What is the true secret to killing quota? It’s not goal setting, it’s not more calls, or a better product. It’s not good coaching or hiring the best sales team. While all these things are at the core, and without a doubt critical. The most valuable part of success and crushing quota is in the monitoring. Ideas, strategies, regulations, goals, objectives are all fine and dandy, but in the end they are useless without the monitoring for success. Monitoring is the deliberate, ongoing assessment of what you’re doing and the results you are getting.
At the core of monitoring is learning. It’s the ability of sales people to reflect on what they’ve been doing in order to inform them on future possibilities and objectives. Monitoring is how we make the adjustments needed in order to achieve our goals.
When we set out to attain quota, we have an idea of what it will take and how we will get it done. At least we’d better. Ideally, it’s in a plan. Regardless of the existence of a plan or not, when we set out to execute, to accomplish a goal, things change. We learn things along the way. We learn what is working. We learn what isn’t. We learn new things, things we didn’t anticipate. It’s these learnings, or lack there of, that are at the core of killing the number.
It’s all too easy to say your gonna make quota. It’s all too easy to run out and start doing shit. And, that’s what most of us do. We get all juiced up, goal in sight, plans created and we go. We start to execute. But then a few months in, maybe a few quarters in, things don’t look the same. We aren’t at our goals. Or we are, but aren’t sure we can keep up the pace. What has happened is, we seem to forget shit happens. Life, selling, politics, competion, etc. all get in the way, they throw us off our game, and screw with our plans. If we don’t account for these real world disruptions, mishaps, etc, and what is really happening, we aren’t going to reach our goals
The best-laid plans of mice and men, Often go awry
— John Steinbeck, Of Mice and Men
We can not predict what will get in our way before we start. The best plans, are still just plans. Therefore, winning happens in the adjustments. Like halftime at a football game, winning lives in the ability to adjust, to understand how things have changed, to know what isn’t working, what assumptions were wrong, and where changes need to be made. It’s in our ability to monitor, observe, track and adjust to the our environment that drives the win.
Saying you’re gonna get something done is great. Creating plans that meticulously outline how you’re gonna win is even better. But, if you don’t have a robust monitoring system that allows you to be nimble, learn from mistakes, validate assumptions, and redirect your efforts, you ain’t gonna get to the finish line.
Goals are great. Plans are even better. But, a learning system that monitors progress and allows for change in direction and effort, that’s the fuel.
What kind of fuel do you have in your goals and plans?