27 December 2006

Yesterday doesn't count

A few days ago I posted some thoughts about the nature of the sales process. Professional sales is difficult, and most people either fail to understand what is involved or underestimate the difficulty of achieving consistently high performance.

Sales quotas are leading revenue drivers for many companies. When sales quotas are missed, the entire company must realign its budgets to cope with the reduction in revenue. It is vital that salespeople work out how to hit their targets consistently.

I have worked with sales teams over many years and it is surprising how many sales people don't regard their numbers as vital to either their success or their company's future. At one stage I collected salespeople's excuses to justify why they were having difficulty with their targets. Here are a few of the most popular:
  • My sales quota is made up in the backroom - no-one could hit it
  • I don't need to hit my sales quota
  • Our product isn't competitive - it's not my fault
  • I would have hit my target but my boss messed up my biggest opportunity

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