The Quadrant Approach: A Sales Strategy Inspired by Mowing the Lawn

Aug 28, 2023 | Sales

How to Tackle Giant Sales Goals One “Square” at a Time

You’ve heard it before: “How do you eat an elephant? One bite at a time.” While the saying might sound cliché, it captures a timeless truth in goal-setting, especially in the high-stakes world of sales. Allow me to elaborate on a tale from my childhood, one that still informs my coaching approach for sales leaders today.

A Grassroots Lesson in Goal Setting

When I was about 11 or 12, I faced a Herculean task: mowing our one-acre yard without the help of a riding or self-propelled mower. Imagine tackling a sales quota that seems unattainable, only to realize your toolkit lacks essential resources—no CRM software, no lead-gen tools, just you and your sheer will. It felt overwhelming, but then my mother stepped in, transforming my outlook with a lesson in strategic planning that every sales professional could benefit from.

She marked out a large rectangle in the grass and subdivided it into four smaller quadrants. In a matter of minutes, the task was transformed. Each quadrant was manageable and achievable—a “micro-win.” Just like that, the entire acre seemed a lot less daunting. And guess what? This quadrant technique isn’t just for yard work. It’s incredibly relevant for sales teams looking to dominate their targets.

The Power of Quadrants in Sales

Imagine your annual sales target or team KPIs as that one-acre yard. The figure is enormous, and tackling it seems next to impossible. Now, apply the quadrant approach. Divide the annual target into quarterly objectives; break down those quarterly goals into monthly ones. Go even further by dividing monthly objectives into weekly tasks or daily calls and outreach programs.

Each quadrant you conquer is a win, a concrete demonstration that your team can, in fact, dominate the overall goal. And there’s nothing like a series of smaller wins to boost team morale and ignite the competitive fire.

Nurturing Hope Through Visibility

My mother said she divided our yard into quadrants because each completed square not only made the task manageable but also created a sense of progress, a visible marker of one’s efforts. In sales, visibility is just as critical. Utilize dashboards and regular team huddles to celebrate the “squares” you’ve conquered. Not only does it boost morale, but it also offers everyone a clearer view of the larger target, making it appear more achievable.

The DIY Option and the Coach-Assisted Path

Just like you don’t need a lawn service to mow your yard, you don’t necessarily need an executive coach to implement this quadrant technique. Sales leaders can guide their teams through this exercise, breaking down yearly targets into manageable quadrants. Yet, if you find that the team is struggling with planning or execution, a coach can offer a fresh perspective.

The Sweet Taste of Achievement

There’s a unique sense of satisfaction that washes over you when, after a hot day of mowing, you sit on your porch sipping a cold glass of iced tea, beholding a lawn you’ve tamed. Sales are no different. The road to hitting that massive annual target won’t be easy; there will be obstacles, setbacks, and challenges aplenty. But stick with it and tackle each “square” one at a time, and soon enough, you’ll be raising a glass in celebration, looking back at a year of incredible sales and saying, “I did that.”

Remember, every square you conquer not only takes you closer to your overarching goal but also builds the team’s confidence that the elephant can indeed be eaten—one bite, or in our case, one “square” at a time.