Set the Right Sales Benchmarks

Benchmarks are funny things. You could create any type of benchmark that would justify your performance, even if your performance is not where it needs to be.

There is a great scene from the movie Facing the Giants in which a football coach asks his player to do the “death crawl” drill—crawling down the field with another player on his back. The expectation is that he will crawl to the 20-yard line, but when he is blindfolded and has to rely on the instructions of his coach to make it to the end, he discovers he can go further—that his best is far better than he thought it was.

I like this clip because it illustrates a valuable point when it comes to sales quotas: the best performer should set the benchmark, not the worst.  Setting an artificial low standard based on the median performance of the average salesperson encourages mediocrity and leads to underwhelming results. Using your best sales performer’s average as the benchmark sets the bar high and will force the rest of the team to go further, try harder—do their very, very best. The results of the team will likely far exceed that benchmark.

Howard Shore is a business growth expert who works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please contact Howard Shore at 305.722.7213 or