Sales revenue is probably the most common senior management KPI, and is virtually always present for sales people.

It is a very misleading measure.

A friend, one of the best sales people I know, is in an industry struggling to reform itself in the face of direct sales over the net. Her sales are down 10% year on year, so the blasts from irrational budget enrobed donkeys keeps coming, but her industry is down 30% YOY. In that context, her performance is fantastic.

The basic question therefore when planning sales should be: “What are the demand drivers” Understanding the answer to  that should offer a  realistic view of the customers motivation to buy, not just from you, but to buy.

Too many ask “What sales can we do” which implies looking internally, ignoring the drivers of demand. They take the easy way, click a few keys to give an extrapolation of the past, which rarely has anything to do with the future.