CEO has unrealistic expectations for a sales type role, everything should “be happening faster”, what’s my end game?

Have a manager above me that reports to CEO, I’m the only one doing pure sales at the company. Unclear expectations aren’t matching up with the current results. We’re early in the relationship, sales cycle is unknown, but I’m starting to get pushed around (metaphorically speaking). Anyone been here before?

  • Oh yeah…mental CEOs who have no clue of how things work and yet boss pro people around.

    If CEO is unreasonable and if you are not on a same page in expectations and strategy, I honestly don’t know how can you last. I guess your manager just kiss his ass and cover his own ass by saying you don’t do your job well.

  • technical founder in some cases = assumes sales is a monkey job and their shit should sell itself.

    Write out clearly (not defensively) what is so. Give it to the CEO

    Get another job (but do this first).

    Sadly not much is going to change until the founder themselves become accountable for cold calling and getting deals done.

    • ha …in some cases CTO do recognize sales better than CEO. I had a situation where CTO backed sales team 100% in all the findings from the stats we presented to CEO. But CEO on the other hand refused to see the reality. It was mental and eventually I was out.

  • Until ~1MM in ARR, the founder should be doing most of the selling and then bringing on early reps who can be evangelists. Sales is a process that in the beginning needs to be discovered (by the founder), and it sounds like they haven’t found a repeatable process yet.

  • If you have a ceo that hasn’t done sales before… Run! Lol!

    Seriously, just explain to him that it takes time, but if he wants a check, he has to solve the problem with the right price… That’ll get you fired, but say it tactfully so he’ll get it.

    If nothing is wrong with the product or the price? Check the placement. If that’s correct, why aren’t you closing quicker?

    • Moreover, since the first CEO was likely to have been one of the founders, the trauma of CEO removal begins….

      CEO usually likes to have useless folks directly around him (folks who naturally just kiss his ass), so when first alarm goes and Investors asking for cuts, those ass kissers will go first so “poor CEO” can last longer. But eventually Investors will see who is the trouble and yes wanker CEO death is guaranteed.

      Seen it with my own eyes…for a long time wondered why he is keeping useless team around him…because he will just look bigger and better for longer and use these idiots when blaming game comes.

      Sick stuff indeed.

      My advice, pack your bags and find better CEO.

  • One of the subtle lessons here for founder CEOs: you light a fuse on your own job as soon as you hire the first VP of Sales.

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