What the Board Thinks of Your Sales Numbers

A few days ago, I had a conversation with a member of our Board.  As a Director who sits on several high tech start up boards, she has attended more than her share of Board reviews.

Her comments could be summarized in saying that Sales Leaders who are not making their numbers all say the same things. 

The head of sales provides some general reasons, like “Our sales cycles are getting longer”…“Some reps are not ramping up as quickly as expected”…“Our competitor loss rate has increased lately.”

Next, the sales leader shares the KPI dashboards tracking these areas and describes the new training program or sales tool being put in place to improve them.

As a longtime C-suite executive and board member, she has seen this scenario many times. Inevitably, the C-suite hears this tale and starts to wonder how much longer that Sales Leader will be in place.

She went on to say that sales problems like slow ramping, low win-rates, long sales cycles and call reluctance are the symptoms, not the underlying disease.


Just like a doctor performs a thorough examination when you show up with a fever, sales leaders need to diagnose the root causes of problems, and treat them with individualized improvement plans.

If you have a handful of sales reps, that’s easy enough to do. However, coaching at scale and keeping track of individual progress can be very difficult. 

Think about that the next time you are presenting numbers to C-Suite or the Board.  There is no cure-all solution for getting sales reps to 100% quota attainment. Go with a plan to make each rep the best he or she can be.

That happens to be why Cien was founded. AI excels at finding patterns. We know patterns exist in sales behavior that contributed to success or failure, and we want to harness the power of AI and machine learning to improve sales productivity.

Cien was established to help sales functions reach 100% of quota. No two sales representatives are exactly alike. What works well for one may fall short for another.  If you’d like to find out what lost revenue may be hiding in your organization, you may want to put our technology to work for you.


See if you qualify for Cien’s Hidden Revenue Assessment

As a result, instead of talking about mediocre sales results at your next board meeting, you may just be the one offering real solutions.

By Joe Lupton


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