Sales is one of the few endeavors in business where you are literally working against the clock.
Your operations team is not judged or compensated on how they did in the last quarter. They may have KPIs, but they don’t have a quota. The folks in accounting and finance don’t have the same time constraints either. Nor does the marketing department. Very few people have the same pressure to perform within the constraints of time like salespeople.
Why then do salespeople avoid the work that is necessary to reach their goals within the time they are being measured against?
If you need to create 4 average size deals each month to make your number, and you create only 2 of those opportunities, you start the next month with a deficit of 2–and a new goal of 6 opportunities. If in the second month you create only 2 opportunities, you go into month three needing 8 opportunities. If it is difficult to create 4 opportunities, then it is twice as hard to create 8 new deals.
You didn’t feel like prospecting very much this month? The clock ticked away while you resisted your work.
You found other work that kept you so busy that you didn’t have time to prospect? Time marched relentlessly forward without you. Time is unsympathetic.
You were burnt out and in a funk? Time doesn’t care about your feelings, your energy level, or your excuses. Seconds always turn into minutes, and minutes turn into hours, and hours turn into days, and days turn into weeks. Weeks turn into months. There is no way to stop, slow, or turn back time.
The only way to make the clock your ally is to meticulously manage yourself and your commitments. You have the time you need, but only if you do what is necessary between the ticks. If you aren’t going to make time your ally, your inability to manage yourself will make time your unbeatable foe.
When you aren’t working, the clock is working against you.