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6 tips to avoid a PIP

This is based on my experience, so not sure it applies to everyone and every role, but here it goes.


  1. Know your KPIs and your business: Even if it's just quota, you need to understand how you are being measured, and what are the expectations behind those metrics. Some companies give you a quota but really expect you to diversify your sales, or do more than 100%.
  2. Be close to your champions and stakeholders: Connect with your manager. An open, franc communication will help her/him reach out to you before the PIP is inevitable. Also, your boss is probably not the only person you need to be close to. What about that person's boss, and other business leaders?
  3. Keep an open eye and ear: The telltale signs are always there. If it's not performance, you probably pissed someone. If that's not it, the company must be looking to "cut away some fat", and if you're underperforming or just performing well that might not be enough, Watch out for what other people are saying and doing.
  4. Forecast your success and keep some extra pipeline: Plan and execute, hit your numbers (not your quota, YOUR numbers) and keep some under your sleeve in case you need a backup.
  5. Keep it real: No one will put you in a PIP if you're overperforming...but no one cares about smartasses either. If anything they'll wait for you to fail, and the minute you stop being the golden child, they'll throw a PIP at you. Be humble and crush your numbers.
  6. Get a mentor: That's what saved me once. A guy who was not my manager but senior to me agreed to mentor me, and one of the first things he said was "you have a communications problem, you need to stop saying things the way you do" and back then it was the best advice I got. I didn't realise it but I was pissing people off and I was just an "ok" performer.


Hope this helps anyone facing a PIP.

🎈 Mentorship
πŸ™ Mental Wellness
🧒 Sales Management
9
goose
Politicker
+11
Sales Executive
Number 6 is critical. Most people don’t realize how they sound.
alecabral
Arsonist
+8
Director - Digital Sales Transformation
Yeah, I was one of those and this guy was blunt but he cared. And he was freaking right.
goose
Politicker
+11
Sales Executive
Fortunate that you found someone like that. Β They are rare.
Show 1 more replies
InQ5WeTrust
Arsonist
+8
Sales Savages, what is our profession? Trauma!
Number 2 and 3 go hand in hand. Make sure you know your line managers and their line managers pet peeves.Β 

Nothing more frustrating than realising you're up shit creek for something inane.Β 
alecabral
Arsonist
+8
Director - Digital Sales Transformation
Great catch on their pet peeves, you're absolutely right.
Gyro25
Politicker
+6
BDR - Enterprise and Partnerships
Number 1 is huge. I track literally everything.Β 
alecabral
Arsonist
+8
Director - Digital Sales Transformation
Same here. I've been using Excel since I can remember to track things but honestly it came from not understanding how I was paid at my first sales job. They sucked!
Gyro25
Politicker
+6
BDR - Enterprise and Partnerships
I'm paid on Demo's booked, so all my focus(calls, emails) and energy goes into that main metric. I ask my AE's how I can make their lives easier and pretty much take it from there.Β 
Show 1 more replies
HappyGilmore
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
Number 5 speaks volumes.Β 
alecabral
Arsonist
+8
Director - Digital Sales Transformation
it does, I've seen stellar reps get the boot after 2 quarters of missing their marks and what they all had in common was a big mouth and a bigger ego.
HappyGilmore
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
That's such a shame, I would think that keeping it real would've at least extended their lifeline a little bit. Better to be honest and humble than run the mouth.Β 
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Oz
Ozz
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Appreciate you sharing this!Β 
alecabral
Arsonist
+8
Director - Digital Sales Transformation
Just hope it helps people!
DubstepDon2112
SMB Account Executive
For 6 would you recommend that it's better to try and find someone inside or outside your company?
alecabral
Arsonist
+8
Director - Digital Sales Transformation
Both can be good but I guess it depends on what you want to be mentores on/about!
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