Performance-based roles – are you in control in sales?

Sales in Control

Written by Ryan Tuckwood

How do you stay positive in a performance-based role when your outcomes are often out of your control? This is very common in sales, and can unfortunately sometimes feel like an uphill battle. This topic is relevant to a lot of people, especially people that we at SWISH Sales Coaching put into work over the last couple of years as we put a lot of people in performance-based roles.


What is a performance-based role?

Often, in a lead generation or an appointment setting role, you may find that you are rewarded based on the amount of sales generated from the appointments that you set. This is an example of a performance-based role. While it’s your responsibility to book the appointment, you fundamentally have absolutely no control over whether the salesperson you are booking it for is having a good day or a bad day, in good form or bad form, or has the skill acumen or knowledge to be able to convert appointments at a high level. So, this can lead to a lot of pressure on you and that out-of-control feeling. 


How do you handle this situation?

Firstly it’s a business’s responsibility to only hold metrics on key performance indicators and therefore give people incentives around what they actually have control of. To refer back to our example, if your job is to arrange appointments, if that appointment is seen and is qualified, then you’ve done your job. It’s at that point that you should be rewarded, you should have a tick in the box to say ‘job done’, and you should be incentivised accordingly. 

However, what we see in businesses all over the world is that is not the case, and it’s actually not until the sale is converted that only revenue is generated for you personally. In this case, what I would do is just focus on myself. Do what the business should have done and only really analyze my performance-based role against what I could do. Start asking yourself questions like these:

  • Did I arrange the appointment? 
  • Did I qualify the consultant? 
  • Did I solidify the appointment? 
  • Did I give them appropriate knowledge to create the platform for a sale? 

And if you have ticked all of those boxes and said yes, then under these conditions it would suggest that you’ve done your job effectively. Then you can get on to making your next call, canvassing your next customer, and continuing to focus on how you can book as many appointments as are physically possible.

The reality is that some salespeople are going to be good, some aren’t. Some are going to be new, some are going to be senior members of the team. Some are going to be better at closing businesses, some are going to become better at closing consumers. So, you focus on what you can control. 

That’s life in general. So many people get upset or emotionally invested in things that are totally out of their control. If you allow your emotions to be determined by something that is controlled by another human being, then you’ve now become a creature of circumstance not a creator of circumstances, which is an important distinction. 

If you’re in a performance-based role, focus on yourself. Focus on what you can control and optimise that to the best of your ability so that you’re not held captive by what you can’t control.

The SWISH Sales Method is chiefly concerned with integrity in sales, which extends to our fellow industry members in performance-based and appointment setting roles. To learn more about the strategies of SWISH selling, read about our sales training, sales coaching, and sales courses.  No matter if you are located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Gold Coast or anywhere in the world, we are able to assist in providing the most innovative ethical sales training.

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