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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

What to do When Your Best Sales Reps Haven’t Hit Their Numbers

What to do When Your Best Sales Reps Haven’t Hit Their Numbers

About half of all sales reps don’t achieve their yearly quotas.

Reasons for not hitting quota vary from not having enough opportunities in the sales pipeline to not following a sales process. Additionally, sales quotas have risen, yet the percentage of reps making their quota has fallen.

If your salespeople aren't hitting quota, here are a few questions to ask yourself. Remember, a quota is only valid if it's aligned to your organization and employee success.

Was the Budget Realistic?

Key Account Annual Growth PlanDid the AE buy into the budget at the onset of the year, or did they get the brunt of a corporate mandate to increase sales by “x” percent?

Salespeople need to buy into their budgets. They need to own their business and be part of the budget decisions. Sellers should be asked to put together their business plan prior to budgeting.

Have AE’s show their current accounts, what they expect in increase, decrease, or flat revenue in the upcoming year. They should have met with their Key Accounts and developed a Key Account Growth Plan. Not all accounts will grow, but many can and should.

  • What new business do they plan to close?
  • What new business do you need them to generate?
  • Is it achievable?
  • Do they buy into it?
  • How much of their day is spent on existing and/or new accounts?

Managers should outline a process for their team. Start in August or September OR start today for 2022. All sellers should be expected to follow the plan. When expectations are clearly defined, they will quickly realize the importance of their business plan, and most will work with vigor to achieve their goals.

Do You Know the Talents of Each Seller?

Do you know where your sellers struggle?

Focus on their strengths and push them toward growing their strengths. Maybe they're not good on the phone, or maybe they have trouble closing. Find the area they struggle in and give them tools to be successful.  

  • Are they getting coaching and guidance on how to grow their accounts?
  • Are they given clear expectations about new business development?

Everyone on the team should be expected to achieve budgets. Peter Drucker says it best, “If you cannot measure it, you can’t improve it.”

Sellers need to be able to measure their success off realistic quotas. People intrinsically want to do well. When we give them a number that's not realistic, it throws everything off. It’s defeating right out of the gate.

When sellers have a voice in the number, and they're shown how they can do even more, they buy-in and are energized to hit the goal!

5 Practical Ways to Help Salespeople Build On Their Strengths

Have a Full Talent Bank

For the sellers that still don’t reach their goal, they shouldn't be surprised when they're asked to come into your office and HR is there with you for a meeting.

Not meeting a goal is not acceptable, BUT you must be consistent. People want to know the rules, then they'll gladly play the game and most will play to WIN. Have a full talent bank with people ready when you have an opening.

As a sales leader, it's your responsibility to generate the most revenue possible.

Look in the mirror are you giving the team the best chance of succeeding? Does your team know the expectations and agree they are achievable, even if it takes some convincing? Do you have the best process in place for setting and achieving goals?

If not, it’s not too late; start now. You'll be amazed at how the work you do today will ensure you hit your numbers in 2022.

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Topics: talent bank