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Years ago, I was asked to conduct an assessment of a client’s sales team. The executive team was frustrated by the team’s performance, especially since the sales quotas were not met.

As part of the assessment exercise, I met with members of the sales team asking about annual quotas and how they were performing relative to it. Not one of the salespeople could tell me their quota.

After meeting with the sales team, I met with the company’s leadership team. They were able to tell me the quota for each salesperson and how they were performing relative to it. The leaders knew the quotas, but those to which quotas were assigned did not — and the executive team was shocked that the salespeople had no clue what their quotas were.

This wasn’t the first time (or the last time) that I had this type of experience with a client. Seeing this disconnect, I asked to see the sales compensation plan for the team. Within that plan was the root cause of the issue.

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Lee B. Salz is a leading sales management strategist specializing in helping companies build scalable, high-performance sales organizations through hiring the right salespeople, effectively onboarding them, and aligning their sales activities with business objectives through process, metrics and compensation. He is the Founder and CEO of Sales Architects, Business Expert Webinars and The Revenue Accelerator. Lee has authored several books including award-winning,  best-seller “Hire Right, Higher Profits.” He is a results-driven sales management consultant and a passionate, dynamic speaker . Lee can be reached at or 763.416.4321.

  • Tim Hagen

    Great post Lee – I often see leaders say we need to grow by 20 % and they simply start bumping quotas up without realizing skill performance improvements needed to account for the improvement or manager engagement with employees so top performers don’t leave or sales people who simply feel they are already good enough so they maintain the status quo. There are so many factors that affect a team’s ability to improve their numbers but to do little in some of these areas when assigning quotas can be very dangerous! Thanks Lee

  • Paul Hebert

    Absolutely agree!