The Other “Outlook” in Sales

In sales, outlook is a common term. It’s another word for forecast. Outlook is sales forward looking projections of sales and revenue. Outlook is a key metric in sales. There is also another “outlook” in sales that is far less discussed. It is the sales persons outlook.

A sales persons outlook is their attitude. It’s their perspective on their ability to be successful, the product, the market, cold calling, closing, pushing the prospect, and more. In sales outlook is everything.

I work with sales teams that are broken or are trying to grow. The single greatest thing I see hurting sales is a poor outlook and attitude. If the team has a negative outlook on product, the commission plan, the industry, leadership, quota, prospecting or putting things in the CRM, the team has one foot in the grave. It won’t matter how good everything else is, if sales team’s outlook is shitty, everything else is shitty.

I was recently asked to help a sales team that was below 50% of quota.  The teams outlook was bleak. One month after working with them, the team achieved 140% of quota. The biggest difference between the two months — their outlook. Changes were made and initiatives put in place that changed the teams outlook.  They team has been tracking to quota ever since.

As a sales person, managing your outlook is critical. You have a responsibility to be positive, to have a good attitude and to have an outlook that is a productive tool in driving success. You own the creation and management of your sales success outlook.

As leaders it is our job to be keenly aware of the teams outlook. We need to be in tune with how they see their job, their ability to be successful, the support they get, the products, customer support and delivery and more.  When a sales person says something sucks, it doesn’t mean they are whining. They may be on to something. Writing them off only hurts their outlook . . . when that happens we’re all in trouble.

Outlook matters — own it!

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