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Do Sales Quotas Lose Meaning if Too Few Meet Them? With Bridget Gleason [Episode 516]

Bridget Gleason is VP of Sales for Logz.io and my regular partner on Front Line Fridays.


Bridget is now Captain Fantastic!

The topic is quota. Comparatively few individual sales contributors make quota. 40% – 80% do not. Quota may not be relevant. Raising quota 30% arbitrarily is not scientific. Bridget believes goals are important, and quotas are goals.

The disconnect between the percentage not making quota, and the quotas themselves, needs to be addressed. Salespeople need to be in positions to experience success. The experience motivates them to further successes.

The current effect is that sales managers are disenfranchising large portions of their teams. If the middle 60% have a good experience, they will want to improve. Bridget’s boss said all reps need to make quota this quarter.

If the company needs to grow 30%, that doesn’t mean quota needs to go up 30%. If quota goes up 10%, more will contribute to the success, and you may reach the 30% growth. Quotas are often set to be difficult by pressure from the CEO.

Andy coached one company with a great sales team. The CEO always put together goals mid-year, based on how the team was doing. The quotas were manageable, and there was trust. Another company set expectations, but not quotas.

The company that set clear expectations grew rapidly. Trust was a key aspect of that growth. Some environments, like Silicon Valley, are very conducive to sales. Compensation should be in alignment with the effort to get the deal done.

Startup companies, at certain stages of development, might not pay a commission, but may compensate all the team working on the deal. That is most of the staff pulling together, not one salesperson. There is so much learning at a startup.

In SDR teams there is a lot of job-hopping, but sticking with it can be rewarding. It is disservice to self to avoid all the tough times. Take a lesson from the struggle.

Managers should look beyond the quota, or be more pragmatic about how to establish quota, and what it means. Are they doing all they can to get more people to meet quota?

Are there ways to set goals without setting quotas? Andy invites feedback on this question. Please send it to Acceleratefm@gmail.com. Or send your drawing for a female superhero figure of Captain Fantastic to the same address!