Imagine that you are halfway through your quarterly quota period, but the sales you’ve closed thus far represent just over 30% of your quota. You’re clearly behind. What do you do?
If you’re committed to attaining your quota, you knuckle down and do what’s necessary to bring the numbers up. You organize and analyze your sales leads. Then, you step up your behavior and do whatever it takes to get back on track. You’re a behavior animal; making prospecting dials; asking for referrals; developing upsell opportunities with existing customers; following up and following through on every opportunity.
As your behavior increases, so do your numbers. And, by the end of the quota period, you reach your quota.
But, is it?
Halfway through the next quota period, you’re only at 28% of quota—a bit farther behind than the previous quota period. How did that happen?
The answer is quite simple. In the previous period, you addressed and solved the apparent problem—low numbers—by attacking the problem rather than the underlying reason for it. So the fix was temporary. And, because the underlying reason (perhaps, lack of a consistent process for identifying and developing new opportunities) still existed, the problem resurfaced.
When attempting to solve problems, take a “systemic” approach. Learn to look at “problems” as symptoms of deeper rooted problems. Make sure you’re working on the right side of the problem, then, focus your problem-solving efforts on the underlying causes and contributing factors to those problems. The solutions you develop are likely to be more permanent.