Ask an inexperienced sales leader how many reps should be hitting their quota, and they may think the answer is obvious: 100%. After all, we’re trained from a young age to believe 100% is always the goal. In business, you want to convert 100% of your leads, and retain 100% of your customers.
However, realistically, achieving 100% sales quota attainment within your team might not be as impressive as it sounds. If all of your sales reps are constantly achieving their goals, this could be a sign that something’s wrong with your strategy.
Here’s what you really need to know to ensure you’re setting the right quotas, and consistently motivating your high-performance sales team.
Sales quota attainment is one of the most important metrics you can monitor as a business leader. It helps you to define whether your reps are regularly achieving their sales targets, or falling short of an exceptional “win rate”. It’s easy to assume that you want to aim for an environment where every one of your reps achieves their quota 100% of the time.
After all, when employees achieve their professional goals, they’re more likely to be engaged and satisfied by their work. However, consistent quota attainment can have its problems too. Not only does it mean you’ll end up paying more bonuses and commissions to your employees, which could be problematic in today’s complex economic environment – it also has an impact on motivation.
If you’re not pushing your team towards loftier heights and more ambitious, challenging goals on a regular basis, their performance is likely to drop. Just quota attainment goals need to be realistic to ensure you don’t overwhelm your employees, they also need to push and challenge your team.
In general, most experts agree a good quota attainment rate should be somewhere between 60 and 80%. That means you need to expect a failure rate of at least 20%. It sounds unusual, but realistic expectations are the key to creating the right sales targets and goals.
If you want to effectively manage and motivate your team, you need to ensure your sales targets are achievable. Setting goals that are impossible to reach causes your employees to feel overwhelmed, stressed, and demotivated. However, just because targets are achievable, doesn’t mean they shouldn’t still be challenging.
Quotas are intended to motivate your reps and push them to sell more. They encourage your sales teams to push beyond their boundaries, experiment, and take risks. If your sales reps are all hitting their quotas easily, this usually means you’re not aiming high enough.
If your goals are too easy to accomplish, this doesn’t just make your employees less motivated, it also means you’re missing out on opportunities to reach your company’s true potential. Ultimately, the key to success is creating a quota that’s achievable by most (particularly your top performers), but not so easy to accomplish that you’re not driving growth.
If your quota attainment rate shoots above 80% temporarily, it’s not necessarily cause for alarm. It could simply be a sign that your go-to-market strategy is working, and your sales reps are excelling. However, you shouldn’t just leave your sales targets where they are once you see evidence of success.
As soon as your attainment rates start to ramp up, this is the time to start evaluating your quotas. Dive into the metrics and find out whether all of your employees are constantly achieving the same quota attainment rate, or whether some are struggling more than others.
This could give you an insight into which employees are getting additional support, and which need further training, coaching and guidance. If all of your team members are excelling, this suggests you need to set loftier goals. Just remember, the new targets you set should still be realistic, based on the data you have about your market, target audience, and team performance.
Try making incremental changes to your quotas, pushing your team towards higher results one step at a time, to avoid damaging morale.
If your team members aren’t hitting their quotas often, or your quota attainment rate drops below 60%, this indicates there’s something wrong with the targets you’re setting. You might not have enough opportunities in your sales pipeline, or your sales program could be ineffective.
The key to addressing the problem is once again to do your research. Review your sales targets and the data you used to create them in the first place. Were you forecasting results based on inaccurate or seasonal data that no longer applies to your team? Has something changed in your market, or have your employees changed in the last couple of years?
If your current goals are unrealistic, reducing your expectations can take some of the pressure off your teams. However, it’s still important to ensure your employees actually have the resources and skills to achieve the goals you’re setting for them.
Consider investing in additional training or coaching initiatives, or new sales processes, to help increase attainment rates.
Setting sales targets, and goals for quota attainment can be more complex than it seems. Even the most experienced sales managers can struggle to find the right balance between realistic and challenging targets. Here are some key principles to help keep you on the right track.
Every good sales manager or leader wants to see their team succeed. The more your reps achieve their quotas and hit their sales targets, the happier they’re likely to be. Happy employees are more productive, engaged, and less likely to abandon your business.
However, it’s important to be wary of a quota attainment rate that soars too high. If you have a success rate higher than 80%, it could mean it’s time to look at your strategy. There should always be a time when your team members aren’t consistently hitting their quotas. If they’re winning constantly, this simply means they’re not being challenged, or reaching their full potential.
Instead of aiming for 100%, focus on a reasonable, realistic number, like 80%, and re-evaluate your strategy whenever you drop below or above this number. That way, you can improve your chances of setting targets that elevate and grow your business, without overwhelming your staff.
Need more help motivating, guiding, or training your sales team? Join Hypcccycl today to access support and guidance from a community of industry experts.
Keeping your sales teams engaged and motivated is crucial to your company’s success. The more motivated your staff, the more likely they are to generate positive results for your business. Some studies even suggest a highly motivated sales team can increase profits by 21%.Read Now