Monday, 4 November 2013

Why Salespeople Cannot Say "Nothing is happening"

There are very few jobs or roles in life were there is not at least a notional aspiration of getting everything finished. The dream that your To-Do list is blank and your inbox is empty. While a hugely unlikely scenario, you get my point - there is always that dream of clearing everything and showing that you have really excelled.

Salespeople can never enjoy such a goal. In fact if a salesperson says they have done everything they can, then they would very quickly come under the Management spotlight! Questions would be asked as to whether this person was really applying themselves. I can hear the words now "Don't they understand they have to be making things happen, always generating activities and opportunities?"

It is this situation that significantly contributes to salespeople's' overly optimistic forecasts. They feel the need to show opportunities and numbers that prove they are working - that they are indeed making things happen.

Of course salespeople need to do their targets and this will rarely be achieved without significant hard work. But there has to be a balance - Management need to be able to recognise that sometimes things do go quiet, that opportunities do wither on the vine.

Accurate forecasting or the impression that salespeople are always ahead of the game? It is actually a Management challenge to find that balance.



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