Don’t Get Caught Snoozing

This is post around and about folks waiting until the last minute to consider job opportunities. In software sales jobs are almost always tenuous and you’re only as good as your last quarter or consecutive quarters within many sales organizations.

In no way do I agree more broadly with this type of sales management, though I’ve lived it and hear it from candidates each and every day. You can be the number one Enterprise Sales Executive one quarter and closing well over quota…the next quarter you find yourself on plan/PIP. It’s brutal, though it’s reality.

Here are some metrics from the Harvard Business Review concerning success or lack thereof within the the industry. It’s difficult to argue with the math.

Below I’ve summarized over 10 common reasons for imbalanced quota attainment distribution including:

  1. Lazy Quota Setting
  2. Historical Bias in Quota Setting
  3. Unrealistic Sales Expectations
  4. Failure to Plan
  5. Imbalanced Territories
  6. Complex Sales Crediting
  7. The Black Swan Excuse
  8. The Honey Trap
  9. The Foolish Philosophy
  10. Using a Hammer to Chop a Tree
  11. Lumpy Sales
  12. Improper Analysis

Many times I’ll reach out to folks and “it’s all good” until a few weeks or months later when it’s not. Because many of my searches are very specific in nature, the job I’d reached out about two to four weeks ago, let alone months ago, is no longer available.

If any of the above attributes map back to your sales organization right now, here’s what I recommend as a former Enterprise Sales Executive who now happens to own a recruiting firm:

  1. At least consider new job opportunities and keep your eyes open just in case. Seriously consider new opportunities!
  2. Respond to credible recruiter contact requests (not all recruiters are blowing smoke…I know we don’t). When we contact someone, it’s because we have an available job and we’re seeking candidates for client companies. 
  3. Don’t take for granted your job is safe. In software, acquisitions are common and so are lay-offs.

Far too often folks are caught off guard, so keep your options open and resume up to date (Please see my post “Resumes and what Hiring Managers are Seeking”).

Alarmed Woman

End of Q3 is fast approaching…you don’t want to look or feel like the above image.