I met a company recently that does a great job of creating a sense of urgency in their sales people. And they used a very simple trick.
But first to urgency itself. We all love to procrastinate and I’m among the worst. I’ll leave everything to the last minute if I can because I know that I’ll figure out how to spend less time working on something if I leave it till it’s almost too late.
So you can see this in companies all the time. If you look at the numbers underlying quarterly reports, you’ll find that salespeople will invariable produce most of their sales in the third month of the quarter and in fact, in the last week of that month.
So how do you get them to stop this habit? Well you create artificial deadlines. The company I met, who is incredibly successful in sales has weekly quotas for their salespeople.
With a weekly quota and compensation tied to that quota, people can’t slack off for more than a day or so. Unfortunately, with monthly quotas, people can slack off for a week or more and frequently have trouble making those quotas last minute.
Moving to weekly quotas was difficult in software terms because everything is done monthly in the software world and a month does not divide evenly into four weeks or always start on a Monday. To deal with this they went to the expense of having a custom system built that tracks sales and quotas and commissions on a weekly basis.
And it works like a charm.