The Second Most Important B2B Sales Metric     

As a sales leader, your most important metric is top-line revenue.

But a very, very close second is the percent of sales team members that are attaining quota. Ideally, this number should be around 60% to 70%

If you’re hitting your top-line number but only 10% or 20% of reps are hitting quota, you have a couple heroes but you don’t yet have scale. That’s a problem. You’re placing all your cards on a small number of individuals that could stumble. And you’re also wasting a lot of time and money on reps that aren’t carrying their weight.

Some reasons why you might have this problem:

  • Product/market fit isn’t yet validated (broadly, or in specific markets or product segments).

  • Inequitable territory allocation. 

  • Quotas too high.

  • Lack of training. 

  • Inadequate management or coaching.

  • Ramp-up times are too aggressive.

  • Lack of quality sales talent.

  • Low employee engagement. 

One caution: be careful about the time period that you’re using to measure this metric. For SMB sales teams, it’s fine to look at quota attainment over a month or a quarter. For enterprise sales teams you probably want to look at this on a rolling 12-month cycle. 

Finally, view this metric as a journey that never ends. When a company starts, generally the founder is the only one that can sell the product, then a couple more can do it, then a few more and so on. As you grow, you’ll need to continuously evaluate and solve for the problems listed above. When you solve for these things and get quota attainment up to 60% to 70% it’s time to increase your quotas and do it all over again. 

The hardest part of building a growth machine is that it’s never finished.