Sales quota attainment is a critical metric for any sales team. It measures how well a team is performing against its sales goals and offers a peek into the reality of your on-target earnings (OTE) for interested hires.
But setting a good quota attainment goal can be challenging.
For starters, if you ignore market factors and set a quota attainment goal without considering it, you’re bound to miss it. You must understand the size of the market, the competition, the buying habits of your target customers, and environmental factors that may give buyers pause.
Another challenge is not setting realistic goals.
If you set your sights too high, your team will grow discouraged and give up. But, if you set your sights too low, you’re not going to achieve your sales goals.
Lack of a solid process and resources can also deter your quota attainment percentage. Teams are more likely to thrive when a good sales process is in play and the training, tools, and support complement that process.
What is quota attainment?
Quota attainment represents a percentage that shows how close a salesperson is to meet their sales goals for a given period. It’s calculated by dividing the salesperson’s total sales by their quota for that period. Quota attainment is typically measured monthly, quarterly, or annually, and it’s often used to determine a salesperson’s compensation.
On the flip side, when you understand the market and have strong sales enablement and historical performance data, you should be able to set a fair and reasonable quota attainment goal for your team.
Easier said than done, however. What is a realistic quota attainment? We explore below.
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80% is considered a good quota attainment rate
Our suggestion has been and will remain a minimum of 80%.
“My 80% bar differs from what other sales teams say,” said QuotaPath CEO and Co-Founder AJ Bruno. “Others set an 80% target that translates to the sales team attaining 80% of their quota over the year.”
But AJ’s 80% rule is that 8 out of 10 sellers should hit their quota.
“This perspective promotes consistency across the entire team,” AJ said.
We recently ran a LinkedIn poll and the results favored 80% more than any other option. Although, to our delight, 90% and above came in second.
In addition to the consistency that 80% drives across the entire team, 80% also represents a realistic number. It’s not out-of-reach, but it’s also not too easy in that it becomes an arbitrary number or a threat to your revenue targets.
“You want your quotas to be achievable by most, but not incredibly easy to achieve, and also not super difficult,” per Revenue.io’s blog, “Sales Quotas: Everything You Need to Know for 2022.”
Following the 80% rule also accounts for the performance of both your top and bottom performers. That way, the former can pick up the slack for the latter and the organization as a whole can hit its targets.
Plus, 80% quota attainment is a good indicator of your team’s performance. If your team consistently hits its quotas, it means they’re doing a good job of prospecting, qualifying leads, and closing deals. This is a good sign that your sales process runs smoothly and that your team feels motivated to succeed.
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How to set a realistic quota that gets your team to 80% attainment
Our Chief of Staff and Interim Head of Sales Graham Collins wrote a great blog on how to set SaaS quotas. Below, we pulled his key takes.
- Quotas should be equal to some multiple of their OTE.
This might be 3x the rep’s OTE or 8x depending on the size and stage of your company. Our rule of thumb is a quota 5x that of the rep’s OTE. This ensures the sales the rep brings in are greater than the cost of the rep itself to keep on your team. So, if your OTE is $120K, following a 5x rule, that means their quota would be $600K.
- Sales cycle length and company stage play a big role.
To ensure that your quotas are reasonable, use data and benchmarking reports from companies that match your size and sales cycle from your industry. It also doesn’t hurt to talk to peers, mentors, and your friends at QuotaPath.
- Adjust when needed.
Remember that you should adjust quotas to account for changes in the market, the economy, and your own sales process. Evaluate your quota and attainment rates so that you can ensure quotas remain challenging but achievable.
Quota attainments around tech
RepVue, a platform with verified sales organizations’ ratings, recently published the top sales team attainment numbers from their reviews. And, guess what? The best fell between 80-90%.
Take a look at the top 3.
- Miro: 85%
- Veeva Systems: 84%
- Gusto: 83%
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Give your reps visibility into their attainment progress
Of course, there will be times when your team doesn’t hit their quotas. But if you’re setting realistic goals and providing your team with the resources they need to succeed, you should be able to achieve 80% quota attainment on a regular basis.
To help track progress and give your reps real-time visibility into their performance and forecasted attainment, check out QuotaPath. Our sales compensation and commission tracking software integrates with your CRM, like HubSpot or Salesforce, and translates pipeline data into earnings and attainment progress.
Let your reps see how close they are to achieving their goals and encourage them to bring in those lingering opportunities to reach them.