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Shit Happens – Why it’s OK Sales People/Leaders Miss Quota

Your sales VP is going to miss quota. Her sales directors are going to miss quota. Their sales managers are going to miss quota. Sales people are going to miss quota. It’s inevitable, something isn’t going to go right, quota will be missed and people will fail.

That’s OK.

The problem isn’t failure. The problem is not knowing why failure happened.

When goals are missed it’s critical to know why they were missed and what happened. If you missed quota in q1, was it because the pipeline was too small? Was it because of the deal strategy? Was it due to too many new reps? Was it because of a late product launch? Was it because of too little prospecting? Was it because the wrong assumptions were made about the business and the market? Was it due to a bad plan?

There are a million reasons sales people and sales leaders miss quota or fail. That’s not the problem. The problem happens when the question is asked, “Why was quota missed?” If the sales leader or rep has a strong, well constructed, well supported answer and plan to fix, then the rest is easy. It’s a blip. On the other hand, if they don’t know and can’t articulate a robust understanding if what happened and why they missed quota, they’re screwed.

The human mind needs failure to grow. Trial and error are a very real part of human development. It’s the cognitive ability in between the failure that marks success.

How many people missed their q1 quota in your organization. Ask them why? If they have a good understanding of where the problem(s) are and a they have a good solution to resolve it, don’t sweat it. If their answer is, I don’t know or their answer misses the mark, you are in deep shit. It’s only going get worse with out immediate intervention.

Shit happens, people fail. It’s how they view the failure that matters. Like most things it’s what happens between the lines where the win is.