A critical learning about designing any high impact system or process
TL;DR: It should be geared predictably for early success. How early? As early as possible. Because once the faith is lost, it leads to weird consequences.
I was interviewing someone today for a potential role in our sales team and we had this exchange:
Me: So what do you think your sales operations guy in your company should be doing, that he isn’t?
Him: The biggest and the most important thing that he should be doing is to help us prioritise our allocated leads at the beginning of the quarter.
Him: Well, what happens is that these leads are given to us. And then we have no sound logic to go after them.
Me: You told me there’s a score.
Him: Yes, but that score is decided in the US by the US teams and shared with everyone all over the world.
Him: Well it ends up not being very accurate. I can live with 70–75% accuracy. But it’s much worse. So for example if I selling X, I expect the company to at least be doing Y. Now Y isn’t factored into the score expects me to sell the product at $
200000 ACV. No way is that happening. It’s like asking a person who’s never walked in their life, to sign up for a 10K marathon that’s taking place next week.
Me: Got it. But at the end of the day, you’re the sales guy, the scores are only indicative right?
Him: I understand that, but here’s what happens. After about going through 10–12 leads. I start looking outside my allocated list and start finding leads on my own. Now, I’m sure out of these 500 leads that I am given, I don’t know which ones are scored somewhat decently so I just continue to go about searching for leads outside my quota. And that makes me just very inefficient.
Me: And have you not tried giving feedback?
Him: India isn’t a major revenue contributor to the business, so my feedback falls on deaf ears.
What an interesting point. Something which is well known, but not often fully understood.
When you people on a system or process, they are going to give you a couple of chances and if the system doesn’t give them early success, they are going to form their own system, even if that system isn’t the most efficient.