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Data Driven: How Performance Analytics Delivers Extraordinary Sales Results by Jenny Dearborn

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Chapter 1Playing the Blame Game

Pam Sharp, chief sales officer of Trajectory Systems, paced back and forth across the front of the conference room as the seven members of her leadership team filed in and seated themselves around the table. She found their jovial banter inappropriate under the circumstances. They obviously didn't appreciate the seriousness of the situation.

When Exalted Enterprises took a majority share of Trajectory Systems three years before, Trajectory's revenues were growing at the rate of 40 percent per year, and profits were climbing even faster. Although the company's annual sales were only $90 million, compared to Exalted's $2 billion, people at Trajectory joked about how the little fish was someday going to swallow the big fish. That was more than a year ago, before Trajectory's sales began to flatline. Now, even though it was only two weeks after the end of the fiscal year, word had somehow reached the “Street” that this once-brilliant investment had turned in yet another disappointing annual performance. As a result, Trajectory's shares had tumbled 8 percent in the past few days and showed signs of dropping further.

Sharp had been brought in to turn the situation around. Since coming aboard three months before as chief sales officer, she had spent most of her time racing around the world to help sales reps close critical year-end deals, dropping by the home office only often enough to get a pulse check on employee morale. Now she was about to shift ...

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