Maybe there’s something you failed to do that caused the miss. This post is for all who are involved in Sales making the number.  Especially, it is for HR Business Partners to Sales. 


Find out how you may be at fault for Sales missing their number. Download the SFE Framework Fault Finder to find improvement areas. Herb Misses the Answer

Missing the number can have some serious consequences – even for HR.  Ask Herb who was the HR Business Partner to Sales at a large technology firm.  After the number was missed, he was transferred to a different department. The SVP of Sales asked Herb for his opinion on why the number was missed. Herb’s quick response was “I’m not sure.”  He then added that it could have been one of these reasons:


  • Number wasn’t set right
  • Lack of skilled talent
  • Not enough leads
  • Delivery or product issues


The Framework Fault Finder

In actuality, these could all be correct, plus many more reasons.  But Herb didn’t have a clue. He provided no value to Sales leadership. Don’t make the same mistake. Download the SFE Framework Fault Finder. It is a diagnostic aid with 9 main areas to start your search from.  With it, you identify areas to improve so your team can make next year’s number. For HR Business Partners, it will help you avoid the same fate as Herb. Had Herb used the tool, he could have better supported Sales.


SFE Framework Fault Finder


The tool has 9 clickable boxes – each brings you to an explanation. That explanation lists how you might have been at fault.  It will also provide steps to undertake for making next year’s number.  For example, here are 2 of the root cause areas explained.


Look Up to Company Strategy

How does this impact Making the Number?


  • If Sales strategy does not align with Corporate strategy, the ‘number’ may not be appropriate or the Sales force may be wasting effort on the wrong activities.


Possible faults?


  • Corporate strategy ignored or misapplied.
  • Sales strategy not followed.
  • No monitoring of strategy alignment.


What to do for next year?


  • Get the corporate and sales strategies.
  • Discuss strategies with the appropriate parties in order to completely understand them.
  • Draft measurements and a monitoring process to enable ongoing strategy alignment and execution.
  • Facilitate a meeting between sales and corporate leadership to propose your approach for ensuring strategy execution.


Lead Generation

How does this impact Making the Number?


  • A lack of quality leads for the sales team to run through opportunity management reduces the chance to make the number.
  • Leads that go un-nurtured fall out of consideration of your products/services.


Possible faults?


  • No clear agreement between Sales and Marketing on lead and opportunity definitions.
  • Guidance to Marketing not provided on the most effective investment of dollars and resources.
  • Ineffective resources staffed in the Lead Development Rep (LDR) role.


What to do for next year?


  • Facilitate Sales & Marketing agreement on clear definitions of when leads are passed to sales and when they remain in marketing for nurture.
  • Help Sales learn how to effectively prospect and fit their efforts into a lead management process.
  • Determine with Sales and Marketing if the Lead Development Representative (LDR) role profile should be changed.
  • Assess current LDR staff and manage talent replacement or augmentation where needed.


What to Do To Make Next Year’s Number


  1. Get the tool to check other areas that may be root causes for missing the number.
  2. Self assess to identify where you may have been at fault.  Herb didn’t do this and it cost him. He is now the business partner to finance (which he finds utterly boring).
  3. Work with Sales, Sales Ops and Marketing to pinpoint improvement areas.
  4. Contact SBI for guidance on the right sequence of improvements.  It’s not as easy as going from top to bottom on the Framework.
  5. Develop a report for Sales leadership outlining a suggested improvement plan.
  6. Secure your position as Sales’ trusted HR Business Partner.



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