If you sit at the leadership helm of your mature business or even your startup, you are responsible for building business and driving revenue. Do you leave sales activities up to the “sales types”? If so, you may find that their individual as well as collective sales efforts fall short of your leadership expectations.
What’s involved in leadership? As CEO of your company or venture, you occupy a unique position. You have the privilege of leading your enterprise. How many of you take advantage of this opportunity that your “job title” provides you?
In addition to social platforms in which you participate, how many other networks are you a part of? How do you utilize your leadership position and participation within these networks to grow your business?
There’s more involved in this leadership initiative than going through the motion of status quo social networking activities. Perhaps you feel that joining various trade associations and assuming your membership – or even sponsorship – means people “owe” you business contracts because you both are members of the same organizations.
Opportunities to demonstrate leadership and domain area expertise happen in the time between trade shows, professional events, and social events. Do you remain a static spectator, or are you actively engaged in demonstrating why your company needs to be top of mind to potential customers?
You can do your sales and engineering staff a tremendous favor by choosing to flex your leadership muscles and play the CEO card within the various trade, professional and social organizations in which you are a member. It’s one thing to ask your sales staff to bush-rustle and lead generate and go out there and sell-sell-sell. It’s another thing for you to sit down with your sales and engineering team and strategize how your attendance at various trade shows, your social networking acumen and your traveling to various geographies can enhance their own business development efforts.
There is tremendous value to becoming a pre-sale CEO. That’s nothing short of leadership.
Think about how you can create business opportunities by contacting prospective CEOs that your sales and engineering team have identified, and doing something only the two of you can do. Have that CEO peer-level discussion pertaining to your mutual industry perceptions focused around issues impacting both of your businesses.
Far too many CEOs prefer to take a traditional Figurehead role within their organization rather than leading the troops on the pre-sale side of the equation. Only you can capitalize on your professional network to create these types of up- and down-stream business development opportunities for your company.
Your networking skill set may need some recalibration to become more impactful in today’s digital marketplace. It starts with your willingness to utilize your social and professional network and become more participatory in your company’s revenue generation efforts. That’s leadership.
How would you characterize your role today? Are you a traditional Figurehead-Delegator or are you a Pre-Sales CEO Leader? One title certainly has a nicer, more relevant ring to it.
Babette N. Ten Haken, Founder & President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, brings entrepreneurial mojo and business- and revenue-producing collaboration and communication tools to small and mid-sized businesses and startups. She was named one of the Top 50 Sales & Marketing Influencers 2013. Her book, Do YOU Mean Business? focuses on technical / non-technical collaboration strategies and tools.