Sales is one of the most rewarding yet unforgiving professions to be in. However, you have to be honest with yourself with each success and failure that happens. For example, Q1 can be a slow time for many people in sales. Holidays and vacations contribute to this. The college basketball tournament contributes to this. Some people on Quora provide reasons for why Q1 tends to be among the slowest times of the year. But with this mindset of blaming human nature and external influences instead of taking personal responsibility, this will keep you from ever reaching your true potential. This got me thinking: what is another examples of an inconvenient truth for sales professions? And I came up with this list.
Inconvenient Truth #1: Selling is selling**While this is true, I will relate it to sports. Often times, professional athletes have experience playing other sports. And when they casually play those other sports they tend to do well. However, those athletes are not good enough to play pro in more than one sport (typically). Similar to SMB vs Mid-Market vs Enterprise. I genuinely believe anyone can sell anything given they work hard enough to learn best practices, get out of their comfort zone etc but I do believe experience in one target market yields to significant decrease in ramp time in a new role. Okay that one was kind of obvious...
Inconvenient Truth #2: Sales teams that have reps miss quota are poorly run organizationsI see so many consultants and sales experts say things like "If 40% of your team is missing quota, you are doing something wrong!" No, that statement is wrong. If 100% of your team is hitting quota, that means your quota is too low. If 0% of your team is hitting quota that means... So in reality a good quota is one that yields to people missing. At least some people. If your whole team is always achieving its goals then they aren't aggressive enough. It is also worth noting "missing quota" and "getting fired for missing quota" are two different things. For example, at Yelp only closing 70-80% of your quota will likely lead to a write up and termination. At Salesforce, for example, hitting 80% of your quota would still pay out a commission and keep you employed.
Inconvenient Truth #3: Hiring based industry experience instead of sales experienceImagine wag.com wants to build out a sales team to help their business grow. Instead of hiring the top sales people from insurance, tech, and medical field, they hire a bunch of former dog walkers. I get it, you *think* it will lead to success, but that only works if you don't really have a sales team....100% inbound would count for this as those are order takers, not sales people. -- I wish you the best of luck in your EOM/EOQ push. You got this! -- Check out our Mini Online Bootcamp for some short sales training videos. The online sales training videos will help you learn some sales skills as well as give you a preview of what our bootcamp training is like. And if you're asking yourself: "How can I find a boot camp near me?" You can learn sales skills online because our sales bootcamp is virtual. This blog post also has some pitfalls in sales that could be considered along the lines of an inconvenient truth.