There are many catch phrases we use to try to understand how much business we are going to book for the month, the quarter, the year… whatever the time period is…and we obsess about this target until the window closes.

It’s a funny game we play and we do all sorts of crazy things to try to “hit our number”.

We try to hit our number for good reason:

  1. Our commissions are tied to our ability to hit and exceed quota
  2. The financial stability of the company depends on sales results
  3. If there is a financial sponsor, they have investors to answer to

The fundamental conflict we wrestle with every “quarter” is:

  1. Our buyer, many times, is on a different timetable
  2. Things happen that interfere with our ability to close as expected
  3. Priorities shift and influence the sales cycle

There are many reasons for deals not closing as expected and, conversely, sometimes we get an occasional present along the way we weren’t expecting. Forecasting is a tricky exercise, and honesty really is the best policy when it comes to pipeline management.

I’m not gonna get into forecasting principles here…But, I want to emphasize there is nothing more important than building a real relationship with your buyer and the one thing you can do to screw it up for sure is to try to force the deal to close because you are trying to hit your number!!!

People buy when they are ready and not a day earlier so do your best managing the buying process and continue adding more opportunities to your pipeline and, sure, try to nudge your deals to close within the “quarter”, but if they aren’t ready, back off!

I saw a really great video this morning by Keenan that prompted me to write this post and I can’t agree more…and have this very same discussion often with my team and colleagues.

What’s your commit?

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