Today I received a call from Jim Dickie, Partner of CSO Insights who shared a few interesting and fresh data points about how sales organizations across the nation adapted to the recession. They say hindsight is 20/20. Take a look at these surprising numbers and try to find the logic behind this wild and crazy way of managing under adverse circumstances.
Let's raise the sales quota!
86% of companies surveyed in December 2008 said that they were raising sales quotas for their reps in 2009.
Comment: For anyone reading the news in the last quarter of 2008, it was evident that the U.S. economy was headed into a deepening recession. What were these sales managers thinking? That the economy would recover in a few months? That their company would not be affected by the downturn? That their salespeople would turn into superstars? The fact is that the majority of sales organizations engaged in wishful thinking, allowing their sales organization to operate on a fantasy instead of facing reality.
Let's cut or freeze the lead generation budget!
67% of the firms surveyed said in December 2008 that they were freezing, or reducing their lead generation investments for 2009.
Comment: Every sales manager knows that in a recession it takes 25% to 35% more leads to allow for the growing number of prospects who disappear from the pipeline. Why would sales organizations cut or freeze lead generation efforts? The smart thing to do would be to adapt to the new economic realities and increase lead generation budgets by 25% - 35%. It seems that only 1/3 of the companies surveyed took advantage of the opportunities while 2/3 of the companies failed to adapt.
Over half of our salespeople will miss their quota in 2009!
Today, CSO Insights completed their 2009 Compensation Management Survey. Here is fresh data from the yet to be published report: Only 52.4% of sales reps at the companies surveyed are on track to make quota this year. As a point of comparison, that number was 61.1% in 2007.
Comment: Jim Dickie quipped: “Cutting your way to success does not seem to be working.” We live in crazy times, but that should not lead us to stop thinking and acting rationally.
Questions: How will your company adjust to the unstable and unpredictable market in 2010? Will you raise the sales quota? Will you cut, or increase your lead generation budget? Is there a silver bullet strategy that you’d like to share? Please leave your comment below.
Please share your comment on this post.
Email this blog to a friend