Sale quotas can be based on various metrics such as revenue, units sold, new customers, or a combination of these factors.
Sale quotas can be based on various metrics such as revenue, units sold, new customers, or a combination of these factors.

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What Is A Sales Quota? Tools To Help Hit The Target And Common Mistakes To Avoid

Raquel Teng
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On a bustling Monday morning, the office hummed with anticipation. Andy, a hard-working sales representative, anxiously checked the charts on his screen. It revealed the remaining percentage he needed to reach the sales quota. This target loomed large, casting a shadow over his and his colleagues' endeavors.

It's the ultimate benchmark to showcase their value. Successfully navigating this challenge, and efficiently hitting the sales quota, is often directly linked to their performance evaluations and, consequently, their career advancement.

Dive into this article as we uncover the secrets to achieving sales quotas. We'll delve into the essential tools you can leverage, pinpoint common pitfalls, and unveil the proven strategies employed by top-performing salespersons.

What is a sales quota

A sales quota is a target or goal set for a salesperson, team, or organization to achieve within a specific period. Sale quotas can be based on various metrics such as revenue, units sold, or new clients.

Sales quotas are important for several reasons. They provide a clear goal for individuals to work towards, motivating them to achieve more. Let's face it, we all have times when we just want to be lazy, especially when lacking clear motivation. Since quotas are quantitative measures, they allow managers to evaluate performance objectively.

Types of sales quota

There are several types of sales quotas, but the five listed below are the most common ones

Volume sales quota:

Volume sales quota sets a target based on the quantity of products or services sold within a specified period. It focuses on the number of units sold.

Revenue Quota:

Revenue quota sets targets based on the total monetary value of sales achieved. This quota emphasizes generating a certain amount of income through sales.

Activity quota:

Activity quota measures specific sales actions or activities undertaken, like how many customer calls are made, the number of client meetings scheduled, or the number of webinars hosted. It emphasizes more on the engagement.

Profit quota:

Profit quota sets targets based on the profitability of sales rather than just the volume or revenue. This quota takes into account factors such as product costs, discounts, or even transportation fares, to ensure that sales contribute positively to the company's overall growth. It’s usually more complicated since a lot of factors are considered.

Combination quota:

Combination quota combines multiple metrics to set targets for sales performance. These may include elements we mentioned above, such as volume, revenue, and activity. This allows companies to consider various aspects of sales performance.

What tools can help you reach the sales quota

Now we have a clear picture of what a sales quota is and the types of common sales quotas. We can now explore more about the ways to achieve the sales quota as a salesperson.

Prospecting and lead generation are the key to start with. Seeking out new leads and prospects through various channels such as networking and referrals. Expanding your reach and pipeline can help increase your chances of meeting your quota.

In an ideal world, we want to reach out to all the prospects in case any opportunity is missed. However, we only have this much time and we want to focus on the ones that have a higher chance to buy. Therefore, we need to understand the individuals or companies more to identify the potential. This is where the data enrichment tool comes in to help you reach the sales quota.

Sapiengraph is the tool you can turn to. It’s a Google Sheets add-on that allows users to scrape LinkedIn data or reverse email lookup with custom Google Sheets formulas. With this data enrichment tool, you can understand your prospect better with more information, and get the contact information to reach out to.

Let’s see how it works.

First, you need to sign up for a free account and install Sapiengraph’s Google Sheets add-on and extension (see here: why do I need a browser extension). Each account can get 100 free credits.

Then when you open the Google Sheets, go to Extensions -> Sapiengraph -> Launch Sapiengraph.

All is done! Now you can use Sapiengraph’s custom formulas to grab the data of prospects you need. For example, if we want to find CEOs in the tech industry in California, we can use the personal search formula:

=SG_PERSON_SEARCH("US",10,,,,,,,"CEO",,,,,,,,,,,,,"California",,,,"Technology")

Sapeingraph-is-the-tool-you-can-turn-to-when-it-comes-to-prospecting

And we got a list of our target prospects.

Sapeingraph-is-the-tool-you-can-turn-to-when-it-comes-to-prospecting-2

The next step is to find their contact information so we can reach out to them. We can leverage this formula:

=SG_PERSONAL_EMAILS("https://www.linkedin.com/in/jkevinscott")

Sapeingraph-is-the-tool-you-can-turn-to-when-you-need-to-find-emails-of-your-leads-to-reach-sales-quota-2

And we got the email address. We can send an email to him.

Sapeingraph-is-the-tool-you-can-turn-to-when-you-need-to-find-emails-of-your-leads-to-reach-sales-quota

With these formulas, you can search list, manage, and track all your prospects in your Google Sheets.

If building a file from scratch sounds like too much work to you, Sapiengraph got you covered. You can use this free lead tracker Google Sheets template. All you need to do is add the LinkedIn URL you want to enrich in the tab “Add New Lead” and press the button “Add to Lead Tracker”.

With-a-helpful-tool-to-enrich-your-data-and-a-well-made-Google-Sheets-template--finding-promising-prospects-becomes-easy

The data will show in the tab “Lead Tracker”. This can help you manage and track your leads more efficiently. You can enrich your prospects with just one click, and track the lead status.

With-a-helpful-tool-to-enrich-your-data-and-a-well-made-Google-Sheets-template--finding-promising-prospects-becomes-easy-2

With a helpful tool to enrich your data and a well-made Google Sheets template, finding promising prospects becomes easy. This way, you can spend more time connecting with them and understanding what they need.

💡
Try Sapiengraph to help you hit the sales quota!

Common mistakes that prevent hitting sales quota

While tools can streamline your work and increase the chance of hitting your sales quotas more effectively, some common mistakes might prevent you from reaching your sales quotas. Let’s learn from the top performers in this field and see what you can avoid.

Not setting your own goal

For a salesperson, reaching the sales quota is the goal. But you need to understand that the sales quota assigned to you is a minimum goal. You should always aim higher to push yourselves further. This sounds like a play of a mindset game, but most of the top performers reveal that setting a higher sales quota for themselves is the key to success.

Stephen Higgins, currently the Sales Director at Hubspot, once revealed that he always solved for 200% instead of 100%. By setting a higher sales quota for himself, he consistently pushed beyond his limits, treating each day as if it were the last day of the month. He pointed out that this mindset proved to be his key to success.

Alyssa M, VP of Global Sales Solutions at LinkedIn, also shared a similar approach. She highlighted one of the top sales representatives in her team achieved his annual sales quota in two months. How this sales representative achieved the amazing result is simple. He set his own sales quota, which was four times higher than the number the company gave him. When you go for something high, you can still achieve more even if you miss the high goal you originally aimed for.

Not diversifying deals

This is a common mistake salespeople make a lot, by focusing on the biggest opportunity that can bring huge revenue at once. However, Marcus A. Chan, who had worked for Cintas as the Sales Director, pointed out that larger deals are usually more complicated, which implies you have less control over them. In the end, you might lose the deal even if you’ve done everything right. So to avoid putting all the eggs in one basket, you should diversify your prospects and deals to work on.

Not focusing on the value you can bring

We all want to sell the products, close the deal, and reach our sales quota. But in this process, oftentimes people forget that selling a product is not just about how good the product itself or how well you understand your product, but the value it can bring to a client. A salesperson’s job is to understand the client’s pain points and how the product can solve them.

Rachael Conrad, Global VP of Enterprise Customer Experience at Rockwell Automation, pointed out that instead of thinking about closing, you should always think about helping. It’s very simple: would you want to buy something from a seller who only cares about the sale, or from a seller who solves your problems more?

Higgins used the same approach as well. He concluded that the core of sales is to solve customers’ problems. Simply ask what your prospect needs and what their problems are. See if your products can help them or not. As long as you know your products can solve their problems, no tricks are needed. Letting them understand the value of your products can easily lead to success in sales.

Hit your sales quota like a pro

We won’t deny that sales quota can be stressful for every salesperson. However, on the other hand, a bit of pressure can motivate people to go beyond their limits. With the right data enrichment tools and mindset, the sales quota is not daunting, but a motivational nudge to help you achieve your goal. Try to leverage the tool and the Google Sheets template we mentioned above, and embrace a shift in mindset moving forward. Here's to smashing those quotas!

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Raquel Teng
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