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Achievement Drive…

I met with a front-line sales manager recently.  I believe front-line management of any kind is among the most difficult jobs in today’s work place.

He recapped the sales management process he has put in place.  He has confidence in this process; his 1-to-1 coaching interactions; the clarity of expectations he’s set with each of his sales reps.

However, at the team level?  Of his 7-person sales team; 2 are over-quota; 1 is at quota; and 4 are under-quota.  Scary.  I said his distribution was in line with industry research.  Not following the research, he was surprised.

I’m not experienced with other functional areas, but in the sales area teams rarely have everyone over-quota.  I know managers want “A-Players”; but in the real world, most teams have “B” and “C” players, too.

Integrity Solutions (see https://www.integritysolutions.com/) recently provided this research published in Sales & Marketing Magazine©:

Perhaps the most important issue affecting sales performance today is the concern over lagging sales quotas.  According to CSO Insights, only 51% of salespeople across all industries made quota in 2017, down from 53% in 2016, 55.8% in the previous year, and a steady decline from 63% in 2011.

Barely 50% of sales reps are over-quota.  Almost 50% don’t make it!  That catches a sales manager’s attention, yes?  Scary.  Add in the reality that some over-performing reps will turn over every year (either positive, aka “promotion”; or negative, aka “adios”) and the sales manager’s team quota looms even larger.

It’s scary to believe that 50% of your sales people won’t make quota.  It begs the question, “What do I do about it?”  Integrity Solutions offers us coaching; the Germans do too.

Fear makes the wolf bigger than he is. 

German Proverb

I said to my colleague that he should not invest his time equally with his 7 sales reps.  He agreed, thinking he should spend more time with his under-performers.  I suggested exactly the opposite.

You see, his under-performers have to earn extra resources (including their manager’s time).  Industry research states many of them simply won’t make it.  As a sales manager, I believe the best thing we can do for our people is to help them clarify their understanding of themselves.  Sales is the unchosen profession:

Sales is what we do when we can’t do anything else.

But it’s not for everyone; nor is it easy.  It can be scary.

Integrity Solutions extends this foundation-building advice:

Every salesperson unconsciously asks and silently answers these questions as part of that internal dialogue:

  • Who am I?
  • What’s possible for me to sell?
  • What’s not possible for me to sell?
  • What’s possible for me to earn?
  • What’s not possible for me to earn?
  • What level of people am I able to call on and sell?
  • What level of people am I not able to call on and sell?
  • What level of life rewards do I think I deserve to enjoy?
  • What level of life rewards do I not think I deserve to enjoy?

The sales rep’s musts: Answer these questions before the sales manager can offer support.  Pour a foundation of achievement drive to build knowledge and skills upon.  Start with the right mind set:

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail? 

Robert Schuller

The sales manager can help; but research indicates most sales reps won’t commit to, or be able to succeed.  That means the manager’s 100% quota assignment will ultimately come from the achievement drive of 50% of the reps.  Scary.

GAP

Did you like this little ditty?  You might enjoy my past posts too: www.TheQuoteGuys.com

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