If you are a Sales Rep in this reality, ask yourself these two questions:


  1. Is my new quota fair?
  2. To meet my new quota, how can I find buyers ready to buy?


Sales Reps with fair quotas and BANT qualified buyers blow away their numbers. This truth was reaffirmed recently when I interviewed a software sales rep named Geoff.  He consistently performs in the top 5% of his sales team. 


“My comp plan changes every year because every year I beat my number. So I need more, larger deals in each quarter. How do I do that? I more effectively qualify my opportunities upfront to focus on the right deals.”


Every new year, top Sales Reps like Geoff ask themselves the two questions.


Question 1: Is my new quota fair?

Don’t wait until the third quarter, answer this question now. If you don’t, you’ll be THAT REP who complains more than sells. You can’t afford to be that Rep who misses their number and blames management. So evaluate your new quota and discuss it with your manager. It’s a difficult but necessary conversation that should incorporate the following:


  • Compare last year’s performance to last year’s quota.
  • Evaluate outliers or unique circumstances that influenced your performance.
  • Identify anticipated trends and events for the coming year.
      • Talk directly to your current customers to discover this.
      • Focus on the needs of the customer, not your own needs. Seems like a no-brainer, but a lot of Reps don’t think this way. This builds the trust needed to get realistic feedback.
  • Structure your findings and organize your questions before you talk to your manager.


If you’re not satisfied with your manager’s answers, you have a few choices.  Do nothing and complain, update your resume, or work with what you’ve got. If you determine the quota is fair then get started. Ask yourself the next question.


Question 2: To meet my quota, how can I find buyers ready to buy?

Your success starts with the top of your sales funnel. Use the BANT Lead Qualification Tool to assure your time is well spent. Once you download this tool, spend 10 minutes to review it. Even if your marketing team qualifies leads, they don’t have your quota pressure. It’s in your best interest to qualify leads yourself, on your terms.



As you will see, the tool guides you through typical buyer concerns. Depending upon your industry, you may need to adjust and add items. But we’ve given you a head start by organizing the questions as follows:


  • (B) Budget: You need larger deals to meet your quota needs. The Buyer tells you there is or will be a budget for your product. Cut to the chase.  This gets the budget discussion on the table.
  • (A) Authority: You need at least one Buyer that can make final decisions.  This “Decision Maker” has the authority to sign appropriate documents to close the deal. A direct link to the Decision Makers can shorten your sales cycles.
  • (N) Need: The Buyer must tell you what they need. Ideally, they allow you to influence the requirements to meet their needs. You cannot provide value unless you clearly understand this. The more value you add, the more you can secure a higher price.
  • (T) Timing: The Buyer must clearly communicate their decision timeline. Perhaps there is an upcoming event that necessitates the purchase. Or they are scheduled to change vendors in the near future. Whatever the case, you must understand buying cycles to manage your quota.
  • The lead does not need all four criteria to qualify.   Some companies mandate that “Need + B, N, or T” qualify a lead.  Others require any two criteria.  Whatever you choose, the goal of BANT is to set you up for success.


BANT screen shot


New year. New quota. New approach.

You’ve been given a new quota and you’ve determined it’s fair.  Now you must find the right buyers to help you meet this new quota. Start off by filling the top of your funnel with the right leads.  Download the BANT Lead Qualification Tool and start qualifying opportunities on your terms.



Dan Bernoske

Develops innovative revenue growth solutions and designs the SBI client experience.

Prior to SBI, Dan held business development, sales, and product management leadership positions at several start-up companies, developing Apple iOS platforms and E-Commerce-based social networks. Most notably, Dan was co-founder of Video Lantern, an online video advertising sales and operations firm. He is Six Sigma certified from GE.

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