled, Sales and Marketing can both work smarter towards common goals.

The modern VP of Sales understands the importance of the more risk adverse buying environment we live in today, where prospects are more than halfway through the buyer’s journey by the time they speak to Sales. To meet this challenge, the VP of Sales must create a team that has an “always be helping” mentality, a team that engages their prospects through helpful, informative content and resources in order to build trust and position themselves (and your company) as a partner, rather than a seller.