Here’s a question for you: Which other leadership role allows you to self-define your own success as much as your current position does? Think about it this way. There are very few proven success factors a sales leader cannot control or influence to heavily stack the odds in his or her team’s favor.

Here are just a few that multiple studies have shown increase success percentages.

  1. Market segmentation and targeting
  2. Territory definitions and account prioritization
  3. Lead management system
  4. Sales process
  5. Sales compensation
  6. Account planning
  7. Pipeline management
  8. Sales dashboard

Why bring this up now? Because summer is behind us, the “slow” time of year is done and from now through the end of next year’s first quarter motivated sales leaders have the opportunity to create their own success. Those who seize this opportunity by formalizing decisions, plans and activities around the above list could see benefits materializing as early as January 2012.

Unfortunately, too many leaders are already in a “woe is me” mode. “My team can’t get it done. My company isn’t competitive in the marketplace. I know I’m going to miss my target and probably be let go.” Just like the children’s book character Eeyore, these sales leaders are filled with doubt, gloom and doom. Many have already decided their fate and are just waiting for the final shoe to drop, victims to the last.

Don’t be an Eeyore. What will you be able to accomplish in these next six months? It’s your choice after all. Think about Wayne Gretzky’s famous quote, “You’ll always miss 100 percent of the shots you don’t take.” Will you take charge and create your own destiny?

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Matt Smith is the co-founder and executive vice president of 3forward, a sales consulting company that helps companies find and create leads, increase wins and accelerate sales. He can be reached at matt.smith@3forward.com.