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What Does Quota Attainment Really Tell You?

Bar graphs that represent a sales's reps quota attainment results over three months
Tracking and analyzing quota attainment can benefit sales organizations in many ways, beyond simply tracking performance. [Salesforce]

Learn why quota attainment is such an illuminating and instructive sales performance metric.

While sales leaders use many metrics to gauge their teams’ success, there’s one that’s always top of mind: quota attainment. 

Below, we’ll define this important metric and explore the ways in which it can be used to measure, motivate, and improve the performance of your sales teams.

What you’ll learn:

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What is quota attainment?

Sales quota attainment shows how an individual sales rep, sales team, or sales organization performed against the quota given to them for a set time period. It is expressed in the form of a percentage (i.e. percentage of quota attained). The higher the percentage, the better the rep or sales team performed against their goals during the specified month, quarter, or year.

For example, if a sales rep’s quarterly quota was $100,000 in revenue and they generated $75,000, then their quota attainment for that quarter was 75%.

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Why is it important?

While knowing the percentage of quota attained is important for measuring team and rep performance,  tracking this metric can benefit a sales organization in many other ways as well:

Motivates the sales team 

Attainment can indicate a lot about not just your sales team’s performance, but their motivation. If this metric is low across your entire sales team, it may mean your team is unmotivated, perhaps by commissions that are too low or difficulties involved in the sales process. These are warnings sales leaders should address as quickly as possible to avoid missing sales targets.   

Informs sales goals 

Sales managers use average team attainment numbers to determine how much each rep is likely to sell every month. This can help them set achievable goals for their reps and forecast future revenue goals more accurately.

Indicates the effectiveness of sales management strategies 

Quota attainment can also be used as a metric monitored over time to track how different enablement tactics, sales training methods, and coaching habits influence the success of your sales team.

For example, you might look at attainment before and after you’ve implemented a new sales enablement tool that makes it easier for reps to access helpful product-related content. If this precedes a recognizable increase in attainment, it’s a good indication that your recent efforts are having a positive influence on sales performance.

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How do you calculate sales quota attainment?

For a single rep, use the following formula:

(Revenue from a rep’s closed deals during a specific time period / rep’s quota) x 100 = Rep’s quota attainment percentage

For an entire team, use the following formula:

(Revenue from all reps’ closed deals during a specific time period / total team quota) x 100 = Total team quota attainment percentage

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Attainment statistics

Here are some instructive statistics to help you understand where your quota attainment fits compared to other teams — and how you might support your reps to achieve higher attainment.

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Monitor quota closely

Quota attainment tells sales managers a lot about how their sales team is performing, but it’s far more than a performance indicator. It’s also a valuable metric to help managers identify areas for improvement, make changes to their incentive compensation plans, and develop new tactics to actively improve their team’s effectiveness. If you’re responsible for setting sales quotas, make sure you continuously monitor quota attainment data and use it to inform your ongoing sales strategy.

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