How to meet your sales quota: a guide

Posted May 26, 2023

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By Serena Miller

Editor, Sales Best Practices at Outreach

Sellers today enjoy the support of an abundance of tools that help managers and sellers set quotas and track their progress and performance. So why do so many still fail to reach their quota? 

Technology alone can’t make a sales rep perform consistently.  To routinely achieve their sales quotas, sellers and managers need effective strategies. 

In this guide, we’ll walk through best practices for helping sellers meet their quota while also keeping them engaged, challenged, and confident. 

How to meet your sales quota 

67% of sales reps don’t reach their individual quotas, and 23% of organizations don’t know whether their sellers meet their quotas or not. Organizations can gain a competitive advantage by putting focus on improving their reps’ performance.

To consistently meet your sales quota:

  1. Offer personalized customer experiences
  2. Work effectively by setting and tracking goals
  3. Build pipeline in a consistent way
  4. Use your time and resources wisely
  5. Practice active listening

1. Offer personalized customer experiences that foster relationships

Today’s customers have higher expectations than ever, and meeting—or surpassing—those expectations can nudge them through the buying process. If you haven’t already applied customer engagement tactics to your sales process, it’s time to start. A customer-centric approach boasts countless potential benefits, including a 22% increase in cross-sell revenue, a 38% increase in upsell revenue, and a 5%-85% leap in order size. 

Imagine this from the customer’s perspective. While you’re looking for a solution for a pain point, a sales rep reaches out to you with a fully personalized message, demonstrating they’ve already researched your needs. During the first meeting, the seller presents a tailored product demo. They actively listen to your concerns, provide valuable resources, and illustrate they want to collaborate with you. This experience is worlds apart from the traditional B2B buying journey. You and your stakeholders have good reasons to move forward with a purchase.

Holistic customer engagement is difficult without the right tools and processes. Investigate your current SalesTech stack, sales process, and workflows to improve your team’s productivity.

2. Work effectively by setting and tracking goals

Sales productivity and success both depend upon sellers establishing, tracking, and meeting achievable goals. Sales quotas are a vital part of measuring rep performance. Some sellers might need some extra training—but that’s only one piece of the objective puzzle.

Once you get a baseline of your current reps’  performance, decide which company-wide goals you’d like to prioritize (e.g., increase annual revenue by X%). Establish secondary goals that support them (e.g., increase revenue by Y% each month). Then, establish which actions each seller should perform to reach your larger business goals. Perhaps they need to boost their number of phone calls, email follow-ups, or schedule meetings. Refer to your sales activity and pipeline metrics to define what tasks need to be tweaked or repeated. 

Next, explore tools to help you track, manage, and review your sales team’s execution. Sales engagement tools can help managers evaluate what’s working, what’s not, and how to remove barriers that prevent reps from reaching their goals in real time. 

This tool-supported analysis will help you build a more efficient sales team. Your sellers will have more time for high-value tasks, like prospecting and following up with leads. 

3. Build new pipeline in a consistent way

Effective prospecting is essential for speeding up the sales cycle. A well-crafted prospecting process sets sellers up for higher close rates. Since 71% of buyers say they want to hear from reps early in the buying process, failure to identify and connect with leads can send them to your competitors. 

A strong process should include deep research, standardized qualification, personalized outreach, thorough discovery, and confident negotiation tactics. Best practices and technological tools bolster the process and empower sales development reps and account executives to start generating more pipeline at a scalable rate. 

To ensure reps are following best practices, consider your sales methodology. At Outreach, we use MEDDPICC. Not only does it help sellers ask better discovery questions, it also makes it easier to replicate the most successful strategies. Because we consistently follow the plan, we're able to win more deals.

4. Use your time and resources wisely

Many reps only spend a third of their time actually selling, while 56% of managers say time management is a major challenge. Sales teams are often bogged down by manual tasks, administrative activities, and using unwieldy tools that aren’t integrated. Sometimes, managers and sellers simply don’t know which tasks need to be prioritized.

By integrating their technologies, organizations remove the need to toggle between countless systems and improve rep efficiency by up to 9%. A single platform offers transparency, automation, and early intervention for at-risk deals, freeing up time to nurture customer relationships.

5. Practice active listening

Sellers sometimes get attached to established ways of doing things. Once they discover an effective tactic, they might try to utilize the same tactic with every customer.

But each customer is different. Instead of immediately offering an answer to a buyer’s problem, sellers should listen to the customer’s specific objectives, constraints, and desires. This helps build a deeper relationship with the prospect and inspires genuine trust in the seller’s solution.

Active listening helps sellers identify and solve for customer needs on both an individual and broad basis. It develops a more consultative approach. Sellers might even discover new techniques that they may not have considered otherwise. This can enable reps to make sensitive adjustments needed to reach their quota. 

Conversation intelligence tools take active listening to the next level. These tools allow teams to identify data-driven actionable insights from every meeting that they can use to improve future sales calls. They capture AI-driven meeting action items, leverage comprehensive search and notifications, and help managers coach at scale by sharing snippets and best plays across teams. The result is a sales team that works at its best capacity and can quickly pivot to meet customer expectations.  

Hit quotas consistently with Outreach

Reaching sales quotas on a consistent, predictable basis is often a challenging feat, but the proper tools, processes, and best practices can help. A sales platform with features like performance tracking, project timelines, and dashboards can help your team meet their objectives.

The Outreach Sales Execution Platform enables teams to track performance in real time. With tools for automated monitoring across every opportunity, powerful conversation intelligence, effective pipeline management, and much more, Outreach can help boost rep performance. 

Want to learn more about how to create pipeline that will actually close? Get the complete guide for sales leaders. Or, request a consultation to learn more about Outreach.


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