The Risks of a Sales Career 1


The career journey of a sales professional is often filled with hazard and risk. There are significant unknowns, and outcomes are never guaranteed. You can face several risks in a sales career that have the potential to wipe out many of the benefits outlined in prior briefings. 


Here’s The Bottom Line:


If you achieve your quota, nothing else matters.

If you fail to achieve your quota, nothing else matters.


This maxim often represents sales management’s approach to measuring sales performance. It also signifies a stark reality for every sales professional. 


While situations are not always this simplistic, it is imperative to management that the sales team generates enough revenue so their organization achieves profit goals, continues to fuel growth, and secures the future viability of the company. 


Your sales quota represents both a huge risk and an opportunity. Your quota is your signed commitment to deliver a specified amount of sales revenue over a specified period of time. You have no vote in setting this quota… you certainly don’t have much flexibility in negotiating the amount. It is assigned to you by your sales management, and you alone are 100% accountable to achieve your quota. Often, very little analysis goes into computing quota numbers—they can be arbitrary at best, wild guesses at worst.


In effect, you are betting against the house (your company) that you will achieve or exceed the quota you were assigned. You are placing a large wager that you will hit your number, and it can be a big gamble; and never forget that you bear the entire risk. 

Meanwhile, given your territory and accounts, you do not know the odds for achieving a slam dunk: are they very possible or nearly impossible? It’s your job to make it very possible.


I’m DJ Sebastian, for more info on what it takes to become an Elite Seller, visit my website at