The Risks of a Sales Career 2


This briefing continues the discussion on the Risks sales professionals must face in their quest for success. 


Risk: Your customers. The customer opportunities you choose to pursue present significant risks. There is no guarantee they will remain committed to working with you through a sales cycle. Your customer can choose to stop a sales cycle at any time for any reason. 


Risk: Economic factors. Unless your solution is required to meet government or industry compliance, purchasing your solution is an optional expenditure, so the economy presents significant hazards for you.


A downturn in the economy or external events like the recent pandemic could cause a company to slow or halt spending on all initiatives. And even when the economy is soaring, some companies that are performing very well and enjoying smooth sailing might not want to rock the boat, so they could choose to avoid the risks associated with any new initiatives. 


Risk: Your competitive position. Your company’s competitive position could change dramatically and can put your sales opportunities at risk. Perhaps your company is being beaten in the market by a new upstart competitor; perhaps your stable, proven solutions are being outsold by another supplier’s bright and shiny new toy. As the competitive position of your company evolves, significant threats challenge the health of your sales opportunities. 


Risk: Sales amnesia. Sales is a “what have you done for me lately?” business. It doesn’t matter what you did last year or last quarter. Low performance in a measured time period, for whatever reason, puts your tenure in jeopardy. 


Your sales career will be filled with highs and lows, and your path can be diverted by significant risks. You must accept these risk factors and plan for how you will overcome them throughout your journey. 


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