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Should I lie about hitting quotas on interviews?

I see things like these job post where they want:

  • Top 1% in the team
  • Consistently hit and exceed quotas


They would have no idea if I lied about that right?


OR


Should I just be straight up and tell them Hey I might not be the top player in the team but I have hit and exceeded quote in Q2 and Q3

  • Grit
  • coachable
  • hungry
  • always learning
  • blah blah blah


Im specifically aiming for AE roles.


Thank you in advance my fellow WR!!!

๐ŸŽˆ Mentorship
๐Ÿš€ Career Goals
74
Oboy77
Arsonist
+8
Workspace Consultant
IMO never. I think character should go further than anything. If a company does not feel the same, then run.
JustGonnaSendIt
Opinionated
+4
Your Mom's Man on the Side
This exactly.ย 

It's all about how you tell the story, not the exact numbers. Every rep has ups and downs because so much is actually out of our control (such as a pandemic...).

Plus, no need to set unrealistic expectations for yourself so early in the process.

Interviews should focus on how you execute the job and what you plan to do in the future to generate value for the new employer, not a series of war stories and KPI conversations. Sure, you need to talk about how you've handled big wins and losses, but the balance of the conversation should be about what you'll do once you land in the new role, not what you've done historically.

If the company wants to hire nothing but top 1% reps, they're setting themselves up for attrition anyway. Who wants to go from being top dog to being in 5th place? There's only one 1st place regardless of the skillset of all the reps on the team. Sounds like a rough culture to me.
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
@JustGonnaSendItย Great post as always!

Yea I for sure dont want to get into a situation where the expectations are too unrealistic which is why I do tell the truth.ย 

I guess I was just wondering what people do when they see job post like that, unless they are at the top and have nothing to lie about it.ย 

But again back to what you said about companies hiring nothing but top 1% reps, do you think there are companies like that or are they just trying to get the best of the best regardless if they are top 1%?
Show 2 more replies
Go
GoBlue
Old School Bravo
+1
National Account manager
Spot on. The company has to believe too. It is a relationship built on trust.
CuriousFox
WR Officer
+11
Needer of Life Alert
Transparency first.

Lies are too hard to keep up with. Why would you want to put yourself in that position?
uncorpse
Politicker
+5
Sales Development
Transparency 100%, feels better to walk out without any guilt.ย 
Kiona
Opinionated
+2
Head of Business Development
1000% someone will find out you're full of it "between us" never stays there. Do yourself a solid and live solid. There is enough stress in sales, dont self induce it.ย 
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Yes, transparency is the way to go. I just have thoughts in my head since I really want to get out.
sales4lyf
Politicker
+5
Business Development Manager
I think it's always easy to lie and make yourself seem amazing, but if you get the job they will be expecting you to replicate these achievements and more, if you don't hit those expectations it won't look good. Best thing to do is definitely hone in on your big wins i.e biggest deal, quickest win, your process, biggest name client etcย 
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
That is true, i guess I was hoping I could just meet those expectations when I get in lol.
Re
RedLightning
Politicker
+7
Mid-Market AE
If you were the top 1% anywhere, you probably wouldn't want to leave
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Unless you dont get paid very well.ย 
JC10X
Politicker
+8
Senior Sales Manager
facts!
WCK
Politicker
+8
Padre de Tequila
I'm honest about things, but also fully transparent if prodded. Am I lifetime ~135% to quota here? Yes. Have I missed my monthly quota before? Absolutely. Even had quarters coming in at like 75% or so. But I also go out of my way to manage up, get feedback, and apply it.
RonMexico
BDR Manager
100% this! I'm honestly a little skeptical of anyone who enters an interview saying they've never missed a single quarter
WCK
Politicker
+8
Padre de Tequila
Can you apply feedback and bounceback from rough times? That's what I want to show.
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Yea I am all about honesty myself.
ThomasRCallahanIII
Politicker
+5
Enterprise Account Executive
Not a top performer myself so I embellish my numbers to get past the initial recruiter screen - they're not going to be able to verify - this does not mean I say I was constant 100%+ YoY overachiever. What has carried me through to offers though is I don't lie on how I manage deals & pipeline, build champions, sell value, and align to their culture.
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
That makes sense, recruiter just go base off of whats on paper and not character, unless they are a good recruiter.
Kinonez
Celebrated Contributor
+9
WR Enthusiast
I would go for honesty, treat the company as you would want them to reat you, this goes both ways!
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
True, wonder how would a company with top 1% reps get treated lol
Kinonez
Celebrated Contributor
+9
WR Enthusiast
Like every other company!
Show 2 more replies
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
Talk about it from an improvement perspective. Tell them how you improved, what you identified as weaknesses, and what that meant for your numbers. Example: In Q1 I was at 60%, I worked with my manager to improve xyz, this lead to an increase of 15%... etc. etc. etc.



Show them what you said. You are coachable and determined.ย 



Nobody hits quote 100% of the time, unless the targets are too easy. Sales isn't easy... at least I have never been at a company where the products/services just fly off the shelves. If that were the case, the company would just need marketing and customer service.ย 


Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Ha yea that is true, thanks for the tip!
Sgt_Trollingham
Valued Contributor
+5
Business Development Director
I've met hundreds of reps in my career, and I will always choose the worse performer with the right attitude and mindset, than the high performer who is toxic and not coachable.ย 

I'm sure some managers will disagree and numbers rule the world of sales, but to me coachability is an indicator of future success. The bar now might be 1M in sales per year from the top performer who won't learn anything new, but the coachable rep who is at 600k now, might triple that number with the right training and mindset.
Show 3 more replies
OraclesBitterRedPill
Contributor
Application Sales Manager, Enterprise Accounts
I mean... if we're being real here, I'd imagine everyone in this chat who is saying "don't do it" has at least embellished to one degree or another... that said, it certainly doesn't mean you should. You're better off being straight with an interviewer, outlining some wins, doing the same with a loss or two and leave it at that. I'll tell a recruiter my quota number, and that I closed X deals at an average of Y per deal and let them figure it out. As long as you can share a track record of retiring that albatross we all start the year with, you'll be aight. The worst is the ChrisChris bro who claims to have crushed at between 125%-150% of plan every. single. year. for the last however long... bro, if you were who you claimed to be you wouldn't be trying to impress me on this interview right now!
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Yea Im always honest telling about my experience with them. I will have to bring up my wins more often.ย 
NotInterested
Valued Contributor
+4
Business Development Manager
Honesty is always the best policy. Of course in job postings they are going to ask for the top 1%, but seems rather unrealistic. Typically, the top 1% of sales people aren't leaving their current position... So just be honest, hype yourself of course, but don't set the bar so high that you can't attain it.ย 
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
It does seem unrealistic but I see many posts like that which turns me off.ย 
UrAssIsSaaS
Politicker
+3
MId Market Sales Manager
From a hiring perspective I could care less if the candidate was actually top 1% of their "team" Too many unknown variables there (team size, tenure, quota expectations, product, etc etc etc)ย 


What I care way more about is your ability to speak to your process, think on your feet, communication skills, confidence, delivery. All of those will tell me if you are a top performing rep or not. Not some arbitrary 1% number thrown out by a hiring manager.ย 

And if you're letting those requirements deter you from applying to a role you are interested in, apply anyway. No company worth its salt is only passing resumes with top 1% highlighted.ย 
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Thats true, maybe majority of manager feel the same or so I would hope lol
Justatitle
Politicker
+7
Senior AE
I wouldnโ€™t, the thing about the truth is you never have to remember a lieย 
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Yea im not going to.
Big_Building_Energy
Contributor
+1
Sales
If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anythingย  - Mark Twain
DrunkenArt
Politicker
+5
Sales Associate
I wouldn't lie about something that can be proven by #'s. The last thing you want is to start a job where they have expectations of you hitting certain KPIs and you fall short. It's a quick way to get on a PIP plan
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Never been on a PIP and not planning to lol
Mooney
Big Shot
+7
Director of Sales
Would you lie to a prospect about features and functionality your solution is missing? No tell them its on the Roadmap.ย 
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
That is true, but would a top company that hires 1% reps want you then?
Mooney
Big Shot
+7
Director of Sales
Every company wants to hire the top 1% of reps. It is easy to say what you did well in the past to become a top performer and show you align to the top 1%, but what will really separate you from the rest is walking the hiring manager through how you will be the top performer at the company you are interviewing for.ย 

For example, if I am interviewing somewhere I usually say I have been successful in my past role, however to ensure I will be a top performer at your company I plan to x, y & z in my first 30 days to set a great foundation for me to become a top performer.ย 

As someone who has interviewed a lot of people, the ones who stand out the most arent bragging about what they have accomplished, but what they plan to accomplish on my team and how they plan to put those goals into action.ย 
Show 1 more replies
Oz
Ozz
Politicker
+6
Account Executive
Don't lie - it will catch up to you.ย 
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Yea im not going to lie.
inboundsalesrep
Politicker
+7
SDR
If you lie you better just be ready to back it upย 
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Thats what I was thinking lol
DungeonsNDemos
Politicker
+5
AE of B2B
Generally they want to see that you know your numbers and you can adapt to meet your goals. So its:
1) writing your resume to frame this, but not lying about "being top 1%" or "top rep"ย 
2) stick to your actual attainment, or if that is poor try to focus on better metrics or perhaps state your overall sales.

For everyone else, I might be wrong to say to do that, but from my experience it has worked well. I focus more on the growth over time and when I'm actually in the interview I can elaborate on those experiences and my sales process.

People are not perfect, and if they are a company that drinks the koolaide and only wants TOP 1%, then everyone who goes there is about to take a step down.ย 

For me it's about being somewhere with a positive culture, understanding that life is about growth and adaptation where you are not just a number.ย 

That's why interviews are 50/50 them vetting you and you vetting them.

Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
True, maybe those companies dont have the best culture.ย 
youKNOW
Politicker
+7
Sales Manager
If you throw out a lie like "hit quota..."top producer" etc etc...it may help you get the job. But usually somehow someone on the sales team will find out that you came in with those claims, even if you weren't bragging. And when the sales team finds out you're full of sh*t...not a fun place to work for much longer.
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Yea I was hoping I would do fine when I join lol
HappyGilmore
Politicker
+7
Account Executive
IMO, it's better to tell the truth rather than buffer the numbers and have that bite you in the ass later on. I think you're better off telling them about grit/coachable/etc.
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Yea that is what I will do until I find a manager that likes that quality.
batman
Good Citizen
+2
Account Executive
It's difficult to live a lie. Be honest, you'll get further.ย 
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Yea it sure is.ย 
Incognito
WR Officer
+10
Master of Disaster
I ALWAYS repeat this mantra often;

"underpromise and overdeliver"ย 
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
I do like to underpromise and then surprise them by overdelivering.ย 
JC10X
Politicker
+8
Senior Sales Manager
your take is great, that should do the trick!
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Thanks, I will keep applying.
InQ5WeTrust
Politicker
+7
Psst wanna meeting?
No reason to lie - if you can tell your story, analyse your numbers and tell what improvements needed to be made then you'll get just as far.ย 

Lotta leaders out there that respect reps for being able to take an L and then use that as a driving force.ย 
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Yea seems like there are more decent leaders than bad ones lol
Rontara
Good Citizen
Enterprise Major account manager
Never Lie.ย  Not worth it.ย  Never.ย  Never Never
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Yea i wont
CPfor3
Opinionated
+3
Business Development Representative
I've always found lies will catch up with you and screw you at some point. During interviewers just act as a coach talking about your star player (also you). Highlight what you do best what you're eager to learn and that you're always looking for advice to better yourself. That usually is all I've needed to say with interviewers
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Yea thats how I usually go at it, I suppose those types of companies might just turn me down since I am not that top 1%
plssircanigetanotherpo
Executive
+3
IC
You're a salesperson, just have a good story on why you missed your number. Don't lie coz lying is bad and lies will come and haunt you down the line, especially if your former colleague (mgr) joins your new company and tells the truth about you.ย 
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Yea you are right about that, good thing I am not doing bad though lol
FarmingU
Politicker
+8
Account Manager
prefer honesty. like we say in spanish, is easier to catch a liar than a lame one
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Lol
Sh
SharkTank
Good Citizen
+1
Director, AVP
Treat every interview as if they know your boss, chances are they may. Back door references happen all the time, even after you quit. Shady? Sure. If you lied in the interview though, you had it comin
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Ha yea thats true.ย 
CPfor3
Opinionated
+3
Business Development Representative
If it makes or breaks you losing your job and you feel you can bounce back from it after a slow week, month, quarter, etc. then what do you have to lose ya know? Almost any other circumstances I would say no as I feel it goes much further being honest and working hard rather than lying about false numbers. Almost certain to get canned
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
True that!
ju
justatopproducer
Opinionated
+1
National Consultant
I would never lie, and donโ€™t make excuses if you missed a goal. Explain the situation if they ask and what you took away so you donโ€™t repeat the same. Also, play/sell your strengths. I always say โ€œof course i have areaโ€™s for growth and Iโ€™m very coachableโ€. Then ask the hirjng manager how they woukd coach you in certain areas when needed. Love taking control of the meeting. They will love that too.
Thesamiam
Arsonist
+5
Sales
Thanks I am going to have to use that!
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