- Get your number reduced
- Protect your earnings
- Preserve your reputation as an “A” Player
- Identify which quota reduction strategy is best for you
Executing Quota Reduction
Below are 2 ways you can get quota relief. The complete guide to 7 ways we have seen this accomplished is here.
1. Blue Bird Penalty – You closed a couple monster deals last year. In doing so, your boss decided this was the new normal.
How to Identify –Your quota increase explanation was abnormally large (>10%). No explanation other than “look at what you did last year.”
How to Execute:
- When you got your number, did you have a reality check with your boss? You likely told him the increase was unreasonable. If he agreed to review midyear, now’s the time to have that conversation.
- You have a history of crushing the number. In the past you picked up the slack for the team. Now it is time for somebody else to do so. You have to bring proof. No anecdotes.
- You appreciate him stretching you. It is one thing to stretch and another thing to dream. Bring him evidence from your peers and the market. The last thing your boss wants is listening to what other opportunities may exist. “A” players want to win. When they feel they are playing where they can’t, they move on. Note—this can be a slippery slope. Nobody wants to be held hostage. Make sure this is a discussion based in fact. It cannot be emotion over not hitting your comp plan. You will appear immature and lose credibilility.
2. New Product Enablement – You are unable to sell the new product at forecasted volume.
How to Identify – The sales team is missing the new product quota. The sales team is struggling to get access to the new buyer. The old sales process isn’t applicable because the new buyer is different. The team is not equipped with pre-sales resources to do enough demos. There are no Proof of Concepts (POCs) to help evangelize the new product.
How to Execute:
- Use this best practice. It details how best in class sales forces prepare the reps to sell the new product.
- Show your boss how the team is missing key new product enablement items. These gaps can be the difference between new product success and failure.. This provides you with evidence.
- Have your boss attend a few calls with top reps. Have him hear them try to sell the new product. This removes any bias you may appear to have. It lets your boss see it for himself.
- The goal is to focus on what is controllable. Your team was given larger quota because the new product was additive. Due to this lack of enablement, the additional assignment is a pipe dream. You crave accountability but it must be fair.
To see the complete list, click here.
How to Respond as the SVP
If you are an SVP of Sales reading this, how should you respond? There is a productive way to have this discussion with your sales leaders. Hear them out when they bring you a compelling case for a reduced quota. Before you consider reducing quota, your sales leaders must prove they are executing. 3 quick ways to test for this:
- Sales Process –The sales leader and his team execute the sales process flawlessly. If not, probability on deals you currently have is vaporizing daily. This lack of execution is controllable. Don’t give a reduction.
- Sales Coaching – Your Sales VPs and Directors are in the field coaching >50% of the time. They follow a disciplined cadence of 1 on 1s. There is weekly sales training and deal reviews. If not, don’t give a reduction. This lack of execution could be the reason for the gap.
- Performance Management – Are you sales leaders constantly removing ‘C’ players from the team? The number 1 job of a sales leader is to attract talent. If they are not driving this, we would suggest no reduction.
Your Choice to Make
As a sales leader you own the number. Before you go to your SVP, evaluate your performance honestly. If you are executing, you may have a case for quota relief. If you decide to go forward, this guide will help you frame your discussion. Ground your case in rational facts using the ideas above. Maintain your credibility by staying away from emotional pleas. Remember, this may be your only get out of jail free card. Use it wisely.