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3 Surprising Reasons B2B Sales Reps Aren’t Meeting Quota

3 min readSeptember 5, 2013

Assuming that sales quotas are based on viable forecasting data, they can be an excellent way to motivate reps to always perform at their best. However, according to a CSO Insights Study, less than two-thirds of sales reps met quota in 2012. What’s more, less than 57% of companies hit their revenue targets.

Houston, we have a problem.

downSo is this gap between goals and results due to an array of laggard sales reps who couldn’t sell water in a desert? Sure, some reps simply don’t have what it takes. But more often than not, reps aren’t meeting their quotas because they haven’t been given the proper tools and training to succeed. Here are thee reasons why reps aren’t meeting quota. And what, as a sales manager, you can do about it.

Reps aren’t Following up at the Right Time

Ask any great B2B sales rep and they’ll tell you, “it’s not just who you call, it’s when you call.”

Many successful sales reps are using tools to help predict the most opportune moments to begin and continue sales conversations. Marketing automation platforms like Marketo and Pardot (acquired by Salesforce.com) can give sales reps magnified visibility into a lead’s activities. Sales reps can know the moment that leads interact with web content, download whitepapers, read emails and more. And lead scoring algorithms can further help sales reps predict the perfect moment to make calls.

Salesforce Chatter can also be an excellent tool for sales reps to communicate with each other, as well as with other departments to help determine when follow-up activities are required. For example, I might use Chatter to inform one of our sales reps that I’ve created a deck he needed to help close a deal. By viewing my comment in Chatter, he’ll know to follow up with the lead right away and send over that deck.

Sales Reps Aren’t Prepared to Make Calls

As we recently reported, sales reps don’t have the data they need before calling leads. When reps “wing it” too often, they’re likely to fly into a mountain. Before every call, a rep should:

  • Scan a lead’s LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook feeds
  • Look up a lead’s company on LinkedIn and scan for breaking news
  • View a history of past communications (and purchases) in your CRM

This data is almost always “out there.” But prospect data is useless when it’s floating around in the ether. That’s why we our sales apps focus on making big data useful by delivering it in the right context. Revenue.io saves reps up to 20% of their time by delivering a prospect’s feeds from LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook, as well as past communication history and sales history from Salesforce.com, in a single view.

Managers aren’t Coaching their Teams to Success

It’s easy to tell whether or not a rep meets quota. But it’s far more difficult to gain an understanding of why reps do or don’t hit their goals. Our apps provide managers with a barrage of call metrics that can be used to monitor, measure and—most of all—improve a team’s performance. Revenue.io gives sales managers visibility into a slew of call metrics including call duration, revenue per lead, how many calls a rep makes each hour, and more. For example, with Revenue.io you could, in moments, see that your star sales rep is making 20% more calls every hour than reps that didn’t hit quota. Perhaps your under-performing reps are simply spending too much time talking to each lead. That adjustment alone could enable several more of your reps to hit their goals the next month.