Should you forget Sales Quotas?

Quotas. The “Q word” in sales.

Some love the challenge of achieving quotas while others hate them.

Quotas can make or break you. In most cases, if you achieve or exceed your quotas, you will earn higher commission checks. If you don’t meet your quotas, in most cases its goodbye job and don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

racing to achieve your sales quotaSome complain that quotas are too high and unrealistic – and they may have a valid point. I’ve seen cases where more than 50 percent of salespeople are fired or just quit because they don’t meet their quotas. The turnover in some sales departments is so high, that they constantly having to hire and train new salespeople Very costly.

While I don’t offer a solution to helping you meet your specific quotas, I do have a suggestion that could help.

Below is a great video from YouTube from Reggie Rivers at TEDxCrestmooreParkED. Mr. Rivers, a former Denver Broncos Running Back, speaker and author, makes the argument that if you want to achieve your goals, don’t focus on them. Now, I know what you are thinking – this is beginning to sound like psychobabble. But hear me out  – what Mr. Rivers is suggesting is that you focus instead on changing your behaviors in order to achieve your goals.

Let’s say you have a monthly or quarterly quota to achieve. You are anxious. You are worried that you are not going to make your numbers. You get stressed out. You complain to your co-workers. You procrastinate.

Why? Because you are focusing on the quota. What you should be doing is focusing on how to improve your behavior to achieve your quota.

Let me give you some examples –

1). Rather than coming to work on time, why not come to work 20 minutes early to start making phone calls to catch decision-makers before the gatekeeper arrives.

2). Rather than make 50 calls a day, why not push to making 60 or 70 a day.

3). Rather than leave work on time, why not try staying a little later to catch decision-makers after the gatekeeper leaves.

4). Rather than ignore the advice of your sales manager, why not sit down with him on a one-on-one meeting and map out a plan on how you will achieve or exceed your quota.

5). Rather than envy the better salespeople, why not ask them if you can sit in on their conversations and listen to how they work the phones.

6). Rather than sending long emails that no one is going to read, why not send shorter and more concise emails that a prospect may respond to. (More people than ever are reading emails on their mobile devices than on their desktops).

7). Rather than do administrative paperwork throughout the day, why not set time aside to perform that work so that you can focus more time on making sales calls.

8). Rather than just repeatedly make call after call, why not spend about 3 minutes quickly reviewing your prospect on LinkedIn to ensure you are actually calling the right person.

9). Rather than rewrite the same email each time, why not create templates of emails to send that you can customize on a case-by-case basis.

10). Rather than bitch about the bad prospects you are receiving from the Marketing Department, why not find your own prospects from (formerly Jigsaw), LinkedIn or other sources. (I actually bought prospects out of my own pocket in some of my previous jobs in order to increase my sales). Do you see my point?

If you have a quota to achieve, don’t panic. Sit back. Relax. Review your sales process. Create a list of ways you can quickly improve your behavior. Then go. Move forward.

Sounds easy? No, it’s not. It takes time to change your behavior. Don’t try to do everything on at once. Take it in baby steps. As the old saying goes, the first step in achieving your goals is to take the first step.

So take it.

Below is Mr. Rivers’ video presentation from YouTube –


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