The first post in this series covered the importance of Sales with a "feet on the street" approach. Easier said than done!! There are several reasons why Sales is difficult for Founders/CEOs of mid-sized organizations.
A lot of them are subject matter experts in their domains and do not have the flair or formal training/coaching on Sales. While the initial business comes in from their networks, soon the pipeline will dry up as not everyone in the "network" will have a need to buy the product/service being offered.
They are comfortable doing technical work - product design, shop floor management, Risk Assessment, Software design/development, etc. We have observed that after years of being technical, it's difficult for the CEOs to unlearn. Not uncommon though.
A self-proclaimed objection - I've never done sales before and I don't think I can handle it.
The biggest mind-block is the complete lack of appetite to invest for growth. We have heard several times from CxOs that they don't have the right resources or enough bandwidth to implement changes that may be needed. Current resources and bandwidth should never be a measure for change programs to be implemented.
There are several tools, frameworks and techniques (e.g. Blue Ocean Leadership ERRC framework) available to help CEOs create time out of their schedules and re-prioritise their focus on enabling growth. However, what is needed is a huge mindset change to overcome the challenges highlighted above. As all of us know and realize, Growth does not come in through benevolence. Investment is needed in terms of time, resources and skills to enable growth. A simple analogy would be to look at someone with no prior experience in running, aspiring to complete a marathon. The most difficult part is not running your first half marathon, it's the effort to cross 50 feet from your bed to your door!!! Once you are outdoors, with determination and a bit of professional help, you master the game and, guess what, complete a full marathon in less than a year. Do you have the 50 feet challenge? Seek help. Its not difficult. Feel free to reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org