Here is a massively interesting and alarming sales statistic.
In 2009 only 50% of sales reps achieved their quota. This number is down from 64% quota attainment in 2008 and 67% quota attainment in 2007. The data was taken from the Bridge Group’s 2010 inside sales metrics survey, and raises many questions for sales organizations. Further, the survey indicates that since 2007 quotas have risen by 33%, while less reps are hitting quota.
That is a bloody mess for any sales organization and it begs some questions to be asked.
Here are a few that come to mind:
1.) Why are quotas going up while quota attainment is going down?
2.) Why is quota attainment going down?
3.) Why are quotas going up?
4.) Is there a disconnect between sales management and front line sales reps?
5.) Is the proper training being provided to sales reps?
6.) Is this a cyclical trend in the data or a secular shift in the way customers buy?
7.) How much of this trend is related to the 2009 recession?
8.) Do you have a repeatable and measurable sales process?
9.) Can you pilot changes in the sales process to increase rep quota attainment?
More then a few mind benders in that list, but they need to be put on the table and discussed if any organization is going to see an improvement in rep quota attainment. Many organizations will ignore the data, turn into an ostrich, and steak their heads in the sand. Don’t be an ostrich — it is not the solution.
The solutions start in getting feedback about your sales process (if you don’t have a sales process, start there.) Next, try surveying the sales organization so you can have both qualitative and quantitative data (from your CRM system and dashboards) about areas to improve or keep the same. Don’t be afraid to speak with the reps that are performing and the one’s that are not — really listen. You will begin to notice patterns — promote the good one’s, eliminate the bad one’s, keep experimenting, and you will find the answers to improving.