Rethinking Sales Strategies: The Case for Consistency Over Quarterly Sprints

The focus on short-term sales sprints to meet periodic targets is fundamentally flawed and indicative of deeper sales culture issues.

Will Magnuson
April 30, 2024
May 1, 2024
Rethinking Sales Strategies: The Case for Consistency Over Quarterly Sprints


  • Shift focus from short-term targets at all cost to long-term consistency to prevent burnout and maintain a healthy rep and pipeline.
  • Regularly acknowledge and reward consistent performers to boost team morale, reduce burnout, and build a healthy sales culture.
  • Focus on gradual progress rather than immediate wins, like pacing for a marathon instead of sprints.

The common focus on short-term sales sprints to meet monthly, quarterly, or yearly targets is fundamentally flawed and symptomatic of deeper problems within the sales industry. These intense bursts of activity, aimed at crucial moments in customer interactions, often fail to achieve meaningful progress and instead expose the shortcomings in sales culture. 

Often, the sprint strategy leads to neglected early responsibilities, inconsistent performance, and excessive stress among sales teams. This stress doesn't just affect the employees; it reverberates through their personal lives, impacting their loved ones. Additionally, this approach typically involves moving deals from future quarters to artificially inflate current results, which undermines the pipeline for upcoming months.

The Risks of a Burnout Culture

The relentless pursuit of short-term goals places excessive stress on sales teams and creates a culture susceptible to burnout. This pressure to deliver within tight deadlines can overwhelm even the most experienced professionals. And it often leads to resentment, dissatisfaction, and exhaustion among your most dependable team members.

Workload issues can also stem from problems with the sales process or poor time management skills. Sometimes, employees feel unable to say "no" or lack the autonomy to manage their workload effectively. Feeling pressured to be always available to respond to customers, managers, or colleagues can exacerbate the situation. If these issues are not addressed, the burden can become overwhelming, tipping the cost/benefit scales to the point where no level of commitment can justify the strain.

For leaders, it’s crucial to prioritize consistent performance over sporadic, high-stakes successes. By valuing steady and reliable milestones, organizations can foster a healthier, more sustainable sales environment that supports steady growth and development.

Celebrate Consistent Performance
A narrow focus on immediate results often undermines trust within teams, overshadowing the importance of long-term, consistent sales. This environment perpetuates a constant state of urgency, demoralizing teams and leading to inefficient practices. Instead, companies should look several quarters ahead, designing strategies that secure quick wins and ensure robust pipelines for sustained success.

Celebrating only explosive successes at quarter's end, after an anxious 89-day wait, significantly overlooks the value of steady effort. The sales rep who hits their annual quota by Q3 and works on strengthening their pipeline deserves recognition. This high-pressure approach often leads to a frantic sprint to close deals, neglecting consistent performance throughout the quarter.

The practice of aggressively pulling forward the sales pipeline to meet a 90-day target can leave reps with nothing at the start of the next quarter, leading to a cycle of burnout, stress, and depleted resources. This creates a repetitive, unproductive pattern. Such strategies lack foresight and seldom reward steady, consistent performance; instead, they emphasize winning at any cost. This approach typically results in high turnover within 18 months.

In contrast, think of sales like a Mario Kart race, where the goal is to hit checkpoints before finishing — not just to win at all costs. It's more akin to maintaining a marathoner's pace rather than a sprinter's, focusing on steady progress rather than short bursts of speed. At TigerEye, we are marathon runners and reward consistency, offering a more healthy approach that steers clear of high-pressure tactics. 

Lastly, placing quarter-end closes on a pedestal only to reset everything at the stroke of midnight introduces a never-ending cycle that can erode trust within teams. Each new quarter begins like a broken record, undermining the long-term stability and reliability needed for success. Sales reps don’t win. And neither do managers. 

Promoting Sustainable Sales Practices

To avoid the pitfalls of short-term pressures, companies need to focus on the broader timeline. By implementing this approach, sales teams can meet their present targets while also maintaining a balanced work environment. This prevents burnout and fosters long-term career satisfaction, creating a more stable and happy sales team.

Here are some tips for leaders: 

  1. Incentivize early performance (SPIFFS, spot bonuses, etc.): Recognizing and rewarding early success not only motivates sales reps, but it also sets the tone for future performance, encouraging consistent effort and dedication.
  2. Look ahead and pressure test: Anticipating future challenges allows teams to prepare adequately, mitigating risks and ensuring a smoother sales process with fewer surprises down the line.
  3. Have a plan for consistent pipeline creation and health: By proactively managing pipeline creation and health, sales leaders can maintain a steady flow of opportunities, reducing reliance on short-term wins and fostering a more sustainable sales model.
  4. Support your team: Prioritize the well-being and workload of your team members to create productive conversations and gain a clear view as a leader beyond pipeline concerns. Building strong relationships and open communication channels builds trust and opens up opportunities for collaboration, which leads to improved morale, job satisfaction and better performance.

Will Magnuson

Will Magnuson

Will Magnuson, a sales leader at TigerEye, brings nearly 15 years of technology sales experience. He began his career as an early employee at Groupon and later transitioned into the SaaS sector as one of the initial sales team members at PlanGrid. During his tenure at PlanGrid, he progressed into a management role overseeing the Midwest region. Following PlanGrid's acquisition by Autodesk, Will continued to excel in management positions, contributing to the growth of Autodesk's Construction business, ultimately leaving as the Director of Mid-Market Construction. Will is a University of Dayton graduate who enjoys spending quality time with his wife and three sons in Chicago.