HomeBlog Four Proven Ways to Reach at Least 90 Percent Sales Quota Attainment

Four Proven Ways to Reach at Least 90 Percent Sales Quota Attainment

March 01, 2013 | By Alden Cushman

How can you improve the performance of your b-to-b sales organization? Set higher quotas? Provide higher commissions or accelerators? Increase training? Hire more sales specialists or, perhaps, administrators? Which levers should you push and why?

How can you improve the performance of your b-to-b sales organization? Set higher quotas? Provide higher commissions or accelerators? Increase training? Hire more sales specialists or, perhaps, administrators? Which levers should you push and why?

First, let’s get a few things out of the way: I am not a salesperson, nor am I a sales operations person or a sales trainer. But I do have access to data provided by our SiriusDecisions clients about their sales functions.

In the past, we have written about the clear relationship between pipeline-to-quota ratios and pipeline conversion ratios and pipeline velocity (3x-or-less pipelines have better conversion rates, while 4x-or-more pipelines have faster velocity, but that does not make up for the worse conversion rates). Analysis of our sales benchmark data reveals four interesting commonalities between b-to-b organizations that reported at least 90 percent annual quota attainment for their sales force:

  • Sales force tenure. More than half of the organizations with higher than 90 percent quota attainment reported an average tenure between four and seven years. More than half of the organizations with lower than 90 percent quota attainment reported an average tenure between two and three years.
  • Sales force turnover. More than 70 percent of the organizations with higher than 90 percent quota attainment reported annual forced sales turnover of 10 percent or less. Only 59 percent of organizations with lower than 90 percent quota attainment reported annual forced sales turnover of 10 percent or less.
  • Sales training and development. Organizations with higher than 90 percent quota attainment reported an average of $3,390 of training and development spend per sales headcount while organizations with lower than 90 percent quota attainment reported an average of $1,250.
  • Time spent selling. Organizations with higher than 90 percent quota attainment reported an average of 34 percent of sales time spent actively selling, while organizations with lower than 90 percent quota attainment reported an average of 23 percent of sales time spent actively selling.

High-performing sales organizations monitor and track quota attainment against staff tenure, turnover, training and time spent selling. When those indicators start to move in the wrong direction, management needs to get involved and understand what is causing the shifts, then take action to remedy the situation.

The bottom line: Simply asking sales staff to work harder or carry a higher number of opportunities is short-sighted and counterproductive. To improve performance, levers including those listed above should be applied and tracked.

 

Alden Cushman

Alden Cushman is Practice Director, Benchmarking and Analysis, at SiriusDecisions. He’s worked for more than 18 years as a market researcher, competitive intelligence manager, product marketing manager and analyst. Follow Alden on Twitter @AldenCushman.