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By Eric Quanstrom #businesshack, #salesflow November 19, 2015


Over 40% of Sales Managers fail to reach their yearly sales quota. What do their higher ups do when this happens? They rain fire and brimstones at their managers for not realizing a certain number.

Unfortunately, a lot of bosses are short-sighted. For example, one Kansas City newspaper fired Walt Disney for “lacking imagination and not having good ideas”. A computer store fired Mark Cuban for “being lazy”.

There are so many examples of a Sale VP doing things the wrong way that it would take much more than this article to list them all, but one really tops them all – doing more of the same.

Hiring more people if your sales are not doing so well is a traditional and also wrong way of doing things. More people doing the same thing is not something that will suddenly boost your sales, but tell that to all those companies who still live by the old mantra of “do more work”.

This way of doing business might have been successful in a pre-Internet era, but nowadays it’s no longer effective. It doesn’t matter if you make your sales team work twice or thrice as hard as they do now, or if you hire more people, that will not increase your revenue growth.

Keep in mind that your sales people are already working hard, so making them do more work or to get extra hours from them is not the solution to your company’s problems. In fact, all you will accomplish by doing this is overworking your employees and, as a result, they will actually perform worse than before and your sales will further suffer.


What Other Metrics Except for Quota Attainment Can You Use?

Quota attainment is the number one metric executives use to determine which of their sales personnel did a good job last month and which “slacked off”. However, this should not be the only metric your company uses.

Here are some more metrics that will help your organization stay on top of its sales:

  1. Employee turnover. How many sales people left the company in the previous month or year? How many have left voluntarily and how many involuntarily? This can all be attributed to poor leadership and is the biggest reason really good sales people leave a company.
  2. Career advancement. How many from your sales team have “gone up” in the last 6, 12 or 18 months? Is it only one or two? Then how can you expect the rest to remain motivated?
  3. Superstar. Do you have one sales person (we can call him or her a “superstar”) that is keeping your sales afloat while the rest of your team is underperforming?
  4. Historical performance. One or two “lost” sales quarters are nothing to be too alarmed about, but this trend just keeps repeating itself, then you need to do something about it.
  5. Forecast accuracy. Do your sales managers submit accurate forecasts and are they doing this consistently? If they are not, something is wrong.

Finally, remember what Albert Einstein said about insanity – doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

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