That's right. Today I heard about a CEO who told one of my colleagues that all of his salespeople over achieve. In the same phone conversation he mentioned that sales are down 20%. Can you imagine where sales would be if his salespeople under achieved?
I think that many CEO's are in a time warp.
Despite the struggles of their sales force in this economy, they still view the sales force as they remember them when times were good.
The problem with this is that even the good times did not accurately define these salespeople. Salespeople who succeed when times are good but struggle when times get tough are not over achievers. They are mediocre salespeople who simply don't get in their own way. Over achievers find ways to succeed in all conditions, good and bad.
I think that many CEO's are in denial.
Despite the struggles of their sales force, they continue to look at the pipeline and say to themselves, we'll be okay as soon as these deals close. But the deals aren't closing and with each passing day companies are less okay then they were the day before.
I think that many CEO's are scared shitless (the only truly accurate word I could type there).
Because of the struggles of their sales force, they look at the numbers, down 90%, down 75%, down 50%, down 25% and wonder how they can turn it around. It can be turned around but they have to be proactive, not reactive. They have to be aggressive, not passive. They have to work on the right end of the problem - revenue - not just costs.
Truth is, our data shows that only 6% of all salespeople over achieve. And another 20% can become over achievers. Who do you want on your sales force and what are you willing to do to develop them or recruit them?
(c) Copyright 2009 Dave Kurlan