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Episode 57: Looking at the Status Quo from a Different Lens - A Sales & RevOps Perspective

by Hannah Rose | May 24, 2023 10:00:00 AM

Anyone else feel like time is weird lately. According to Doug, in the world of fast growth, an hour is a day, a day is a week, a week is a month, a month is a quarter, and a quarter is a year. No wonder we’re all exhausted!

The work doesn’t stop, though a nap would be nice! Today’s episode may be allowed to turn into a rant (spoiler alert it doesn’t), it’s all about whether the status quo is your real adversary in sales.




Additional Resources:

[RevOps Show] Get in to the Zone - The 3 Zones of Execution
[RevOps Show] The JOLT Effect - Interview with Matt Dixon, The Impact of Indecision on Your Sales Efforts
[Blog] What is System Design & Why It's Crucial For Smart Growth

Show Notes:

To give some more context to this topic, here’s how Jess is thinking about it and what is leading her to this question: 

“We talked about it in CRM implementation, which is there’s the choice of what you buy, but then there’s also the choice to not move forward and maintain status quo. I think of it as just drifting along. With sales teams, there’ definitely is this MO at times to maintain status quo and and just continue going how you’ve been going. I’m curious your thoughts on is that positive or negative? How does that impact your growth and your sales team overall?”

Doug does want to point out that there’s always the option to make no decision. No decision does not equal status quo. Sometimes sticking with the status quo is a sample of no decision, but oftentimes no decision is actually just indecision.

How is status quo different from indecision?

One reason that people don’t change things is because they might not love what they have, but they at least know what they have. Changing brings them into the unknown which causes status quo bias. What it comes down to, behaviorally, is the pain of not changing has to be greater than the pain of changing. 

Indecision is when you’ve built the case and have acknowledged that change is needed and that you want to change, but you still don’t take any action. The net of the two may be the same, but the cause is very different.

Is the status quo the enemy from the perspective of RevOps responsibility and the company trying to drive change within the sales organization?

RevOps is charged with bringing change. If the status quo isn’t your enemy, what is it? According to Jess, it’s your friend which is a very binary viewpoint.

The status quo is. It’s not working for you or against you. It’s just there.

If you manage the process correctly, it’s your friend, and if you manage it incorrectly, it’s your enemy. If you’re trying to drive change and there’s a want to maintain status quo, aren’t those two opposing forces?

Does the status quo = no change?

To Jess it does because you’re maintaining what you’ve been doing this entire time.

Just because you stick with the status quo, does that mean two weeks from now there’s not going to be any change anywhere?

The landscape will change. What we’re working on will change.

The difficulty is that the status quo is too variant. There’s chaos and confusion. The problem that we’re having is everyone always does something different, so we want to drive change. But the problem is that they have a bias to status quo, so they aren’t going to change.

Is the status quo our enemy?

If you have a motion and you’re going in the wrong direction, the mistake is that you think of it as change in the status quo. You attack the change directly. If you’re going to the left but instead want to go to the right, you attack it directly. If you choose to do that, then you need to attack it with disproportionate force. If you attack it with equal force, it will slow down and eventually stop.

In any situation, you can go into it and define the situation by what you don’t know or by what you do know. If you define it by what you don’t know, you’re going to be uncomfortable and not have a lot of confidence or command. You’ll feel lost. If you go in and define the situation by what you do know, you’re in a hell of a lot more comfortable place.

Do we need to change everything?


From a sales standpoint, we would come in hear a problem and say, “Great, we can fix this.” This causes fear to be triggered. Why? Because we said we could fix it, which means we’ll change everything they don’t like and everything they do like. That’s why instead, we go in and define what success looks like.

  • What are the barriers to success? 
  • What are the enablers to success?

Another problem with change is communication. You’re communicating the instability which eliminates context. You can’t predict everything changing.

What happens if the internet becomes illegal? 

That would be very disruptive. Could it become illegal? Yes. How much time should you think about that? Probably not a lot for two reasons: 

  1. Very small probability of it happening
  2. There’s nothing you can do about it

You can’t fix everything.

If a company is not doing about 80%, RevOps is probably not the thing they should be focused on. RevOps is a good to great discipline. It’s not a completely fucked up to good discipline.

Changing the economic model has changed beyond RevOps. Should RevOps be a participant in that process? If you have it, yes.

By the way, if you’re talking about salespeople, they’re the most change resistant people in the world (Doug can say this because he is one). People like to say things are going to be amazing and that they’re going to generate leads at such a volume they won’t know what to do. The overplay here causes salespeople to stop what they’re doing. This isn’t what’s going to move people.

To get reps excited and to justify the investment in change, see what they’re spending time on and where they’re frustrated and find where there can be change. BUT wait to tell them of this change when you have more information and proof of the change.

Ultimately through these examples, status quo is your context.

The status quo isn’t good or bad; your friend or your enemy. The question is how are you using it? The status quo is your environment.

Jess’s Takeaways:

  • Don’t focus on what you’re changing, focus on what you’re not changing.
  • You can’t think of changes as linear in a complex system.
  • If you need change, use the status quo to enable what that change looks like.

Next Steps: