Let me paraphrase an email I got last night from a young marketer:
I recently joined a company as a sales development specialist, and I have a quota for developing qualified leads set by the marketing director and marketing VP. This month I need to generate 45, next month 50, and the month after 60.
From everything I have researched and every marketing and sales director I've talked to, it’s not possible for one person to generate this many qualified leads. Can you tell me the same thing so I can convince my management that my quota is unattainable?
First of all, I feel for this guy. We’ve all been there. New to a company. Eager to succeed. Facing a daunting quota.
But that’s about where my compassion ends.
For all I know, his quota may be unattainable, but I certainly can’t tell him that. First of all, I don’t have nearly enough information. But more than that, I’d just be contributing to his problem.
My guess is that those other sales and marketing directors he spoke to thought they were being kind. Unfortunately for him, they are making bad situation worse by agreeing with him. “Yes, your quota is too high, and you’ll never hit it.”
What a way to mentor a junior marketer!
My advice to him was to swallow his complaints. They will come across as whining, and that is never a good way to start out your career or a new role at a company.
Then go to your marketing director and marketing VP (or your own manager if you don’t report directly to either of these two people) and ask for their help in putting together a plan that will help you achieve the goal. You’ll be showing initiative and a desire to succeed.
If they are worth their salt, they’ll have some ideas for how you can get there. You’ll also get a feel for how they arrived at that number. It’s actually a good sign that you have a quota for qualified leads. It means marketing management is paying at least some attention to what works.
It’s a simplistic answer, but given the lack of information, it’s the best I could do. It’s a whole lot better approach than the path he was headed down!
Please add your comments! How would you have advised this young man?