12 September 2023 |

Passion Doesn’t Equal Results

By Alex Alleyne

Early in my sales career, I exceeded quota through sheer passion, drive and hunger. But the first year I missed my target I felt lost. My efforts weren’t strategically allocated. I came in on “attack mode” every single day but with no plan on where best to spend my time and resources. I realized relying on passion alone wasn’t sustainable – I needed systems to drive predictable, repeatable results.

That’s where the 80/20 principle came in – 80% of outcomes come from 20% of inputs.

As sales leaders, we must be intentional about where we spend our energy. It’s crucial to analyze which inputs truly drive results, rather than distributing our energy in 100 different directions. Passion alone is not enough — we need processes to funnel our efforts toward high-impact activities. This turns passion into consistency and consistency of the right activities drives results.

The 80/20 principle manifests everywhere:

  • 80% of sales come from 20% of customers
  • 80% of complaints come from 20% of clients
  • 80% of revenue comes from 20% of products

Once we embrace this truth, we can re-engineer our routines to maximize those vital 20% activities and achieve exponential productivity.

Breaking down your 20%

Start by auditing your time allocations across sales activities last month. Tally what percentage of time went into each task.

You’ll likely find lopsided results – a few key activities drove your top deals closed and revenue generated. Other less vital tasks soaked up time but didn’t move the needle.

With this data, re-allocate your time next month to amplify those vital 20% tasks. Ruthlessly cull activities outside the 20% zone.

This requires clear and effective prioritization — declining meetings, delegating tasks, and saying no to time sinks. But the payoff is incredibly effective.

Systemize and Scale 

The next step is to build systems to scale the 20% activities that drive the bulk of your results:

  • Standardize processes around your most vital sales tasks to systemize excellence.
  • Automate repetitive 20% activities through tools and templates.
  • Delegate lower-value work to expand capacity for 20% priorities.
  • Block off large chunks of time for focused deep work on key projects.

By making this shift, it will skyrocket your productivity and focus your energy where it has the greatest yield.

Next Week: Driving Team Accountability

As sales leaders, a key part of our role is holding our teams accountable to achieve results. But fostering genuine accountability is an art and science.

Next week, we’ll explore strategies for driving team accountability in a motivational way. I’ll share tactics for setting clear expectations, monitoring progress, providing effective feedback, and instilling shared ownership for success.