After being in sales and in the sales development capacity for over five years, I’ve found only one universal truth. And no, it’s not cold facetiming. It’s that I have yet to see anyone set hundreds or thousands of meetings, without setting one first. Whether your quota is 30 meetings a month or 5, my goal today is to help you never think about quota for more than the time it takes for you say it out loud. It is to push you to invest that energy and thought into actions that will help you find your next meeting. Lastly, I’ll be sharing about tendencies that are commonly overlooked or forgotten about because of “quota mind”.
As soon as you are handed your quota, where does your mind immediately go? Is it panic-stricken anxiety? Like the first time you’re at the Cheesecake Factory and are handed a menu longer than a CVS receipt? Do your thoughts become tangled with what you should be accomplishing today with the irrational ones that all start with “what if”? It’s vital that you capture yourself when you find your mind wondering into “what if land” and immediately shift into action. Action will crush anxiety 7 days of the week, 365 days of the year. You can’t focus on the future if you’re working on something in the present. Remember that. Action destroys anxiety.
“What if land” is home to wasted focus. Wasted focus means mistakes are more likely to be made because your concentration is on the future and the millions of different outcomes instead of being present. Wasted focus delays the doing of actions. It creates cracks in your workflow that feel small at a birds eye view but spread faster than a trend on TikTok. Let’s say a chef only focused all their energy on what the final product was, instead of following their calculated steps to the recipe. They have now increased the chances of missing some minor, yet key ingredients. One ingredient isn’t going to ruin the whole final dish. Edible, sure. But not quite what it should be for the high expectations the chef (XDR) and the restaurant owner (your manager) have for themselves.
Now, as an XDR, if you spend too much of your brain energy focused on your final product, you’re much more likely to forget key ingredients that help enhance your final dish. This can look like spending too much time working all your current accounts and forgetting to prospect some new blood. Always be prospecting. Always. Be. Prospecting. We as humans love new stuff and learn to depreciate what we once always wanted. Remember a year ago when you bought those new shoes? Sure, you still wear them, but that feeling of a new pair do be hitting different. Same with your accounts/companies.
Where I see most XDR’s fall victim with their prospecting is not where they’re doing it. Although, make sure you’re always searching for leads that fit your ICP. They’ll wait till the end of the month or beginning of the month and spend hours of their day adding prospects in bulk. The best prospecting I’ve seen are consistent bites throughout each day of the week. Why is that? Because those XDR’s are buying new shoes every day and giving themselves those little boost of excitement versus just a once a month feeling.
Another misstep I see when we’re too focused on our final numbers is self-isolation. “I have to hit this number, so I won’t link up with a teammate”. Whether it’s for cold call practice, to pick their brain, or just simply vent about the difficulties of this role, this is so important to do. Now that the world of work. is remote/hybrid, self-isolation is so easy to fall victim to. It’s just as simple to think that practicing or linking up with a top performing rep is not going to help you hit that final number because it’s time away from the phones. I cannot tell you how important this ingredient is to you and your success. There are reasons support groups work. Feeling supported and working on improving are powerful tools that go on the back burner when were in a rut or are so focused on that final number. Remember, it’s often the stuff we don’t want to do that make us better. Lifting weights sucks. Practicing sucks. Running sucks (Runners high is a myth that runners use to lure people in. Misery loves company). Those are examples of thing you do to get better, not because they’re fun or easy all the time.
Similarly, to what I mentioned about prospecting. Stay consistent and disciplined with your KPI’s. There are going to be days where you feel like million bucks and make a bazillion dials. There are going to be days where downright miserable and coast. There are many days where you just feel average and go through the motions. How we feel impacts our motivation. Motivation is an emotion. Emotions are temporarily. Discipline and consistency trumps motivation tenfold. Whether you’re on a high or a low, or somewhere in the middle of that, your outreach should always be consistent. One great week can let your brain talk you into taking it easy. Stay disciplined and consistent. It’s almost the holiday weekend, people aren’t answering their phones, maybe I’ll just dial that number that goes straight to voicemail 20 time. Don’t do it. This job is hard as hell when everything in your life is going well. It’s even harder when it’s not. Stay disciplined and consistent.
My final thoughts, and if you’ve read this much, thank you so and I truly hope this helps you, are as follows: Do your best to never think about your final number until the timeline on it has ended. Reflect on that performance for a bit. See where you exceled and where you have room for improvement. Look at your new quota. Say it out loud once. Now that you’re done thinking about it, go find one.
Alex Droge is a former teacher & coach turned into an SDR Manager at Quantum Workplace. He’s been in sales development for last 5 years with stints in inside sales. Coffee shops, thrift stores, and golf courses are usually where you can find him on weekends. He’s a water (drinker) enthusiast and basketball disciple. You can reach him at email@example.com or on LinkedIn.
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