What is a Sales Quota? 6 Types of Sales Quota Explained

Sales Quotas are frequently a part of sales positions that ensures you generate a specific amount of money. There are different types of sales quotas that your boss could employ. Knowing the most typical sales quota examples can help you understand how to meet them. In this article, we’ll talk about different sales quotas and give some real-world examples of the same. So, keep reading!!

What is a sales quota?

Sales refer to a quantifiable value of money for the items sold, new clients gained, services delivered etc. A sales quota is a measurable goal or objective, or a minimum level mark, that a salesperson or a team strives to meet within a given time frame. A sales quota is intended to encourage a team or a person to work towards a target to receive an incentive payment.

Importance of sales quota

We all understand the value of creating goals. Giving something an aim typically yields greater outcomes than letting it be pursued at its own pace. Sales are no different. A sales quota is a huge number that is apparent for everyone to observe. Quota draws the minimum line and establishes the attainment expectation of where a sales team would want to find their performance at the end of the term.

In the due course of setting sales quotas, you should expect channel friction, ownership ambiguity, and salesperson disengagement. The end consequence, if the sales quotas are not met, is missed targets for the salesman personally as well as for the organisation. Hence, setting achievable sales targets is very important for every organisation.

How are sales quotas different from sales goals?

Sales goals and sales quotas are not the same things. A sales goal typically represents an aspirational estimate based on past results: may be from the previous quarter or the previous year. While sales quotas also need forecasting, they are typically set goals that are connected to a sales representative’s compensation structure. The sales representative will receive payments related to those sales activities if they achieve their sales performance quota in the allotted amount of time.

6 different types of sales quotas

Your employer may use different types of sales quotas. Each has a unique means of measurement, but most emphasize volume, cost, profit, and activity. Your business might use a single kind of quota or a mix of several.

1. Revenue or profit quotas

A common sales quota used to track progress toward a predetermined total revenue target is called a revenue quota.

Example: A furniture manufacturer assigned each sales representative a monthly revenue quota of $20,000. X has a list of prospective new homeowners who would require a variety of furniture pieces. She has to sell furniture to roughly 10 consumers to achieve her monthly quota because her average sale is $2,000 per client. Y’s clientele is only interested in purchasing a single piece of furniture. He needs to close sales with at least 40 consumers to achieve his monthly quota because his average transaction is $500 per client.

2. Activity quotas

Activity quotas specify how many sales activities a salesperson must do in a certain time frame.

Example: A roofing firm told its salespeople to call 20 new clients each day. At a nearby trade show, X calls those who filled out a raffle form. With this approach, one sale occurs for every ten calls. Y needs to call a bunch of random names and numbers. For every 50 calls she makes, this method generates about one sale. No matter how many sales X and Y make, as long as they make at least 20 calls each day, they have met their activity goal.

3. Volume quotas

You must sell a predetermined number of products per period if you have a volume quota. Volume quotas prioritise the number of goods rather than the dollar amount of sales.

Example: A car dealer told its salespeople to sell 10 automobiles each month. X is a member of the used car staff and sold ten autos, each costing $2,000. Working in the new car dealership, Y has made sales to 5 clients, each costing $15,000. Though Y made more money but did not meet her volume target.

4. Cost-based quotas

Cost-based quotas prioritise resources (such as time and money) needed to complete a transaction over revenue.

Example: An electronic store has told its salespeople to focus on a transaction for no more than 20 minutes. X is a member of the laptop team. To make the sale and move on to helping the next customer, she only has 20 minutes to go over the features and advantages of many laptops with a customer.

5. Forecast quotas

Forecast quotas are based on a salesperson’s or a team’s prior success. These are frequently given to a team, department, or area.

Example: The net sales of a clothes store were $50,000 during the fourth quarter. They established a quota of $55,000 since they want to raise revenues by 10% in the upcoming quarter.

6. Combination quotas

Depending on the needs of the business, a combination quota combines several different quotas.

Example: A dealership for recreational vehicles has set a variety of quotas for its salesmen to meet. X will have to phone 15 individuals who have provided contact information on the dealership’s website every day. She also needs to sell four RVs per week. In addition, she anticipates making $150,000 in sales of RVs and camping gear in May.

Setting sales quotas

Setting sales quotas for sales teams can be accomplished by sales managers using either a top-down or bottom-up strategy.

  • Top-down sales quotas: Sales managers and leadership teams create quotas using a top-down strategy based on the company’s revenue requirements. They examine quantitative market trends, pinpoint areas that require expansion, and create sales quotas based on data analysis and their goals for the business. The company’s salespeople are then in charge of hitting these quotas to make sure the company makes the projected amount of money.
  • Bottom-up sales quotas: A bottom-up approach to sales quotas is another option for sales managers; in this model, forecast quotas are based on the salespeople’s prior performance. This enables managers to reward their team’s top sales performers while maintaining morale and setting fair goals. Although bottom-up sales targets may not be as aggressive in the short term, they can be effective tools for retaining employees over the long term.

Quick tips for achieving your sales quotas

There are numerous ways to miss the mark, given how potent sales quotas might be. Here are some things to bear in mind when you go about setting quotas.

Quotas ought to correspond to sales activity

Consider incentive programmes for retail sales, where employee motivation is a crucial success component. Since salespeople have little influence over markups or discounts, it wouldn’t make much sense to tie quotas to something like gross margin. As a result, regardless of how hard they work or how many abilities they have, they might never succeed in achieving their objectives.

Quotas ought to encourage good behaviour

Even while meeting quotas is the ultimate objective, salesmen shouldn’t be pushed to use shortcuts to get there. Using the retail industry as an example, salespeople are pushed to develop strong client connections because this should enhance the likelihood that they would receive repeat business.

Quotas should be developed together rather than being imposed forcefully

Quotas shouldn’t be handed down by management after a few behind-the-scenes meetings and appear out of nowhere. Instead, talks should include input from sales operations and finance, who have the best understanding of historical trends and market conditions, as well as what sales are seeing and experiencing in their various regions.

Sales quotas should be updated frequently

“It worked last year” does not mean it will work this year too. Rolling quotas over from period to period without taking into account the current landscape is a mistake. At the very least, quotas should be changed to reflect the fact that an organization’s goals will — or should — change over time.

Today’s sales quota shouldn’t be based on past quotas

Past performance does not guarantee future outcomes. Making your sales quota a little bit more difficult may seem like the proper thing to do, but you need to stop and consider the various considerations that were involved in the past.


A great method to give sales representatives in a company a target to work towards is by setting sales quotas. It’s perfect for putting the team members to the test. To drive increased sales healthily, create reasonable targets and implement an incentive system.

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