How can a salesperson determine whether a sales quota is unrealistically aggressive vs a company that just does not want to pay extra commissions?

It is actually fairly simple: ask/look at what % of reps hit quota.

In a functional, low churn, high growth SaaS environment at least, you need to find a way so the majority of your reps hit quota.

It is just way too hard on the organization, and demoralizing, otherwise. And hiring is way too competitive these days, too.

From a founder perspective, that doesn’t mean lowering the bar, at least not too much. You have to set a quota where the company can hit its necessary unit economics. But if folks can’t hit that, you need to change. You need to step up and hire the right folks, train them the right way, with the right backgrounds, to hit their quota. Keep tweaking how it all works so at least 70% of them make a “fair wage”. 10% make a lot of money. 1 or 2 make a ton of money (hopefully). And maybe 15-20% struggle a bit.

But any more than that, it’s too much churn, too much looking over your shoulder, too much drama.

So as a rep, just ask what % of folks hit quota. You’ll learn a lot.

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Published on August 26, 2018

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