Is it Salesperson Skill or Macro that Really Matters?
I was having coffee with a CEO last week and he asked the question, “So does the salesperson actually matter or is it just a function of the macro economy?”
He went on saying, “In 2021, all our sales people were 120-140% of quota, but last year (in 2022), they were between 70-90% of quota and claiming that the goals weren’t attainable.”
I took a few seconds and responded, “Elon (not real name), it’s clear that the macro matters and has a real impact on hitting your goals. And you can’t control that. What I’d be looking at is why is there a 20% delta between your top and bottom performers? It’s easy to ignore when we’re talking about them at 120-140%, but the same difference has your attention when it’s 70-90%. That delta is the impact that strong sellers have - and bridging that gap is an action that is in your control, and will lead to significant gains.”
It’s the beta vs. alpha concept in finance. The macro economy will have an impact on performance, but there’s a clear difference between strong performers and the rest. That’s what you should measure and take action against, and great training and coaching will have a clear impact.