Your Guide on How to Improve Sales Quota Attainment

Want to Improve Your Team's Sales Performance?

Quota attainment is a measurement that tells you whether your sales team have met their target during a given time period. It’s a simple concept; if the sales target is met, they have attained quota. Likewise, quota attainment can be measured as a percentage. If someone has reached 50% of quota, they are half-way to reaching their target.

But why are sales quotas important? Besides ensuring a plan is in place for achieving success for your organization, research shows that delayed gratification – the ability to sacrifice  immediate benefits and work toward achieving  larger goals down the road – is an important skill that leads toward greater, more impactful results.

The process of quota setting and quota attainment not only drives success for the company and a salesperson’s paycheck, it also is a high energy, motivational journal that can help reps and organizations maximize their potential and their results.

In this guide, we’ll explore sales quota attainment as well as actionable strategies sales organizations can use to drive toward quota attainment success.

5 Types of Sales Quotas

Let’s talk about some different types of sales quotas and the methods in which they operate. Setting an unfair quota can create confusion and angst amongst the sales people and management. It also may dissuade the mentality and confidence needed to be successful in making sales.

1 | Volume Based Sales Quotas

This is the most common quota and is suited best for small business. It’s based on the number of units sold or money made during a specific time period. This type of quota is meant to motivate the sales reps to make as many sales as possible.

2 | Profit Based Sales Quotas

This type of quota is based on a companies profits where by both the number of units sold is as important as controlling costs. Managers incentivize the sales reps so that they can focus on closing the deals that are the most profitable. Profit-Based Sales Quotas are best suited for reps selling in multiple markets or unique territories. It makes it easier to calculate and measure performance where variation is concerned.

3 | Activity Based Sales Quotas

This particular type of sales quota is best suited for a salesperson or a sales team who are making sales that are quantifiable such as making a certain number of phone calls or setting a specific number of appointments.

This type of quota has many different sales people or sales teams who are contributing to the end result and is best for industries that have long lead development cycles and little to no inventory. For example, you hire telemarketers, inside sales reps or appointment setters.

4 | Cost Based Sales Quotas

Cost Based quotas are best used in industries that reduce costs per deal like time invested rather than focusing on revenue.

5 | Combination Strategy

This is where the manager sets say, a volume-based quota and another one for activity. This helps the sales rep focus on both ‘quality’ and focus on ‘how’ they approach the sale.

10 Tips to Attain Your Sales Quota

#1: Start with A Winning Sales Process

A winning sales process is the backbone to any sales organization. Before you can even think about quote attainment, you must start with a consistent, repeatable and well-enforced sales process that guides your sales team through the right sales cycle milestones.

This ensures you have a balanced focus on filling your pipeline, nurturing leads and moving qualified leads to closure.

An efficient and effective sales process is customer-centric, clearly defined, replicable, predictable, goal-oriented, measurable, and adaptable. A sales process falling short of possessing any one of these characteristics is highly likely to perform at a disadvantage in a densely competitive industry. Focus on incorporating each component into every stage of your process as it’s built. Learn more about building a sales process in this resource from SPOTIO.

#2: Assign Sales Territories to the Right Reps

Sales territory management is the process of using data to segment customers and prospects to ensure the best use of company resources. In addition to cutting out the noise of low-return accounts, thoughtful sales territory management aligns salespeople with the most appropriate customer base – whether that’s by geography, vertical, expertise, or past relationship.

With a tool like SPOTIO’s Precise Location Tool, you can drop pins on a map, creating a visual way to design the most logical sales routes. This saves valuable time and money so that you can introduce more customers to your product or service. Get more sales territory planning tips in this resource from SPOTIO.

#3: Set Realistic Quotas

Since a sales quota is usually tied to a sales person or sales team’s comp plan, commission, and bonuses, it’s critical to have realistic quotas in place to ensure sales reps can envision success and stay motivated to work toward this target.

Whether you’re setting an activity-based quota, a volume-based quota, or a profit-based quota it is critical to establish a baseline baser on trends and forecasted growth, secure a bottom-up approach, and leverage data that shows what the team is capable of achieving.

#4: Keep All Information Stored In Your CRM

High-performing sales organizations use a system for tracking each action needed to get to a sale. This includes customer and prospect conversations, important information, and administrative things like calendar appointments

More often than not, CRMs now offer mobile applications so sales reps have what they need while on the go. The Field Sales CRM empowers sales teams with an intuitive mobile interface. It gives sales reps easy access to the data needed to make sales decisions while giving leadership complete visibility to what’s happening in the field.

#5: Shoot for Quality Over Quantity

Nothing kills productivity more than sales reps wasting time working poorly qualified leads. To ensure your sales force maximizes time and resources, reps should spend more time on quality vs. quantity.

Whether you qualify leads in person, by email, by phone or by chat, personal and targeted conversations help you better get to know your customers so you’re best position to serve them. It also helps them build confidence in your understanding of their opportunity so they are confident about moving forward with you and your solution.

#6: Warm Up Leads on Social Media

In 2017, two-thirds of buyers said they use social media to make purchase decisions.

Social media is one of the most powerful tools available today for sales reps. Before you knock on a door or pick up a tool, social media gives you great insight to what’s important to your prospect or customer. It allows you to understand them professionally and personally. It gives you the tools to relate and be personable. Sites such as LinkedIn help you understand your prospect’s top priorities and how they define success.

In addition to using social media for understanding your prospects, staying active on social media allows you to stay top of mind for your prospects and customers.

#7: Re-Engage Old Prospects

It’s nearly devastating when a warm lead goes cold. When you’re looking for a pre-qualified opportunity to help you meet your sales quota, re-engaging old prospects is a great strategy.

When following up with old prospects, try to focus on what is new and different since the last time you spoke. Was a new product offering released? Was there a merger? Do you have a new angle that will help your prospect be successful? Has something changed for your prospect, like a job change or promotion? Lead with what’s different so you can reconnect in a personal and meaningful way.

#8: Invest in Sales Training

While it’s hard to objectively measure the success of a sales training program, anecdotally, sales training is widely credited for top performers’ success. According to a research report from CSO Insights, a well-executed sales training program helps more reps attain quota.

In fact, a study of organizations who recently completed a sales training program that “exceeded expectations” showed an 8% increase in sales reps who achieved their quota compared to those organizations with sales trainings programs that “need improvement.”

#9: Motivate with Sales Incentives

Motivation is often the key to success and there’s no better way to motivate than with sales incentives. While some salespeople are naturally motivated, sales incentives give the broader population a reward at the end of the tunnel.

Not all sales people wish to be incented in the same way so it’s important to build an incentives program that caters to different abilities, talents, levels of experience, and motivations.

Top performers respond well to traditional sales incentive programs (e.g., trips, cash, recognition at the annual meeting). If you only want to get more sales from the people who bring you the most deals, then using a tried and true incentive program will likely do the trick. Middle performers tend to perform well to a 3-tiered program that recognizes milestone they achieve throughout a given period.

Finally, poor performers may respond best to a combined carrot and stick approach that includes rewards but also includes things like Performance Improvement Plan when they are not meeting expectations.

Check out this resource from SPOTIO to learn more.

#10: Cross-Train with Top Performers

Not only are your top performers an asset to your bottom line; they are also an asset to the overall team. To drive sales quota attainment, leverage your top performers to help motivate, training and aid middle-of-the-pack sales reps in progress toward meeting their sales quotas.

Using a tool like SPOTIO rep tracker, you can uncover the top performers, then have these reps work closer with new and mid-tier reps to bring them closer to their performance level.


If you aren’t already it’s time to focus on how to optimize sales quota attainment. By investing in this area, you will not just help the company and your salesforce maximize profits, you will also create high energy, motivational journal that makes working in sales fulfilling and exciting.


SPOTIO is the #1 field sales acceleration platform designed specifically for outside sales managers and reps to squeeze every drop out of their field sales efforts.