Quick Bite: With the end of the year approaching, I was thinking about finishing up this year and getting prepared for next year.
If you made your Quota this year – Congrats! This was a tough year to sell in. If you didn’t, I’m sure you’re thinking about how to make it next year. Either way, it’s time we are all evaluating next year when the quota starts and we are all at zero.
The first thing most of us in sales think about is the funnel – our pipeline – our forecast to management and to the business. This is always the first and truest measuring stick of the sales professional. Many companies use other metrics to measure – such as number of phone calls, number of meetings, number of workshops, etc. – but don’t be fooled. A sales professional who makes his or her quota is easily employed and rarely fired – especially in this day and age.
Most of us in sales are optimists by nature – we always see the potential of the big sale and the associated big commissions. We sales folks are pretty easy; make a sale – get a commission. Like Pavlov’s dogs, when we hear the bell, we salivate…. And that’s exactly why we’re in sales. We use our optimism to motivate us. It is the drive in why we make hundreds of phone calls and go through dozens of “no’s” to get to one “yes.” We are indeed a strange breed…
But there is a time a place for us to be pessimists. When? When we are forecasting and evaluating our funnel. We should always value and weigh each opportunity as a pessimist; to its worst case, even if that is zero. When our pipeline is pessimistically scored with the worst case for the opportunities and we have enough opportunities pessimistically scored to make our quota (be that an annual, quarterly, monthly, or weekly quota) – then we are best positioned to make our quota because not all of our opportunities will close as the worst case – some will come in at the best case and some will come in somewhere in between – meaning we should EXCEED our quotas and head to some sunny beach on the President’s Club award trip! I like beaches.
- Use optimism to motivate .
- Use pessimism to value our pipeline.
- Keep the funnel full of pessimistically valued opportunities.
- Go to President’s club!
Happy Selling! See you on the beach!