SSA#34: Pareto (part 3)

160% Quota In 90 Days

How to double your results (without working more)

Last year Kelly approached me for sales coaching.

She was an account executive at a large SaaS company.

She had missed her quota 2 quarters in a row.

She wasn’t selling enough and was worried that the company would fire her. Her confidence was crushed. She felt like an imposter.

I asked her: “Kelly, show me your calendar.”

And we realized: she was trying to do WAY too much. Her number 1 challenge was task prioritization.


Success Story From Our Coaching Program:



The Time Audit

So I decided to take it one step further with Kelly: the Time Audit.

The Time Audit is one of my favorite coaching exercises. It means you keep track of how exactly you spend your time - down to 15 minute increments - for one entire week.

This exercise is a real eye opener for most people.

You will find a huge gap between how you think you spend our time, and how you actually spend it.

Kelly was shocked by the result of her Time Audit.

She spent 50% of her time - roughly 4 hours a day - on activities that did not help her sell.

Responding to incoming emails. Jumping on Slack messages. And more.

Why did she waste so much time?


The Dopamine Trap

The answer: one powerful chemical in our brains: DOPAMINE!

Dopamine is known to be our brain’s reward system.

It’s released in response to pleasurable experiences, such as eating fast food or getting likes on social media.

Our modern society has trained us to be addicted to what’s called “cheap” dopamine. It is released for instant gratification and provides short-term satisfaction without long term fulfillment.

In sales, cheap dopamine is your worst enemy.

It prevents you from accomplishing your most important tasks. It kills your appetite for eating your frog in the morning. It sucks you into doing a bunch of busywork.

Here are some examples you might be familiar with:
  • “Inbox zero”: the compulsive need to respond to every email coming your way.
  • Slack channels: do you actually know how the dictionary defines the word “slacking”? It literally means “to neglect order or discipline”.

When we chase cheap dopamine, we simply lack discipline. We are not using our time effectively.


Use Dopamine Strategically

Here’s how to escape the cheap dopamine trap in sales - and I am not suggesting you go cold turkey and eliminate this wonderful drug altogether.

Because that wouldn’t be sustainable.

Instead, I suggest you use dopamine strategically.

I propose that you gain control over when you give yourself your dopamine.

Use it as a reward mechanism.

Allow yourself some dopamine after your first cold calling block in the morning, or after an exhausting customer meeting in the afternoon.


Here’s what I did with Kelly:

I instructed her to compress all her cheap dopamine activities into two 30-minute blocks each day.

One after her prospecting block in the morning.

And one after her customer facing meetings in the afternoon.


The Transformation

For Kelly, this did true wonders. It freed up 3 hours per day (!) for revenue generating activities: creating new pipeline and progressing existing pipeline.

So even if Kelly changed nothing else, she would have simply DOUBLED the time available in her calendar for sales. Do you think that might have had an impact on her career?

Her transformation was unlike anything I had seen before:

within 90 days she went from missing her quota for 7 months in a row to doing 160% the following quarter.

She became number 1 on her team dashboard.

She achieved her quota halfway through the quarter, with over 30 days left to sell.

So what’s our key takeaway from this story?

Strategic dopamine release leads to sustainable focus.



Do this:

Schedule 2-3 strategic dopamine blocks throughout your day.

Use them to get all your “busywork done”:

  • Responding to emails,
  • Responding to Slack messages,
  • Browsing on LinkedIn, etc.

Use these blockers strategically after longer blocks of focused work, such as doing account research, cold calling or customer meetings.

You will be more focused, you will deliver higher quality of work and you will get your work done faster.


Want to increase your sales pipeline by 50-100% in 60 days?

We have helped 66 SDRs & AEs systemize their sales success in our private coaching program. You can apply NOW (limited spots available!)





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Christian Krause

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