I was talking to a very talented sales woman the other day. She is very good at what she does. I’ve known her for years and have always been impressed with her. She was sharing with me her frustration with her current company. She was telling me how she is afraid she’s could lose her job because she is so far off her number this year. There are a lot of reasons she’s not going to hit her number, but none have to do with her. She has consistently been an over achiever. She kills it every year. She has a phenomenal relationship with her customers, she knows her industry and the she’s unbelievably organized. She’s just damn good.
This what I told her; “screw em!”
If you are busting your ass doing all the right things to make you’re number and your company is not happy – screw em!
If you’re leveraging creativity and making things happen out of nothing and you still won’t hit your number and your boss is not happy – screw em!
If the customers are happy with you, and are spending the lions share of their smaller budget with you and it’s still not enough -screw em!
If you believe in the bottom of your heart that you have given everything you can, that you have exhausted all of your energy and skill and are squeezing every opportunity out of your territory and you’re not going to hit your number, then don’t worry about it. There is nothing else you can do.
As managers we have tendency to measure everything against a number. I used to do this. If you don’t hit your number your gone. The problem is the number doesn’t tell the whole story. As much as we expect our sales people to understand their customers, we need to understand our sales people. We also need to understand the selling environment.
I asked Karen if she thought anyone else could do any better, (I didn’t believe anyone could, Karen is just that good). She said no, there just isn’t that much business to be had.
Understanding this, my final advice was simply this. Don’t worry about it. And if they’re not happy screw em. If they think by letting you go, their position will improve let them be that short sighted.
Letting people go for not making quota is not the way to look at it. The question companies should be asking when someone is missing quota is; can I get someone better? If the answer is yes, then let them go. If the answer is no, be happy with the revenue your getting and prepare to improve next year.
Who is more valuable? The sales person who is at 80% of quota in a market that is shrinking by 35% or the sales person who is 115% of quota in a market that is growing at 150%?
I will keep the person who is at 80% of quota. This is what I told Karen. If your company is incapable of recognizing this and believe they can get someone better by letting you go. Then – screw em! And, don’t worry about it, there nothing you can do.
Don’t lose great talent because you can’t interpret the numbers. If you do, you’ll be screwed!