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What is your barometer for success? In a recent client coaching session, the sales team I was talking to said to me, “I must be doing OK because I have more work than I can handle.”
Anyone who knows me well would expect me to cringe the moment I’d hear this response. Why? Because being busy is not the barometer for success. For sales, it’s all about working the right deals, at the right time and nurturing others who are farther down the line.
This all-too-common story starts well, but does not have a very positive ending:
You are doing a great job. You are so busy you can hardly see your friends and family. You’re traveling, attending tons of meetings, completing lots of tasks. You are filling your pipeline with deals and when you meet with your sales manager, they are happy to see your pipeline being 5X quota. Wow! You are rocking it.
But then, the first quarter ends, and the deals that you forecasted do not close. You take whatever is in your Q1 pipeline and move things to Q2. Why? Well, if it did not close in Q1, then it should close in Q2. You’re thinking that your company needs this deal and you promised it would close, so you have to deliver. Fast forward, and the same thing happens again. You do end up closing a small deal. You’re still super busy.
Unfortunately, you do not make your quarterly numbers and fall short on quota.
I am sure many of you have heard that story before. So, how do you correct it? First and foremost, you must realize that just being busy is not the barometer for success, and it certainly does not mean you will hit or exceed your quota. Instead, you will need to:
Being busy is not a barometer for success. It’s a numbers game, and throwing things at the wall hoping something sticks is not a strategy that typically pays off consistently – or at all. Focus on quality, not quantity. Fill your pipeline with quality deals – where your pipeline is aligned with where your customer or prospect is spending their time, money and resources. That’s a game plan that has legs.