Stepping Across The Starting Line Again

It happened again last weekend. With snow remnants on the ground, many long distance runners starting preparing for the next running of the Boston Marathon on April 20th. My office sits on the starting line and for the past 16 years, I’ve witnessed this ritual.

I step across the starting line of the marathon almost every day, and reflect on the annual one-day spectacle when the world comes and celebrates our small town. Who will win this year? For the first time ever, every registered runner’s bib will have their name emblazoned on it this year.

When I share my location with new acquaintances, they all ask the same question; have you ever done it? In fact, I had my own epic adventure in 1991. Even though I had trained for many months, I posed no real threat to any runners. I promised myself I would not come in last, so I started three hours early! My adventure took me six hours and forty minutes, but I finished in the middle of the pack. It was humbling when the elite runners passed by me just after I passed the halfway mark, but I’ll always be able to say I ran the Boston marathon.

This week marks the end of Q1 in most sales organizations. How is your team holding up in this economy compared to last year? Are you ‘on target’, lapsing behind, or surging ahead? What are your plans for the next three quarters and how can/will you get your team there? There are many businesses busy growing sales in this economy.

Along with Mass High Tech, The New England Technology Sales Executives Association (NETSEA) surveyed more than 170 companies to reveal business expectations for Q1, and plans for 2009. You may be surprised to learn the results. Almost 70% expect revenue to be steady or grow over 2008 in Q1, with 18% expecting more than 20% growth. 30% of those asked expect to hire new sales people! Take a look and compare notes with your own plan. Mass High Tech provides more commentary.

Q2 stands as a new starting line. Sit down individually with every sales producer and review year to date progress and compare it with last year’s performance. Make necessary changes, equip each of them with necessary tools, and support them to higher performance. Like every runner, it’s one step at a time from stepping across the starting line of every sales opportunity, and enduring to the finish line .

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