Sales Team Management

How to Increase Sales Quota Attainment and Improve Sales Rep Performance

Lee Moskowitz
Director of Growth Marketing
Table of contents:

Increasing sales quota attainment and improving sales rep performance are two things that are guaranteed to drive more revenue.

The challenge is figuring out how to reliably improve both of these areas.

There is a lot on the line when it comes to increasing sales quota attainment. Once sales quotas are set, company objectives, revenue forecasts, and financial decisions are made based on those quotas.

When you take into account that Salesforce estimates that 57% of reps are expected to miss their quotas. This can have a devastating impact on a business.

It’s not just a monetary impact that hits the bottom line when reps miss their quota. Morale takes a hit, reps will be demotivated and may leave, which inturn racks up new hire costs, and you risk losing ground on your competitors.

So, how do you turn the tables and increase your sales quota and ensure that more of your reps are achieving record numbers?

Here’s a closer look at what sales quota attainment is, why it’s so important to businesses, and 12 strategies to help you increase sales quota attainment and improve sales rep performance within your organization:

What Is Sales Quota Attainment?


In simple terms; sales quota attainment is the term used to measure the performance of sales reps in relation to how many reps have achieved their quota.

Sales quotas play a crucial role in sales. They are used for forecasting, motivating reps to perform at their best, and they support a business’ financial goals.

Having a clear and accurate understanding of your own sales quota attainment is essential to having an understanding of the financial health of your business.

It’s also one of the best indications of how productive and effective your sales reps are. Enabling you to take a closer look at individual reps and offer the support and coaching underperforming reps need.

12 Strategies to Help You Increase Sales Quota Attainment and Improve Sales Rep Performance

Start with Data

Sales intelligence is the most powerful tool sales leaders often overlook for improving sales process, motivating reps to perform better, increasing sales quota attainment, and driving more revenue.

If you’re not already using sales intelligence software, you can't tell if your reps are not performing optimally and you’re leaving money on the table.

Good data is everything in modern sales. Without good data, you have no idea how well your reps are performing, and you can’t get a clear picture of how much room there is for improvement.

You need to be able to understand every interaction between your reps and customers, every customer behavior, and many factors that contribute to closing a sale that you’d otherwise not know about.

The result is powerful insights into how you can realign sellers around the small wins that truly matter. At the end of the day, your goal is to ensure reps are better enabled to sell more, and you as a sales leader are able to drive more revenue.

Create and Track KPIs

The most effective methodology to measure how effective your sales reps are and identify what is and isn’t working is to set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs).

KPIs make it possible to accurately measure how individual reps or a sales team as a whole are progressing towards goals.

You can set KPIs around any measurable metrics that play a part in your sales process. Then, using SetSail you can keep a close eye on them in real-time through data being automatically collected, cleansed, and enriched.

This gives you the ability to keep track of sales quota progress and offer any support needed to help optimize your reps’ performance and incrementally increase your sales quota.

Identify Reps' Coaching Needs

Providing ongoing coaching and training for sales reps is essential to their development, motivation, career progression, and plays a huge role in their ability to hit - and increase - their sales quotas.

Traditionally, the issue was always being able to identify exactly where reps needed coaching.

Coaching is time-consuming and expensive. You have to be sure you’re targeting a rep’s weaknesses and helping them close the gap on their skills.

SetSail solves this problem. SetSail starts collecting and analyzing data from the moment a new hire starts.

This gives you complete visibility on a rep’s strengths and weaknesses through their ramping phase and how they’re performing as part of the team. Enabling you to identify where their weaknesses are, and provide coaching in the exact areas they need it.

Evaluate Your Sales Processes

For the most part, a sales rep can only be as effective as the sales process you’re asking them to follow.

If you want to increase your sales quota attainment, you’re going to have to evaluate your sales processes and identify areas where you can make improvements.

This is another area where sales data is invaluable. Using SetSail you can identify the reps that are attracting the best prospects, and dill down on how they’re doing it.

You can also look at your sales pipeline and identify where you’re losing sales, the points where it’s taking the longest for customers to progress, and so on.

Look For Bottlenecks

Following on from evaluating your sales processes, you also need to look for bottlenecks in your processes or sales cycle as these harm sales quota attainment.

Sales bottlenecks are parts of the selling process that limit progression because you lack the capacity, support, or some other resource to move the customer through the process as quickly as possible.

If you have a bottleneck, you’re losing sales - it’s just a matter of how many.

Using SetSail, you can easily identify where the bottlenecks are in your sales process. Some common bottlenecks are:

  • Reps spending too long on low-impact activities
  • Too many steps in your sales process
  • Confusing pricing structures
  • Delays in approvals
  • Not using tools to automate repetitive tasks

Motivate Top Rep Behaviors

Motivating reps is one of the most tried and tested ways to encourage reps to sell more and increase sales quota attainment.

But how do you know what behaviors to motivate? The best way is to look into your top reps. Interview them on the process they follow. Lay out their strategies openly and transparently. Have them share the true secrets of winning.

And once you do that, you can turn those behaviors into trackable actions. SetSail has been built to accomplish exactly that. Not only does SetSail identify and track key behaviors, it also can reward them instantaneously.

We know is that monetary rewards, gamification, and being able to see where they stand compared to their peers are three of the most powerful motivational drivers for sales reps.

This is why we created a global leaderboard as part of SetSail. This leaderboard is updated in real-time as the software collects data, and every rep can see exactly how they’re progressing towards their sales quota.

You can set monetary or other rewards for your top-performing reps to work towards. These rewards can be automatically unlocked when quotas are met.

Automate Time-Consuming Repetitive Tasks

One of the big wins you’re able to take advantage of as SetSail collects data is automating time-consuming and repetitive tasks.

Repetitive tasks can cause a huge drag - or even a bottleneck as covered above - on sales quotas.

The best part about using SetSail to identify repetitive tasks is that you can set your own custom rules and even access the SetSail Collect API for greater control over which tasks you want to automate.

Better Understand Customer Behaviors

The better you understand your customer’s behaviors, the more effectively you can serve them and the easier it becomes to meet and even exceed sales quotas.

The difficulty is understanding customer behaviors and identifying what it is that’s working to a fine granular level.

This is why, traditionally, sales has primarily been centered around understanding and rewarding rep’s behaviors and their results.

With intelligent sales tracking software providing detailed insights into customer’s behaviors, that’s all changed - and we’re seeing improvements in revenue as a result.

SetSail primailarly rewards reps based on customer responses. Meaning, if reps are hitting those small wins that help them achieve the big win, those actions are recognised and rewarded.

Create a Selling Culture

The culture within a sales team is one of the most influential driving forces behind professional development, trust, team dynamics, and overall results.

There’s nothing quite like seeing your peers excelling, and having them encourage and support you to do the same.

There are a number of ways you can use SetSail to create a fun and dynamic selling culture. One of the features we know helps to foster healthy competition is the sales leaderboard.

Sales is competitive by nature, and when fostered in the correct way this can help push sales quota attainment.

This is why we created a sales leaderboard. So every rep can see how they’re progressing towards their own quotas, and how they stack up against their teammates.

This is one of the key features of SetSail that brings out the very best in every rep while creating a winning culture.

Assign Sales Territories

Sales territories are prospects or customers that all meet the same or similar criteria that you have grouped together into a ‘territory’ and assigned to a sales rep to manage.

This doesn’t have to mean they’re all in a certain geographic location, as the word territory suggests. You can create a territory map around any metrics, demographics, or customer behaviors that you’re able to track.

To give you a better idea, some of the most common sales territories are built around:

  • Certain products or services
  • Types of customers based on demographic, buying history, etc.
  • Accounts type
  • Number of customers
  • Sales or market potential

By grouping customers into a territory, you can assign the best-suited rep or reps to manage that territory and leverage their skills and expertise.

This makes it easier to track, manage, and increase sales quota attainment within each defined territory.

Create a Buyer Persona

Creating a buyer persona helps you better understand your target customers. If you can better understand your customers, you’re able to sell to them more efficiently and you’ll be able to increase your sales quota.

It sounds simple, and it really is.

The difficulty most sales leaders face is obtaining the data and level of detail required to accurately create a buyer persona.

This is made possible by using SetSail. SetSail collects a vast amount of data on all of your customer’s behaviors and actions, and uses AI and behavioral science to help you create accurate, buyer personas.

By giving this information to your reps, they’re better enabled to reach out to better prospects, help customers through the sales cycle, and close on more deals.

Set Time-Based Metrics

The saying, “Time is money” has been no truer than in this digital age of selling we’re experiencing right now.

Customers have more choice than ever before, it’s quicker and easier to buy than it’s ever been, and if your reps are not quick to respond, a competitor’s will be.

This is why setting time-based metrics is more important than it's ever been, and it’s proven to increase sales quota.

SetSail helps you set and monitor a number of time-based metrics that will help your reps accelerate a customer’s sales journey.

You can monitor actions like:

  • Number of same day follow ups
  • Number of contacts engaged with in a specified time period
  • Number of contracts/documents signed
  • Number of questions received from customers

By monitoring these actions, and comparing them within your team you can then clearly see which reps are the top performers.

Enabling you to provide coaching and additional support for those struggling to meet quota, replicate the winningest behaviors, and improve reps’ performances


Knowing what you need to do to increase sales quota attainment and improve sales rep performance is one thing, having the tools and data to make it possible is another.

SetSail’s sales management software uses a combination of AI and behavioral science to help businesses turn their sales data into better sales behaviors.

This intelligent software uses a data-driven approach to build custom end-to-end solutions that make a real difference to how sales teams perform.

We know that on average sales teams that have adopted SetSail are seeing a +16% higher attainment when leveraging the data and insights SetSail provides.

Global brands like HubSpot, Cisco, and Dropbox are SetSail’s customers. It’s a true end-to-end solution to help you gain insights into how your sales team is performing and ways you can improve productivity and performance. Tour the product →