can i reduce quotaIf you are an “A” Player Sales Leader looking to reduce your quota, read on.  Not sure how to do it and maintain credibility with your boss? The Quota Reduction Guide has 4 benefits:


  1. Get your number reduced
  2. Protect your earnings
  3. Preserve your reputation as an “A” Player
  4. 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:


  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.



Matt Sharrers

Leads the firm's focus on the CEO’s role in accelerating revenue growth by embracing emerging best practices to grow revenue faster than the industry and competitors. 

Matt Sharrers is the CEO of SBI, a management consulting firm specialized in sales and marketing that is dedicated to helping you Make Your Number. Forbes recognizes SBI as one of The Best Management Consulting Firms in 2017.


Over the course of nearly a decade at SBI, Matt Sharrers was an instrumental early partner guiding SBI as the Senior Partner. Matt’s functional responsibilities included acting as the head of sales where he led SBI’s double-digit revenue growth, and was responsible for the hiring function to build SBI’s team of revenue generation experts.


Prior to joining SBI in 2009, Matt spent eleven years leading sales and marketing teams as a Vice President of Sales. Matt has “lived in the field.” As a result, he is the foremost expert in the art of separating fact from fiction as it relates to revenue growth best practices. CEOs and Private equity investors turn to Matt’s team at SBI when they need to unlock trapped growth inside of their companies.



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