Up Against the Wall: The Celtics & Sales Quotas

Posted by Jack Derby, Head Coach on Thu, May 12, 2011

It certainly applied to the Celtics before last night’s devastating loss to the Heat, and it certainly applies to those sales professionals who are struggling half way through the quarter with not enough points yet on the board. Did the Celtics get outplayed by the Heat the holy trinity of LeBron, Wade and Bosh? Sure, but the die was cast going into the game last night. Tough enough that the Celtics were being outplayed throughout the series by the Miami Machine. Tougher still was the fact that the Celtics looked and acted like the old men that they are. Add to all of that the fact that they were up against the wall, crushed by their prior losses and facing an enormous hill to climb. Take all of this into the equation, throw in superb young athletes, and it was impossible to survive.

As short term execution was the focus for last night’s game, so too should it be the only focus for all of us in sales for the balance of the quarter. It simply now comes down to putting the best players working together as the best team and armed with the most carefully detailed plans on the phones and out in the field pushing for every possible point.

Winning at this point in the quarter for all of us sales professionals has nothing to do with luck. It also has nothing to do with hope, as in "I hope I’ll make my numbers”. Winning at this point, deep into the quarter, all comes down to having the most highly experienced players following their well practiced plans. It’s a given that everyone is energized to win and passionate and committed to both the team and the mission, but all of that is merely a foundation for everything else. Especially if you’re up against the wall six weeks into the quarter. Winning in this environment takes extraordinary planning, skilled timing and highly practiced scoring. Unfortunately it didn’t work for the Celtics last night, but they were up against the wall with insurmountable challenges in front of them. At the same time, perfectly executed plays and highly skilled practice especially among LeBron, Wade and Bosh clearly paid off for the Heat.

This weekend, get up at 5:00 and spend just two hours mapping out your game plans for the balance of the quarter. That’s all it takes. Drive these plans down to the raw details, retune here and there and force yourself to be very objective and very detailed about what exactly you need to do and what you also need from others in order to win the game for this quarter. And then push yourself along that plan for the next six weeks. All it takes to win at this time in the quarter is planning, practice and your own discipline.

Good Selling !


Tags: sales productivity, Sales Optimization, sales, sales management, sales management effectiveness, sales effectiveness, sales tools, selling, improved sales management, sales management training, selling skills, marketing effectiveness, Sales quota, sales training, management