Sales quotas have increased an average of 6% year-over-year since 2015. But the number of sales reps achieving quota has been declining 25% a year, according to the 2017 Metrics and Compensation Research Report conducted by the Bridge Group.
Not great news for sales teams who are out there every day building relationships, filling pipelines and closing business. In fact, another recent survey – this one conducted by Clari — shows that less than 50% of sales reps met their quotas last year. That’s down from surveys conducted just three years ago. (The Bridge Group report found that 67% of its respondents achieved quota in 2016.)
“Less than 50% of sales reps met their quotas last year”
What’s causing the miss?
Both surveys found that there are many reasons. And by the way, the challenges are not limited to achieving quota. Inaccurate forecasting, tight resources, lack of clarity around pipeline – all are areas within sales teams that struggle during the sales process and contribute to missed goals.
Here are a few more research results to note:
- Of the 300 sales professionals surveyed by Clari, nearly 40% said sales teams don’t focus on the most promising opportunities.
- A majority of Clari sales manager respondents (70%) said they spend time gaining pipeline clarity through one-on-one meetings, reports, and team calls – often an ineffective use of their time.
- Of the 266 B2B sales executives surveyed by The Bridge Group, about 50% identified recruiting and hiring and ramping new hires as top challenges.
It’s no wonder then, that more than 40% of respondents from both surveys reported that productivity is their number-one challenge.
“40% of respondents from both surveys reported that productivity is their number-one challenge”
How to overcome the roadblocks?
Based on the surveys’ input from a variety of sales levels – executives, sales enablement leaders, managers, reps — consider these areas:
- What about the quotas themselves? Are they set based on historical data and key metrics such as ramp time and days to close?
- What are your qualifiers for recruiting and hiring the right people for the right positions? Are you willing to invest in training for high potentials who haven’t hit their mark?
- Is the team prioritizing time spent on the deals most likely to close and/or those with the most opportunity? You know it can take just as much time to sell and support a small opportunity as it can a large one.
- Do you have the right sales enablement tools in place? Customer relationship management, email automation, social selling/content syndication, process and sales analytics, forecasting, shared visibility into pipelines?
Is your organization facing the same challenges highlighted in these 2017 industry reports? Do you have the secret sauce for overcoming quota miss, productivity, forecasting accuracy? What tools do you have in place to support your sales teams? We’d love to hear from you – share below!
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