Avoid a Career Mistake Before It's Too Late
In the trenches every day, sales reps deal with a lot of pressure. It can be self-generated, come from your company or the marketplace. When that pressure mounts, you might decide it’s time to look for a new job. But look carefully before you leap. If the right performance conditions aren’t in place, you’ll be making a bad move. Today’s post will help you decide if that new opportunity is built for your future success.
Most job seekers look at the surface when weighing options. Total compensation, benefits, company financials and market position, for example. Those are important. But without the right foundation, even the most talented sales reps fail. Great companies build a bedrock of success that enables their sales teams. Click here to find out how they do it.
Many trigger points can cause you to consider making a move:
- You’re crushing your number and have a big paycheck coming. You’ll land a healthy bonus. You might also get a bombshell: an even bigger jump in your quota for next year.
- The company is making significant changes to your compensation plan. You’re hearing they may put pay caps on high earners like you.
- You’ve had average results recently because your territory is a real dog. With the right real estate, you know you’re capable of much more.
- Market innovation within your company has slipped as a priority, eroding your competitive edge.
- Sales Support or Customer Service happens to be a weak link at your company. The feeling that you’re on an island is weighing you down.
Whatever the reason, the pressure has mounted and you decide to move on. So now what? You have a network. Maybe you have relationships with a good headhunter. Use all your resources and get an offer.
Get Below the Surface
You’ve done your research. You know who you're interviewing with, what they sell and their target industries. The company financials look pretty good. You’ve tracked down an employee at the prospect and the pay range seems about right. Based on this, you’re still interested.
But before you accept any offer, you have to look deeper. Figure out if a foundation for your sales success is in place with the prospective employer. You need to decide if they really understand how to enable their sales team. Here’s what you should find out:
- Sales Territory Design: Are both existing customers and prospects considered when territory structures are built? Are the best performers given the best territories? What territory will you get as a new hire?
- Resource Deployment: Have the structure and size of the sales organization been optimized? How have they decided to assign resources to customer segments? Are certain sales and support roles over-burdened or under-utilized?
- Quota Setting: Does the company apply a one-size-fits-all approach? If the company goal is to increase revenue 8%, does everyone get an 8% quota increase? What portion of the sales force made quota? Are quotas set based on existing and potential revenue?
- Lead Generation & Management: Does marketing give direct and measurable support to front-line sales? Do they help you make your number? Are they held accountable to do so?
- Talent Management: Does the company understand what their best look like? Do they know how to attract, assess, support and promote talent? Is there a clear career path? What support is available to enable you to achieve your career goals?
- Sales Compensation: This one is always part of the discussion, but it’s almost always about “How much?” Is it aligned to their strategy? Does it really reward for performance aligned to strategy? Are there caps put on high earners?
- Buyer Personas: At the core of sales is the buyer. Does the company really know who their ideal customers are? Is this info used to deliver the right message at the right time to the right target? Is the organization structured to best care for these ideal customers?
A key point: Many people are interviewing to get the job but few are interviewing to understand the job. Your objective is to do both. Show them why you’ll be a star. Make sure that they’ll enable you to be one.
Here’s the take-away: Find out if the right foundation is in place to maximize your success. Don’t accept an offer until you find this out. The questions you need to ask about performance conditions are available to attendees of SBI's Make the Number sessions here
Even if you’re not looking for a new job now, ask these questions about your current role. Below the surface is where solid foundations are built. Well-designed performance conditions are the bedrock of sales success. What kind of foundation has been built at your current or prospective employer?
About Patrick Seidell
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