SalesHack #109: Don’t Give Up Before You Start

This brass calendar tracker came from my Granfather’s office, and he received it from Mobil Oil, where he worked in Dallas, Texas for so many years in the human resources department. As I recall the activities of the day, one person that I interacted with said they could never achieve a bookings target unless certain things happened (that were out of this person’s control).  I’ve been in the hotseat before, and I’ve said this same thing too, believe me. And from time to time, I still say it!

After having this for 10+ years, tonight I finally learned how to set the dials.  Each of the knobs actually pull out or can be pushed in – to control the mechanism. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could “turn back time” on a quarter, or a month, and change some things!?

Unfortunately, we cannot turn back time. Which is why it is important to focus on the things we can control. Continue reading to learn how you CAN turn back time.


Quiz question #1: Of the list below, which ones are in your immediate control?

Sales Activities

Demos Booked

Demos Held



If you answered sales activities and demos booked, you are correct! Those are the leading indicators of demos held, pipeline and bookings. Sometimes prospects don’t show up, sometimes they don’t have a pain or a need so they don’t land in the pipeline, and sometimes a deal can look great on the surface, get qualified, and then they go a different direction.

Quiz question #2: Of the months below, which month do you think led to the most bookings?

Month 1 – 16,486 sales activities, 87 demos

Month 2 – 35,055 sales activities, 118 demos

Month 3 – 63,927 sales activities, 129 demos

Month 4 – 100,108 sales activities, 136 demos

If you answered Month 4, you are correct again!  As Skip Miller taught me early in my sales career, Revenue = Frequency X Competency. Until you are the most successful, well trained, bad-ass seller who has done hundreds or thousands of sales calls, you better “get the F up”, or get the FREQUENCY up!  Month 4 led to 165% more bookings than Month 1 (and Month 1 was a quarter-end, Month 4 was a new quarter). Control what you can control – more at bats = more chances to win.

The lesson of the day – there is still time left.  You can “turn back the clock”! How? Imagine sitting down on November 30th, and looking back on the past 17 days including the Thanksgiving Holiday, the sales calls you and your team did, and your results–sales activity, demos, pipeline, bookings. Did you do EVERYTHING in your power to deliver the two things you can control – sales activities and demos booked? And for the more advanced seller, or sales leader, if you are involved in sales cycles, did you “sell by the book”? Did you do an ROI, did you insure that the price wasn’t given to the influencer, and it was presented to the economic buyer?

Before the clock runs out on your month, take a minute to do a “look back” on your November (and December), did you and your sales team do everything possible to achieve quota?

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