In the Digital Age, Quota Attainment is an Analog Measure of Productivity

The role of sales is to connect buyers with sellers of goods and services. Given we all now live in a digital world, the sales process has adapted accordingly. Just look at the success online retailers such as Amazon and eBay have achieved to see that the digitization of the purchase process is here to stay. Given all the new and amazing ways the digital world now lets us communicate and complete purchases online, new sales skills and techniques have become more effective than others, including the use of social media, email, chat rooms and video conferencing to build relationships, trust and sales orders. Core strategies remain viable, but the path to execution has gone digital.

Sales performance has historically been measured by one primary metric: quota attainment. Sales management is given a sales target value, at which point a quota goal is (over) assigned to each rep to make the annual plan. Sales quota attainment isn’t going away as a metric. But, it does have a few shortcomings as a measure of productivity.

Quota Attainment Doesn't Offer any Future Insights

Quota attainment is a lagging vs. a leading indicator. What this means is that a quota “score” is only revealed after a sale has been recorded. It is more a measure of record than productivity or effectiveness. In the same way race results are only revealed at the finish line, this information doesn’t tell you how to win the race. Those involved in longer sales cycles might be engaged in sales activities for a year or more before problems become evident. By then, too much time has been lost, representing substantial lost sales opportunities.

Another problem with quota attainment as a measure of sales performance is the fact that teams are often supported by one or two "rock star" performers, achieving 200 or 300 percent of their quota attainment. But what about the rest of the team? How can you best asses their contribution to your overall success? What about non-quota bearing staff, such as those working in operations? How do you measure their contribution? Then, what about the sales manager’s productivity – beyond the overall output of the team? This can be an abstract measurement process that is difficult to understand. And, even harder to coach. A better approach is needed, lifting the sales profession out of the analog and into the digital age.

Digital as a Real-time Performance Measure

One theme of the digital world is that of speed, transparency and collaboration. Digital makes it possible to live in an online world where “zeros and ones” can be used to share communications to anyone, anywhere. In such a digitized world, how do you measure sales performance, in real-time?

The answer is through a digital sales management platform – one such as what Prodoscore offers. This platform connects seamlessly to each of the digital tools a salesperson uses while living in our digital age. This intelligence can be used to coach improvement and increase closing percentages – all of which are now heavily reliant upon digital tools. Measure the use of digital tools, and you can gain insights into digital sales performance and effectiveness.