Business Development Rants and Resources

What’s With These High Sales Targets?

I have heard salespeople lately express their concern over what they consider to be high sales targets in view of our current economic situation. “Whats my boss thinking? Nobody is spending any money right now!” “This is just a terrible time to (start a business/keep the business/stay in business/sell anything)”

While I would concede that unrealisitic sales targets are sometimes improperly used by sales managers in a clumsy attempt to motivate their people, I am not ready to admit that this is a terrible time to attempt to do business. And even though at the time of this writing, the numbers have not gotten much better, for a salesperson, now might be a pretty good time and it will only get better. Let’s start with this unscientific, and possibly annoying truism: Somebody is going to sell something. So it might as well be you.

Now that that is out of the way, lets dig deeper and look at why you shouldnt just chuck it in and go looking for a new career:

  1. Not all industries are experiencing a slump. Have a handle on the dynamics of YOUR marketplace and don’t get distracted by all the attention that our recession is getting. If you have to stop watching the news or reading the newspaper, go for it.
  2. Your sales prospects are more likely to be looking for new suppliers NOW than in more comfortable economic environments, often owning to their desire to reduce costs. Doors that were previously locked are going to start to swing open. This means a whole new world of opportunity. Your focus should be on exploiting that.
  3. Are all of your competitors still in business? Good. That should be a signal that there is still opportunity. Are some of your competitors out of business? GREAT! Now you are there to fulfill some unmet market needs. A market shakeup can provide great opportunities for everyone from dominant powerhouses to pipsqueaks that previously had no chance.
  4. Making even the slightest inroads now, on sales volumes that never excited you in the past, may pay big dividends down the road when your customers start consuming more and now YOU are the supplier. That is exciting, and should be quite motivating. That’s the reason to push harder!

I am not willing to give most sales managers credit for well thoughtout targets. Many are just reacting to their bosses, who are often too removed from the word on the street and are just trying to make some numbers work. But certainly it can be an exciting time to be in sales when it is NOT business as usual, for some of the reasons above.

March 28, 2012 - Posted by | Business Building | , ,

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