Sales Quotas

The New Quotas are UnFair

At one time or another, and hopefully not too often, the sales quotas will need to be reset. Typically this happens every year to meeting changing company goals, yet it does not happen in all companies, or in all offering lines.

When it does happen though, regardless of how much expectation setting you do in advance, you can count of a few things:
  • someone will not ‘get it’
  • some will get it, and find every loophole and unintended consequence of plan oversight
  • a bunch of people will not like it
  • someone, or many someones will declare it to be unfair

Many companies use relatively simple over/under metrics to calculate their payouts. Smarter companies use more integrated techniques that include performance against potential in categories such as volume, growth rate, margin, churn rate, new product introduction and more.

Back to our base case.
You are a new to the company in the role of First Line Sales Manager, responsible for 8 - 10 sales people. A group of reps are jumping up and down about fairness, or rather the unfairness of their quotas. While you’ve anticipated some resistance, this group is particularly vocal, persistent, and in fact down right ornery about it.

It would be easy to lean on the authority of your position, and simply push back - “my way or the highway”. Your spidey sense is telling you to look before you leap.

  • What are the measures you would use to assess their claims?
  • How do you really know if they have a point or not, whether their claims have any merit?
  • How would you construct your case once you are clear?
  • If they had merit, how would you deal with Corporate?

Please share your experiences, lessons learned, and how you’d deal with things now.