Earlier this year I attended an interesting presentation examining barriers to sales people “hitting” quota, personally I like to exceed quota, but I can understand why for many “hitting” it is a great objective. I enjoyed the presentation, very credible, and in expected fashion, it started out with a big bold revelation to engage the audience. Bam, right off the top we were presented with the following stats including the sources:
- 79% Of SAAS Sales Reps Miss Quota
- 14% Never Even Achieve 10% Of Quota
- Quota Has Risen 33% In The Last 4 Years
- Reps Hitting Quota Has Fallen 25%
I mean if it wasn’t so sad, if there weren’t people involved, you’d have to laugh about the picture of sales it presents. If this were unfolding in a movie, we’d be sitting in theater yelling “Dude, give it up.”; can you see going on Shark Tank with that premise. Time to stop and rethink this stuff. It would appear that given the various popular forms of selling, SPIN, Sandler, Miller Heiman, and more, the most popular and entrenched method is Einstein Selling. This method focusing on doing the same thing over and over again despite the lack of results. Things really do have to change, real change at the core, not just the veneer which has been the trend and depth over the last 15 or so years, stuck at surface level. We have changed the cover a few times, but left the inside of the book virtually the same, leading to virtually the same results. Hence Einstein Selling, you know, because doing something over and over again and expecting a different result, is the definition of, well either insanity or selling based on the above stats.
Part of the cause for the state sales is in, is due to the popular and simplistic remedies sales leaders look to when trying to address their challenges. Many of the things they turn to are superficial and temporary in nature, not leading to any long term and substantial change in the way their teams approach the market and sell. The constant change of technologies not only suck up a lot of bandwidth and resources, they can confuse front line sales people who are not part of the “planning meetings” and “memos”, they just get bounced around with each new initiative slowing them down, and confusing them about priorities of the month. If the selling process is supposed to reflect the buying process, a lack of commitment to a process and direction will cause the team to lose sales.
Transformation is serious business, much more serious than many in sales and sales leadership are ready for. It is something that takes time and commitment, meaning budgets and other resources. Some sales leaders seem not willing to stomach some of the changes they need to make in order to drive transformation in their organizations, be that a change in process, structure or personnel. They don’t accept that it is better to take the hit now for the sake of transformation and long term improvements, than to suffer a thousand cuts while not improving in any measurable way beyond the surface. At times real transformation of how you sell will also have other costs than just the cost of a new app. In the near turn you are bound to take a hit sales and moral, the successful are the ones that stick to a well thought out plan that takes the long term into account, but is focused on the mid-term from an execution and measurement standpoint, and execution in the near term.
There is a lot of talk and hype when it comes to transformation factors, but you have to reexamine things when “56% of reps were expected to make quota, yet only 48% did”. Einstein Selling at its prime. https://www.accenture.com/ca-en/insight-driving-profitable-sales-growth