Myth #1: Management’s First Responsibility is to Make the Numbers
Why It’s a Myth: While numbers are important, they are always the history of what’s happened in the past. Treating the numbers as the top priority leads to jiggling the revenue stream, pushing revenue into different quarters, and (worst case) cooking the books to make the numbers look good.
Why It’s Believed: The pressure to management the numbers proceeds directly out of a combination of fear and incompetence. Because the sales manager does not know how to manage people in order to get results, he jumps directly to trying to manage the results.
The Real Truth: Management’s first responsibility is to manage activities. While a manager cannot (honestly) manage the numbers, a manager can always manage the activities that lead to the numbers. If you focus on what the sales team is doing, and measuring the effectiveness of each activity, each day the numbers become a foregone conclusion that needs little attention.