INSIDE Inside Sales

What Do You Do When You Miss?

July 18, 2022

INSIDE Inside Sales

Tune in to INSIDE Inside Sales with Darryl Praill for actionable strategies and tactics from top sales experts to increase your sales development success. Darryl has unscripted conversations with the leading sales experts, from veteran sales pros to the newest rising stars. If you’re looking for lively debate, spirited conversations, and proven sales know-how, you’ve come to the right podcast.

So you missed your number. It happens to most of us in revenue at least once (sometimes often). So stop feeling like Robinson Crusoe, take a deep breath, and let's figure out how you're going to rebound right.

In this episode, Darryl is joined by Ashleigh Early, Host and CEO of The Other Side of Sales. They take a look at the process of hitting your number from beginning to end, including: understanding the achievability of your quota, anatomizing your miss, rebounding right (and signs you should be rebounding elsewhere), plus the reliable, immediate remedies you should be reaching for.


Find Ashleigh on LinkedIn or on Twitter. Her podcast is called The Other Side of Sales.

Find that Jason Lemkin on Hard Miss vs. Soft Miss here.

Connect with Darryl on LinkedIn.


Are you in sales, but you're not using a sales engagement tool? Then you're probably losing out on revenue because you are not engaging with prospects at the right time, with the right cadence, and with enough persistency. You need VanillaSoft.

INSIDE Inside Sales is now a member of the Sales IQ Network. We partner with sales pros to help them become the best they can be. Find out more by checking out our Create Pipeline Course.

Darryl Praill
Host @ INSIDE Inside Sales Podcast + CMO @ AgoraPulse
Ashleigh Early
Host and CEO @ The Other Side of Sales

[00:00:00] Darryl Praill: You just press play on the inside inside sales show power by the sales IQ network. My name is Darrell pril. I'm your host and you and my friend will you and I working on a journey every single week, talking to the industry's most accomplished sales legends. As they share with us, their tips, their tricks, their techniques, and their tactics have become sales rock stars.

You simply need to do what they're doing and you will achieve similar Nirvana. If you like to laugh, you like to be entertained. If you like to go off in tangents and tell stories, you're gonna love what you're gonna hear next. Sit back. Relax. It's gonna get real.

It's a wonderful day in the neighborhood. Oh my goodness. How many of you knew that was Mr. Rogers? Just kind of curious if you didn't. You had an awful childhood and I'm really terribly sorry for you. And you should go back and watch it. Speaking of with you, did you ever watch Mr. Rogers, the Tom Hanks movie, that was a wonderful eclectic movie fully suggest you go watch it.

Speaking of which I just wanna say, I never, I don't know if I've ever done this on any of the podcasts before my wife and I right now are binging on only murders in the building. And I wanna say that, I think that is the most amazing fresh take on, you know, it's not a sitcom. So an action movie, it's actually got some really good writing and, and, and, and cinema.

So if you're not watching it already, Go watch it. You know, Steve Martin, Martin short and sele Gomez, whoever put those three together, casting brilliance. Okay. So that's my little insight. You now have been caught up on everything. Mr. Rogers, only murders in the building. I may have a problem watching too much TV through my entire entire life three.

You have I wanna talk to you a little bit I'd mentioned this an episode or two ago that we were now, if you're listening to this, you know, as they all come out, if you're binging and it's like January, I'll give you context, but ignore the falling a little bit. But if you're listening to this in real time we're now early on into the second half of the year.

We're in July and. Second halfs are interesting, right? Because you have a chance to look backwards and say, how did I do, how was Q2? How was the second half? How am I trending? Am I destined for president's club? Or am I sucking wind? And if I'm sucking wind, can I recover?

What do I need to do to recover an interesting thing about self-assessments is that they can lead to additional stress or or they can lead to moments of revelation where you realize I know what I've done wrong, and I know what I need to do. I mean, I have this zen-like transcendence descending upon me because I'm focused and the way forward is very obvious. But for most of you, that's not at all what's happening for most of you, you're a mess and you're freaking out and you're going, what the hell do I do?

I miss my number? And you know, we've never talked about this that I can recall on the show, which is, what do you do when you miss I've missed a lot. I wanna be full disclosure. I have missed more times than I almost wanna say, have I have I made it more times than I've missed it? I don't know. It's almost, you know, Am.

I like a baseball player where if I'm, you know, one in three times I'm hitting my number and they would think I'm, I'm a rock. Or am I like a gold tender where, you know, you wanna have a state percentage of around 900, you know, percent or more. And then you're a decent in quality. So nine is outta 10.

I'm gonna hit my number now. I don't know which sport applies to sales. I'm sure the investors think hockey is more applicable here than baseball. That's just my opinion, but you know, who knows, but yeah, I've missed it. I've missed it a lot. And I've got a couple ways that I've dealt with it.

One is I've done self-awareness, I've talked to this before. My biggest one, when I was carrying the rep was I wasn't always the best at prospecting. And the problem when you're not the best at prospecting is that then your pipeline gets thin. And if you're closing percentage goes down or there's ever external factors like rising interest rates and massive global uncertainty around supply chains and people are delaying decisions or they're conserving cash and budgets are contracting.

When you're, then you're already thin pipeline just goes poof, and it's gone and you're screwed and you're like damnit. So that's the one part. And you know, there's, I have learned sometimes I am a victim, not of poor sales skills, but rather of poor management skills, which means how do I work with the people around me manage their expectations.

Give them context and know what's going on. And and those are things you have to learn the hard way. Usually as they're booting you out on your ass and then you're fired, cuz you didn't hit your numbers and you're sitting in the bar and you're bitching at the world and all of a sudden you're going, okay, wait a minute.

Maybe I own a little bit about this. What would I do differently? But we don't want that to happen to you. We don't, we don't, but we do want you to contribute to the conversation. And I think I'm just gonna limb here and say, I don't think I'm. I bet you every single person on this podcast right now, listening to it has missed on more than one occasion.

And as I tell my team, when we miss, whether we are missing in sales or we're missing in marketing or we're missing in life and our goals and aspirations, it's not. The fact that you missed that matters. What matters is how you respond to that? That's what matters. That's what indicates your strength, your skill, your ability as a professional, your ability to have long term success or possibly your ability to look for a new job in a new line of work it all comes down to that.

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[00:06:28] Darryl Praill: So I've always had a wonderful conversation and relationship with today's guest. We met years ago for the first time ever at a show, a wonderful trade show, and we became best buds and we talked and drank excessively. And ever since then, we just keep on, you know, leaning on each other. This woman is something I, someone I think of when I think of world class sales leaders. And I think of as world class people, she's the host of the show.

The other side of sales. If you've not partake in that podcast, you absolutely truly need to do it because it is for lack of a better word, the absolute opposite, the antithesis of bro culture. It is about inclusivity. It is about an openness to all those who are underrepresented. Who are maligned, who are not given the same chances that people like myself, white males have access to.

And it is a brilliant, brilliant take on what is likely the largest audience of sales reps in our industry. So check that out. The Other Side of Sales, if you haven't figured it out by, by now who I'm talking to, then let me, let me just stop right here and talk about this amazing person, her name. Is Ashleigh Early and I am thrilled to have her back.

Ashleigh, how you doing my friend?

[00:07:58] Ashleigh Early: I'm doing great. Talk about talk about talking me up in the intro, raising that bar. Now I gotta make sure I don't fall short.

[00:08:04] Darryl Praill: Yeah. We already have a wager going on behind the scenes here. And and the odds aren't looking good for you. They're thinking definitely you're a baseball player when it comes to this podcast, as opposed to a, a gold tender, but what you don't know folks.

This is important to bring up since we're talking hockey. Ashleigh is a super fan, not just a fan. She's a super fan of the Colorado avalanche in the national hockey league. And I believe something significant happened this year. Ashleigh, what happened?

[00:08:34] Ashleigh Early: Oh, we are these Stanley cup champions. Thank you very much. After a 21 year drought and had one of the most successful campaigns for the cup ever. And I have paid three rounds of import taxes to get all of the stupid merch into the Netherlands from the states in Canada. And just to give you, he talked about obsessive fans. I literally shifted my circadian rhythm because these games started at 2:00 AM every single time.

So I would work. I'd start work about 4:00 PM because I live in the Netherland. I'd work until about midnight. I'd take a couple hours off. I'd watch the game. I'd go to sleep between five and six in the morning for about three weeks, it was a trip and it was worth every sleepless night and waking up at two in the afternoon for, I hope every sports fan gets to see their team accomplish that goal.

At some point that is as close to joy as I felt on my wedding day and other big experiences in my life. But that is something I'm gonna remember for a long. Long time. So yeah, I will do all the hockey metaphors and as someone who's also married to a goalie, I definitely wanna lean more towards, towards that side, just from a straight pride angle.

But yes, from a sales perspective, I think it, one of the things we were talking about, whether it's baseball or hockey too, cuz I am also a pretty reasonably big baseball fan. Do not ask me anything about basketball. I don't know anything about it, but when it comes to baseball, it's really interesting. I think which sport we should use should depend on what industry you're in and what size company you're at.

Okay. Because this is the thing that I think a lot of companies and a lot of people fail to understand is quotas are the people who design quotas are human. And a lot of times quota design is based off of what people, what companies, what leadership wants to achieve, not necessarily what is proven possible to achieve.

So I see a lot of people who are working. Smaller companies, you know, 20, 30 salespeople are less, sometimes 10 salespeople are less and they'll miss quota for a year because they just don't know how to design the quotas yet. It takes that long. And so they're calling me in a panic going, oh my gosh, I've missed quota three quarters in a row.

And I'm like, yeah, but is anyone actually expecting you to hit those numbers? And if the answer is yes, yikes. You've gotta mismatch with management on a lot of different issues. And if the answer is no, then it's okay. It's just a matter of making sure that you're making the money you need to make to. . But to that point, if you're at a copy of 5,000 salespeople and you're not hitting consistently, and you're not in that goaly type range, it's a much bigger issue than if you're at a point where they don't have these things as well designed with years of evidence behind that design process.

So it's, you're playing different sports. Depending on what, what sort of sales you're in to.

[00:11:30] Darryl Praill: And I love that you said that because that's somewhat what I was alluding to in my opening preamble, where I was talking about, I learned some of my challenges were communication skills, meaning when the quotas were delivered to me, you know, I was the one I, I learned eventually to be the one to say, whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa, can we just back this out and do the math that got us here now?

Unfortunately, here's the thing is too many sales reps are doing that as a trigger reaction. At that moment time, cuz they never like the fact that the quota goes up, but they, they do want the commissions to go up, which is always remarkable. So I, if you do that, you're you become the boy of Christ Wolf and nobody listens to you.

So don't do that. All right. But you do want to be involved early and often, whether it's you or through your leader, your sales leadership. You want to be involved in the thought process that goes on because you know, it's very common that maybe you'll get a round of investment from a major, you know, venture capitalist.

And then their whole business model is you have to grow at a hundred percent minimum. Yeah. And when the space that you're in is growing at 25%, which is by the way, a really good growth rate, really the chances of you going at a hundred percent. Unless you're the category leader are highly unlikely. Yeah.

And, but that's the expectations and many leadership teams will just go, you know, our major investors said, that's what we have to do. So here's the quota. Go and, and that's just a recipe for disaster. And in fact, not only is that a recipe for disaster, it's a recipe for a lot of staff turnover. Yeah.

Because people will never achieve the commissions that they're supposed to because the coolest are out of at a, you know, they're, they're just crazy. So that's one of the things I learned after time. So missing, it was to get involved much earlier in that process. But with that all said, Let's go back in time here.

Ashleigh, let's just play it out. I mentioned that we're kind of just finished Q2 mm-hmm let's just say for all those listening, I've missed my number in Q2, and now I've got all this visibility on me and a lot of expectations. What do I do first? I mean, my gut reaction is for me to lash out at them and say, you're stupid.

I did everything right. I'm an awesome sales rep. You're stupid. Yeah, it was rigged. And I never had a shot. It was rigged. What the heck? All the good leagues went over there. Marketing. Let me down all the excuses that we all know.

[00:14:01] Ashleigh Early: The market slowed down. What am I supposed to do? I can't help the fed raised interest rates. It's not my fault.

[00:14:06] Darryl Praill: Everybody's slowing down. It's not just me. But for me when calmer heads prevail and I, this, this is kind of my first reaction is, are they right? Is it me? Am I the issue? Or is it them. and I find a lot of reps skip this step. Yeah. But I, cuz they just want to go to the, the blame game.

It's kind of like the seven stages of grief, you know, eventually there should be acceptance in there. Right? Yeah. But anyway, that's my thought. You talk to me, I'm the bad guy. I just missed my number. Just I'm for shoots and giggles. They will say that. What, what, what are the processes here? Where do I go from here?

Let let's talk.

[00:14:49] Ashleigh Early: Yeah. Okay. First thing, I think it's important to call out. You called out kind of the, I call the rage phase. Yeah, let yourself for age, get, get mad, get angry to quote a, a hockey, a hockey coach, actually, Bruce Boudreau was featured in a documentary a few years ago and I loved, he had this moment after his team had a really tough loss and he came in the locker room and he said two, three sentences.

But I remember they really stuck with me and they've kind of become a bit of a mantra. He walked in the room, everyone's really pissed. They're throwing their gloves. They're knocking sticks over and he just comes in, just looks around the room and goes, all right. let it burn and come ready to come, ready to work for practice tomorrow.

And that was, it walked outta the room. And I love that. Cuz you have to let yourself get angry. You have to let yourself rage and blame and you have to feel that because if you deny yourself the opportunity to feel it, you're never gonna get to your point to that place of. Get angry. It's fine. Get angry, get sad, get to get whatever, but give yourself like a timeframe, like a day, a weekend, something like that.

Get together with some other reps and commiserate, whatever you need to do to feel the feeling so you can let go of them and then get to that place of acceptance. Once you're through it, then it's okay to par to, to give, to be blunt. What the F just happened. I missed that's a fact. It happened. But what caused that?

Where, where did the MIS come from and kind of look at all the analysis? Was it genuinely out of your control? If it was, how could you have flagged that earlier? Could we have gotten quote, a relief? Could we have come up with other ways to strategize around it, stuff like that? How much of it was in your control?

I do a lot of coaching with sales reps, and one of the most common things I hear when someone misses quota is I don't understand how I could miss I'm working. So. and you are working hard. If you are in this position, I guarantee you're working hard. I don't doubt for a second. You are putting in all the effort that you need to put in.

The question is, are you putting the effort in the right places, Darrell, to your point, you mentioned prospecting and the importance of having a robust pipeline. And if you're not someone who enjoys cold calling or enjoys doing those hyper personalized emails, of course you're gonna avoid it. Did that contribute to you missing quota?

if it did, then maybe you need to put more effort into that area to prevent this happening again. So maybe you're putting all of your effort into chasing down business, looking for repeat business. When you need to start supplementing with new business, could your effort be adjusted? Not in terms of volume, but in terms of direction to get to the right thing.

It's it's going introspective. It's. Exactly happened. And there's a million different methodologies you can use if you need a structure for this. I'm a huge fan, just starting with something called SWAT S w O T strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. You can Google it. It's really common in business schools.

I usually just start with a simple structure like that. Just what happened, what was a strength? What was a weakness? What's an opportunity to improve and what's a genuine threat that might continue beyond, but just start by going what happens. try and get as impartial as you can solicit feedback where you can from fellow reps, from your boss, maybe from a client or two, but just start by figuring out what happened.

[00:18:11] Darryl Praill: So I'm gonna stop you there for a second. Yeah, we got before you go there before you go then. No, no. So no, no, it's all good. The reason I stop you is because as you were going through this. What happened? That's what Ashleigh's saying. I'm not sure what happened. I'm typing up a storm here because of all these questions going through my mind, you were inspiring me.

So in no particular order, when you say what happened the first thing I will tell every single rep listening here, cuz I've heard every excuse as a sales manager before don't come to me with opinions. I worked hard. I'm a better rep marketing. Didn't gimme what I needed. Come to me with facts. Yes. So if marketing didn't give you what you needed.

Show me how, when marketing hits certain, you know, lead volumes, if you're dependent upon their inbound lead flow that were qualified MQL, for example when that happened over time, you hit your number and then when it dropped here, look, it dropped in this last quarter. I missed. All right. Come to me, the facts, you know, what is your split between inbound and outbound?

You know, driven pipeline that close, you know? Yeah. It splits holy up the same. Come to me with facts because you come to me just a bitch in moon wine and make excuses. I'm shutting you down really quickly and you've lost my, my respect.

[00:19:21] Ashleigh Early: Well, and I'll say this too. One of the reasons why we're shutting you down is because I G I can, I can guarantee you with a reasonable amount of confidence.

Most sales managers are better at coming up with excuses than you are. Oh my God. Yes. So I guarantee you're coming to me with an excuse that I have made in the past, and I know exactly how to get around and get out of, so it's not just, I'm dismissing you because it's an excuse. It's an opinion. It's because I've tried it already, so he's kind of a been there like you can't, you can't play me. I've done this. Yes. Try again. Been there, done it. The facts can't debate those.

[00:19:55] Darryl Praill: So then I'm thinking, okay, you worked hard, Ashleigh, you said that I worked hard. Okay. But did you work smart? In other words, you worked hard, but did you continue doing tactics that you already knew were not working as opposed to changing your tactics or experimenting?

I mean, if you didn't, well, of course you got those results. Did you do the activity? You worked hard, but did you hit your, you know, I don't know, 50 calls a day and 50 emails, whatever the numbers are, you know, who I'm getting at. Did you actually do the activity? Did you do the research? Were you savvy and knew the vernacular and the issues when you're talking to individual personas or were you winging it?

All right. Were you, here's now a different way of looking at it? Were you counseled by your sales leadership? Before you miss, in other words, did they come to you and say Darrell, you you're struggling. What's the matter if sure about that? If yeah. If, if you did, if you weren't, did you go to your leadership and say, I.

Why, why didn't you come? You know, if you saw it coming, why didn't you gimme a heads up? Why didn't you offer to gimme some coaching? What do I need to do here? Like you have a, you have a fear ability to hold your leadership accountable. They are there to watch over you and not just cast you aside. Have you thought about what are the winning reps doing that you're not doing?

Have you actually even gone to them? Have you listened to some of their calls? Like all of this is in your control. So. That's the big thing was you, if you could come and say was outta my control. Well, no, all of this is in your control. Have you done this? And we're not here to blame. We're here to fix.

[00:21:32] Ashleigh Early: Yeah. And this is the thing I wanna, I really wanna tag that. Did you loop in leadership? Because there's a couple nuances there that are really important. One. I have to shout out Adam Aarons. I worked with him when I was at Okta and he's been the guys a wealth of really good, like one line. Sales advice that are just really generally true.

One of my favorite things he used to say is never lose alone and he was adamant and he built us into the culture at Okta. I think it's a big reason why Okta's had so much success is no one ever loses alone. If you're behind on quota, you are getting everyone supports diving in, getting in the trenches with you, trying to help you fix it.

Not blaming genuinely trying to fix. If you're doing something wrong, they will tell you and hold you accountable to fix. but the goal is to fix it, not to shame you for doing it. Same thing with deals, specific, things like that. So that building that culture of never lose alone is really important. And if you, as a sales rep, like, and he was very adamant about basically the worst thing you could do is lose it.

If you bring everyone in and everyone's brain power could not figure out a way to make this work, then that's something we, as a company need to fix. That's a much bigger problem. And it's not just on. versus if you lose alone and you deny the chance for that brain trust to come in and help that's on you, that is absolutely your choice.

As a sales rep, you chose to go it alone. You lose alone, you bear the full responsibility. You bring everyone in. Everyone splits the responsibility. Everyone's responsible for building that change. So it doesn't happen again. so that's really important. And if you're not in a culture that believes that, where you're penalized for asking for help, where you're not given support.

And I don't mean like, oh, they wouldn't get me this tool that I wanted. Yes. Okay. Tools are important. But thinking through like, oh, this isn't just something I wanted. Did you really prove that you needed? Did, did you take the time to do the math, to show the importance of this tool? But also looking at like, did you do what leadership told you to do.

So, this is really important because I talk a lot about the best way to break a system is to follow it to the letter. if your leadership tells you, you need to do 50 calls and 50 emails a day, and you did 50 calls and 50 emails a day, and you still missed big. That's no longer on you as much. You did what they asked and you missed.

Now, the trick is to Darrell's point, you need to flag before you miss that their instructions are not working. You can't go retroactive and be like, I did what you asked and I didn't hit that's your fault. You need to go to them halfway through the quarter and say, Hey, I don't think this is gonna, I don't think this is working.

I'm doing the 50 50, and it's not working. They can check. They can do all these things. They still say, Nope, keep doing it. It'll get better. And you still miss. Now you can go back to them and be like, you told me to do this. I flagged it. Wasn't working. And it didn't work. Now you're in a much stronger position to leverage quota reduction, tweaking things, getting more resources to supplement you're in a much stronger position than I missed.

I did what you told me to do. Not my fault, fix it, fix it, fix it. So it's being proactive. It's, don't lose a loan and it's make sure that if leadership tells you to do something, you do what they tell you and you, and you hold them accountable. If it doesn't work. Yeah. Now, it's not to say that they guarantee they're gonna do anything, but that's how you can drive some change on your own and take some agency in setting your quotas.

[00:25:01] Darryl Praill: It's also how you can walk outta that, building your head held. Hi, if they eventually let you go. Yeah, because you know, it's not always your fault. Don't go quickly. No grasping to blame your failure on management. What we're talking about here is literally just, you know, taking an assessment of the situation and assessing.

What you did, right? What you could have done better, who is partly to blame, how did you, how did we get here in the end? That's what you're already asked. How did we get here now? You mentioned Jason Lemkin before we went live. Yes. So bring that up Ashleigh.

[00:25:34] Ashleigh Early: Jason Lemkin wrote a great article that actually one of the sales leaders I work with sent to me this past quarter after they'd had a difficult quarter and I love this concept.

And I'll put the link in the show notes, but it's this concept of a hard miss versus a soft miss. So a hard miss. Just truncating this argument, go read the article. He does this with a lot more flare and data and much better argued, but very truncated, a hard miss is you had a goal of a hundred and you hit 50.

You just missed and you missed pretty sizeably. That's a hard miss. You gotta go look at why did I miss what really happened? Not quite, you know, five alarm fire, but like we gotta figure out what something seriously went. Something went very wrong here. And then you've got a soft miss you. 80 90 out of a hundred, but a you soft, miss is also important because soft misses take into account that there may be variances in the goal.

So for example, you may have hit 80 or 90 this quarter, but the previous quarter you hit 50. and the quota was 50 or the quota was 60. So the quota is almost doubled and you almost doubled and you just didn't quite get that extra a hundred percent growth that you wanted to get. That's a softness. That's not, we need to rethink everything and go evaluate that's.

We were just a little bit off don't panic. Don't freak. It's just a little bit, let's keep, you know, the signs are pointing in the right direction. We'll make adjustments, but we're going in the right direction. so I think it's also going through, and I hate when companies have these really hard and fast rules around you go on a PIP.

If you miss quota, a two quarters in a row, I missed it by less than 5%. That's not a good reason to term someone, you know, thinking through, okay, what's going through. Was this a hard miss? Or was this a soft miss? And that can kind of help you determine the depth of analysis and to be blunt to the depth of panic.

I think that's justified by the situation. So if you can look at, oh, it's my third quarter at this company, which means it's really your second full quarter, but really first and a half quarter at full ramp. And did you big miss or did you slightly miss? If it's a slight miss? All right. I'm still reasonably new to this role.

Let's figure out where those little nuances are to keep adding five, 10% and I'll be there next quarter. We're building, we've got this versus if you've been at the company forever and you're consistently at a hundred percent and all of a sudden you're at 50 whoa, something's changed. Let's take a couple days and figure out what happened while I assess what the path forward here really looks like.

Is there a path forward here? I can give you a really good example, actually. Oddly enough, too, looking at a hard miss, that looks like a hard miss, but actually is a soft miss. Go for it. I've talked about this before. I actually was when I was in SDR the quarter I am most proud of in my, my entire time as an SDR actually was my lowest performing quarter by the numbers.

I think I hit 63% of goal for the quarter. And I'm proud of that because I don't think anyone could have done any better than I did. And the reason why I say that was that was Q4 2013, maybe 12. I forget date. Are irrelevant now, but I, this, during this period, I had Manhattan and long island and this was right after super storm, Sandy, my territory shut down and I still managed to get 63% of my goal.

And I'm proud of that. So that was absolutely a hard miss. I missed big and I know why I missed big, cuz everything went to heck in a hand basket, however. My activity was the highest the company had ever seen. I know for a fact that record held for several for almost a few, almost five years. I think my convers rate was great.

And the next quarter I spoke a bunch of records for performance because all the, the groundwork I did during that terrible quarter came back to me the next six months as people started to get their feet under them. And it was, oh, that nice person who was human and talked to me instead of just pitching.

came back and gave us a lot of opportunity and a lot of very big, a lot of really good business. So there was a hard miss technically, but it was a soft miss because I did everything right. And everything came back later on. So I'm very grateful that I worked for a sales leadership that gave me some, they didn't gimme quota relief.

but they did give me some financial compensation for the fact that this thing had happened. That was out of their control. It was outta my control, but they didn't want me to not make my rent. They understood that this was a really crazy situation. So they gave me a chance to keep rebuilding because they saw I was putting the effort in stuff happens.

And I'm also very lucky that I was at a company. That was big enough to handle me having a big miss. Some companies can't handle that if you have a two person SDR team and one person, and you're maybe that person who really sucks, it's a much bigger deal than if you're one of 10 SDRs who is really struggling or who has a freaking hurricane shut down your territory.

It's a different thing. And this is why the introspection is so important. I walked away from that quarter. remarkably solid in my skills and confident in them because they've been put to the test and I was able to segment myself from the results. And I think that's a really important thing to start working on a sales reps.

We so frequently defin ourselves by our results, and we need to be defining ourselves by our effort and by our strategy. That's what sets us apart. The results. kind of some in some ways are what they are it's can you hold your head high? And can you walk away to whatever that next step is, whether it's at that company or somewhere else going, I know I did everything I could and I learned everything I can.

If you have that, you will be okay, let it burn, get pissed. But if you know that if you know, you've learned everything you can, if you know that you've, you've done everything the right way, as much as you can know, it will fall into place. You will be okay. It won't become this huge perpetual habit that will ruin your career forever and ever.

There's a weird fear. I think that, oh my gosh, I missed two quarters in a row. I'm utterly unhireable no, you're not. Absolutely not because you have to have the time to go and do this context, this in this introspection. So you can talk about what happened. What did you learn? what mistakes did you make that you know, you'll never make again and go from there any company that's not gonna talk to you because you missed two qu two quarters in a row without asking for context behind what happened is not a company you wanna work for.


[00:32:13] Darryl Praill: All right. So let's drill down a little bit here then. So I've gone through the process. I let it burn. I, I, I assessed what happened afterwards. After I'd calmed down, I maybe talked to my leadership. To understand their contribution to the process and how we got here. And I'm owning that maybe I wasn't an ideal rep. I wasn't a poster child. How do I rebound? What do I do next?

[00:32:40] Ashleigh Early: It's focused on what? So it's the and I'm, I'm gonna get this wrong. I'm by trying to remember for the past five minutes, it's, you know, give me the courage to change the things I can, the grace to accept the things I don't and the wisdom to know the differe.

I know that comes. I, I know that from alcoholic's anonymous, I'm not in there, but I'm familiar with that prayer.

[00:32:57] Darryl Praill: You nailed it.

[00:32:58] Ashleigh Early: Good. Okay. I, I was like, I don't know if that's why or not.

[00:33:00] Darryl Praill: That's right.

[00:33:01] Ashleigh Early: It's it's that it's like, look, focus on what you can do.

[00:33:03] Darryl Praill: It's sinners prayer, if you're wondering folks, by the way.

[00:33:05] Ashleigh Early: There we go.

[00:33:06] Darryl Praill: Go ahead.

[00:33:07] Ashleigh Early: But it it's, it's focus on that. Like, okay. Here's what I can change. Go change it. Here's what I can't change. I'm letting it go. I'm releasing it to the universe. I'm actually really dorky. I'm a huge fan of lighting things on fire. Which sounds really weird outta contact, but literally what I would do is I will write things.

If I'm really struggling to let something go. If I'm really upset about something, I will write it on a piece of paper. I will take it outside and I will light it on fire and just watch it burn. And as I watch it burn, it just it's it's cleansing to me. I don't know why it just works for me. I started doing that in high school with like papers.

I didn't, when I thought the teachers were grading me unfair that I'd light the paper on fire. But let it go just, okay. I can't change. Like if you go to leadership, you make the argument to reduce quotas and they say, they're not gonna reduce quotas. Okay. I'm gonna run at this. I'm gonna do whatever or, okay.

This is not a place I can afford to stay at long term. Fine. That's okay. But you've now made the argument based on data that they're choosing to ignore. And now if you give that same data to the next company, you decide to start talking to. that'll give you a really good idea if that that's the right place for you to go to or not.

So it's all about, it's not excuses. It's oh, this is the reality of the situation. This is what happened, not blame facts.

[00:34:23] Darryl Praill: So what I would, what I would look at, if I were you is if you truly did an assessment of where you underperformed, then you need to create. In partnership with your management, a training plan, communication skills development, a testing regiment to make sure you start fixing your sequences, your messages, your scripts.

That are not working, that you're continually trying to, you know, sample new stuff time blocking simply to make sure you're researching. You're committing to social selling. You're experimenting with other tools like video or audio or what have you. Yeah. I mean, you literally need to make a plan together.

And be very intentional. Yeah. That's, it's as simple as that. And, and then finally, I would say you need to set expectations going back full circle of how I began by saying, I realized I wasn't communicating. You need to set expectations with your leadership that says, okay. We developed this plan together.

I'm owning my part. I need you to own your part. Now there's gonna take time on this, right? Yeah. So it's probably gonna take another quarter for me to kind of make these changes, which means there'll be another quarter before you really see the results of this effort.

[00:35:40] Ashleigh Early: Especially this was a hardness. Like if, if you can't turn this around in three weeks, it's gonna take you a couple months of hard work.

So making sure leadership is aware of this under promise over deliver. Hopefully it goes faster. You're better off saying, Ugh, I don't know. Like Q2 is a big miss we'll rebuilding Q3. We'll be back on tracking Q4. If that's a big problem, you need to be having bigger conversations, but more often than not people get it.

And especially if you have that specific proactive plan that gives confidence, you've got this, you're taking it seriously, you know? Oh, maybe you're hedging and you're not taking, you know, you're, you're saying it'll take longer than it actually will. But the point is. That you've got a plan and you're following it.

That's a lot better than just like, oh, turn it around, which is not helpful at all. And it, to your point too, I think one of the things that a lot of people struggle with when it comes to this plan is don't just rely on your leadership to help you. Implement it. Hold 'em accountable. Get an accountability.

A buddy, get another rep, get a coach, get a friend, get someone else to help hold you accountable to that progress. If you're doing a training course, get someone to do it with you. So you have someone to help with homework and hold each other accountable. Make sure you show up and don't start ignoring. If you're trying to increase your call volume, get a buddy and start making little side bets on who can do the most each week and stuff like that.

Gamification, get other people involved in your plan because one it's, again, don't lose alone, but two, you are so much more likely to actually follow through on everything. If there's someone holding you accountable at every. It doesn't mean you're pushing it onto them. It's not their responsibility to make you do it.

It's your responsibility to do it. It's their responsibility. Just to ask what's going on. Have you done this? And don't be afraid to step up and do this for other people as well.

[00:37:32] Darryl Praill: Ladies and gentlemen. This is my good friend, Ashleigh Early. She specializes in building programs for long-term stability and consistent sales performance.

Exactly as we just talked about here, you should check out her podcast. The Other Side of Sales, you can find her on Twitter @AshleighAtWork or at LinkedIn, She's awesome. I love her. She's fantastic. Follow her content. You'll enjoy it. But in the meantime, You missed a quarter and you don't have any more time to spend listening to me ramble

[00:38:06] Ashleigh Early: No, go!

[00:38:07] Darryl Praill: Unless of course, you're listening to some of the older episodes where we tell you how to kick ass and knock down doors and blow quota out of the water. In which case that's just an investment in your, in your awesome pursuit of blowing quota out of the water.

My name's Darryl, that's Ashleigh. And we had fun, hope you did too. Will we see you here next week? Will you bring your colleagues with you? All you gotta do is share the link Inside Inside Sales. You take care of folks. We'll talk to you soon. Bye-bye.

This episode was digitally transcribed.

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