The Potential Engine (A Note to Sales Leadership)

Your revenue numbers are up. Your profit is better than last year. You’re moving in the right direction. You should be pleased. But you shouldn’t necessarily be satisfied. The numbers may be positive, but it doesn’t always mean you are where should be.

A sales organization is an engine. Your job in leadership is to get the very highest performance from that engine. Positive numbers are good, and they’re important. But the real question is, “Are you getting the most from the engine? Is it performing to its potential?”

Even though your numbers are positive, are they as positive as they should be based on how your industry is performing? Or are they more positive than your last year’s number and still under the industry?

When you look at categories like divisions, segments, and markets, are they where they should be? Or is the positive number really being delivered by too few divisions, a single segment, or a couple of markets?

Are each of your sales teams performing to their full potential? Or are some woefully behind while one or two outperform their peer groups?

Is the result you’re obtaining, positive though it is, really the right result based on the investment you’re making?

Each of the above questions point to potential. There are some cylinders that are firing, and some cylinders that aren’t (or, if they are firing, they’re not producing the power they should be).

It’s important not to get too wrapped up in positive numbers. Celebrate. Be pleased. But don’t be satisfied. Your role in sales leadership isn’t just about a positive number; it’s about getting the maximum from the engine’s potential. It’s to tune things so that you can help the engine reach its full potential in each division, segment, market, product, sales team, and even the individual salesperson.

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Filed under: Leadership, Sales, Success

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