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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sales Quota

Sales quotas are often misused when they are administered by people who misunderstand the sales and buying process. Effective sales quotas are part of a performance enhancing environment, not a blunt instrument for non-selling observers to harass the horses.

Realizing that true sales professionals sell for money and recognition provides a better base for understanding how to use quotas effectively. “Show me what you pay me for and I’ll show you what I’ll do.”
In our experience, selling is not where performance problems occur, but in ancillary post- and pre-sales activities designed to make accepting the sale easier for others in the organization. Are you selling what buyers want? Are you earning the right? Is your delivery timeframe realistic?

When sales quotas are misused, they elevate predictive management wishes, non sales desires, and a whole bucket of side issues. This usually means sales projections championed by those developing products or services, without the input of those who might buy, or those who sell it.

I like quotas that encourage sales professionals to accomplish their weekly activity goals by the 3rd afternoon of the week. They can then go on to invent something better for the next two days. This approach has produced remarkable insights, monster transactions, increased job satisfaction, and new ways to deliver better value at higher margins.

Sometimes it takes a couple of weeks, but I want everyone on the team to be exceeding their activity goals before each week’s Status Meeting. I want that status meeting to become a competition for most excessive performance and a roundtable review of best methods.

Our next Two Sales Lab Leadership events are The New Management Is Leadership, July 20th http://newmanagement.eventbrite.com and
What is Web 2.0 And Why Should You Care? July 21st http://what-is-web2.eventbrite.com
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