"To be outmaneuvered? Yes. To be surprised? Never."
I'd put it this way: Neither success nor failure should come as a surprise.
I like Napoleon's statement, though. It encourages preparation, which is important no matter your role.
I'll suggest that surprises really should have no place in business at all.
But, surprises happen all of the time, you say?
- You unexpectedly lose a big deal
- An employee suddenly quits
- A last-minute project catches everyone off guard
None of these should have been surprises. Regardless of what you're working on or where you fall within your organization's structure, you have a responsibility to predict success (and, unfortunately, failure).
- In sales, you're tasked with tuning into your prospects' and clients' expectations.
- In sales management, you're charged with understanding the expectations of your team.
- In sales leadership, you're responsible for making sense of the needs and wants of the entire sales organization.
The success or failure of your entire organization is dependent on accurate predictions as they relate to things like:
- Funnel Management
- Developmental Needs
- Sales Training Requirements
- Territory changes
- Compensation adjustments
- Budget building
Neither success nor failure should come as a surprise.