The War Room
Question
Post

Do you fudge.... Your quota attainment for new jobs?

Curious: You are interviewing for new AE positions, your quota attainment hasn't been so hot, do you tell the truth? Or do you fib?


Am I an idiot for telling my real number? Or is it bad to start a professional relationship on such terms?

Do you lie about quota attainment in interviews for new sales positions?
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👥 Hiring
🧢 Sales Management
🤝 Interviewing/Offer
15
CoorsKing
WR Officer
+11
King of the Coors Knights
Nah, always say the right numbers. Sure you can use math in your favor (say my average attainment was X if you had a shit year for example) but always use the real numbers.
TheSolicitorGeneral
Politicker
+6
Small Market AE
Nah, I wouldn’t lie. Primarily because if I lie about numbers on an internal promotion they’d pull reports to verify and torpedo my ass lol
BST
Contributor
+3
Account Executive
100% - they'd hit you with both barrels in that scenario. But if you're interviewing with other companies - is it the perfect crime?
TheSolicitorGeneral
Politicker
+6
Small Market AE
I think you’d be good rounding up in your favor. In my state (OH) at least, If someone were to call my manager for a reference he can only verify that I worked there and a yes or no as to whether he’d recommend me. That’s all he could go into. 
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CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Senior Account Executive
Be truthful. Lies are too hard to keep up with and will come back to bite ya. 
fuzzy
Notable Contributor
+21
CMO (Chief Meme Officer)
If I interview someone who says they’ve never had a bad quarter, I ask them to prove it.
Justatitle
Politicker
+8
Senior AE
If you lie and the company asks to speak with your former manager to verify your number then you are screwed so it’s not worth it IMO
Broncosfan
Politicker
+5
Account Manager
If they ask to speak to my current manager, 9/10 they're getting a former coworker. This is why references are silly.
Justatitle
Politicker
+8
Senior AE
Agreed on references being dumb but it could backfire and new company could use LinkedIn to see who was your manager and verify and all that. Just not worth the risk and anxiety for me
BST
Contributor
+3
Account Executive
But what if you're currently employed? Interviewing on the low down.

Would your prospective new employer blow you up like that?
Justatitle
Politicker
+8
Senior AE
Verifying after the offer is made and they do reference calls when you sign the offer letter… yes
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DrunkenArt
Politicker
+6
Sales Associate
Never lie about your numbers. You have to be smart to lie and the last thing you want is to get caught up in it. 
BST
Contributor
+3
Account Executive
“Being smart to lie” is very very very true.
DrunkenArt
Politicker
+6
Sales Associate
I received that advice earlier on in my sales career and it's one of the many lessons that have really resonated with me. 
slaydie
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
Own your numbers. We've all had shit quarters, we are human. So don't hide it, highlight it and show how you are learning and progressing
BST
Contributor
+3
Account Executive
I want to! I feel like every time I tell a recruiter what my real numbers are, no matter how I position it, they immediately make the decision to not pursue me as a candidate. 
slaydie
Politicker
+5
Account Executive
Well that's really sad to hear, I'm surprised recruiters don't have more compassion considering it was COVID last year and so many businesses were affected. Maybe clarify the numbers a bit more 'look, I know these numbers don't look great but for further context I was the number 3 sales person in the entire org last year and sold the most volume of deals or had the highest ACV' or something like that. Show how you stack up against your peers or how that was actually a good number considering the circumstances.

Unfortunately there are just bad recruiters out there thought that simply looking to dot i's and cross t's so they are not thinking outside of the box and looking at potential.
Show 1 more replies
Ma
Matt
Politicker
+3
Sales Executive
I’ve found it’s best to be honest about your numbers. I’ve interviewed salespeople in the past who have lied about their attainment, and as soon as I ask them to walk me through their current metrics/close rates it unravels pretty quickly. Not everyone will always be over plan, but if you can speak to why you were underperforming and why you’ll be more successful in a new role, current performance doesn’t always matter.
BST
Contributor
+3
Account Executive
The context is a great point. Do you think this explanation could ever come off as trying to make excuses? Radical self reliance being so big in sales an all. 
Ma
Matt
Politicker
+3
Sales Executive
It could if you just focus on the first part (why you’re underperforming) and not talking about why you’ll be more successful at their company. I think any candidate should approach poor sales numbers as an objection you have to overcome. Address their concerns and pivot back to closing them on why you should be their top choice.
Show 1 more replies
CCP
Opinionated
+6
VP, Business Development
Better not to lie. Unofficial reference checks, though illegal in most jurisdictions, are definitely real. Especially if you're staying in the same city and/or industry. 

You can spin the positives and omit the negatives. i.e. x% growth year over year as opposed to 90% quota attainment as an example. 
CraigArator
Good Citizen
+2
Enteprise Account Executive
Situational- Generally I wouldn't lie about numbers, I am on my 4th SAAS job, 1 Job I was PIP'd, Second on I was the number 1 rep out of 60 global reps, No. 3 was Average, on number 4 again back the top... Be Honest- Truth has a funny way of paying off in the long run. 
GDO
Politicker
+7
BDM
I don´t fudge because up until now It´s not needed.
BST
Contributor
+3
Account Executive
I salute you! 
CTXC
Executive
+3
SDR
Nobody believes you when you say you've never missed quota. Why lie? If you're coming from a company where only the top 1% of reps hit quota, then hitting 90% of your number is a real accomplishment. It's all relative. 
BST
Contributor
+3
Account Executive
This is a killer point! 
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