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Step-by-step Guide for Crafting B2B Sales Quotas

Updated: Jun 25

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy, and inspires your hopes.” - Andrew Carnegie

As a B2B sales team manager, you are no stranger to goals. You plan for monthly and quarterly goals; revenue and market share goals. You participate in goal-setting at every level, from understanding and aligning with overarching company objectives, all the way down to setting individual sales representatives’ goals.

Those individual sales rep goals—also known as sales quotas—are the foundational first steps for driving success and growth for your entire organization.

In this blog post, you’ll learn everything you need to know about crafting effective B2B sales quotas for your team.

Crafting B2B Sales Quotas

Table of Contents:

What is a Sales Quota?

A sales quota is a predetermined, short-term objective that an individual sales rep is expected to achieve within a defined period (typically a month, quarter, or year). A sales quota should be measurable and quantifiable, whether it’s based on profits generated, units sold, or tasks completed. There’s typically an incentive to achieve a sales quota, such as a bonus or commission.

Sales quotas are not the same as sales targets or sales goals.

While a sales quota is something an individual sales rep aims to achieve, a sales target is something the entire team works toward. When a team meets all of its short-term targets, it typically accomplishes the long-term, company-wide sales goals.

For example, let’s say your company has a sales goal of increasing market share by 5% within the quarter. You set a quarterly sales target of $1 million to reach this goal. And to achieve that target, you assign each salesperson a quota of $200,000. If each salesperson reaches their quota, your company reaches the quarterly sales target, directly contributing to accomplishing the overall sales goal.

The Importance of Setting Effective Sales Quotas

Sales quotas are one of the most valuable tools for boosting B2B sales, effectively allocating resources, and accomplishing company sales goals.


By giving sales reps a specific and attainable goal to work toward, you keep them focused and motivated. Incentives for reaching or exceeding quotas provide further motivation. (In fact, rewarding sales reps for exceeding quotas—by eliminating “commission ceilings”—has been shown to increase revenue by 7%.)

Performance Evaluation

Sales quotas can serve as benchmarks for evaluating individual and team performance. By comparing sales quotas to actual sales results, you can identify your highest-performing sales representatives, determine each sales rep’s strengths and opportunity areas, and figure out which goods or services are your bestsellers.

Resource Allocation

You can use sales quotas to allocate resources—such as time, personnel, and budget—for optimal sales performance. For instance, you might allocate most of your sales staff to focus on your most profitable products. Or you might distribute sales territories among personnel based on past performance, with the hottest markets going to your top sellers.

Goal Alignment

Sales quotas play a valuable role in aligning the sales team’s performance with the broader company goals. You should design sales quotas to reflect company priorities, such as revenue targets, market share growth, and product penetration. 

As you can see, creating sales quotas is a crucial aspect of sales management. Now let’s look at some of the most common types of sales quotas for driving sales rep performance.

6 Types of B2B Sales Quotas

Determining which type of sales quota to set for your team depends on several factors. Consider your company’s overall sales goals, the dynamics of your sales team (number of reps, strengths and weaknesses, etc.), and the nature of the product or service you are selling (typical duration of sales cycle, price point, etc.). Whichever type of sales quota you choose, remember to keep it challenging yet attainable and aligned with your organization’s overarching goals.

Here are some common sales quotas that businesses use to streamline their sales process:

1. Revenue Quotas

The most common type of quota is a revenue quota, which specifies the monetary amount of revenue a salesperson is expected to produce during a certain period of time.

Revenue quotas encourage a salesperson to concentrate on high-profit goods to meet their revenue objectives. This type of quota is optimal for businesses with a broad product range and varying profit margins.

Revenue quotas are common in technology, healthcare, and finance sectors, where the sale of high-value goods and services drives revenue growth.

2. Gross Margin Quotas

Gross margin quotas focus on the profitability of sales rather than just the total revenue generated. These quotas are suitable for businesses with a small selection of items and reliable profit margins.

Let’s say you run a software company with a single product and a reliable profit margin. You could set a gross margin quota to guarantee that salespeople concentrate on closing transactions that create the greatest profit for the business.

3. Activity Quotas

Activity quotas measure sales rep performance based on specific actions they are expected to complete, such as volume of calls made, meetings scheduled, or proposals filed.

This kind of quota is appropriate for your business if you have a well-defined sales process proven to deliver desirable results. 

To create activity quotas, you must analyze historical sales data and performance metrics to determine the quantity of sales-related activities that each sales rep must perform.

4. Territorial Quotas

Territorial quotas are sales targets assigned to specific geographic regions or territories. This kind of quota is appropriate for businesses with a sales staff that services a variety of market sectors or spans a large geographic region.

For example, consider a pharmaceutical company that sells to hospitals and clinics across the entire U.S. The sales rep responsible for the Southwest territory might have a quarterly sales target of $100,000 in revenue, while the Northeast sales rep might have a target of $150,000. 

These territorial quotas ensure that the company’s sales efforts are tailored to each region for maximum market penetration and revenue generation.

5. Customer Quotas

A customer quota specifies the number of clients a salesperson is expected to bring in or retain within a certain time period. Customer quotas are often used by companies that provide goods or services with a recurring revenue model, such as subscription-based services.

A software-as-a-service (SaaS) firm may establish a customer quota, requiring salespeople to bring in a particular number of new clients each month or maintain a certain percentage of their current clientele.

6. Volume quotas 

Volume quotas establish goals for the number of units or goods a salesperson must sell throughout a given period. These quotas measure the total volume of sales achieved by a salesperson, regardless of the profitability of individual transactions. Volume quotas can be set based on variables such as the size of the sales region or market segment, the type of product, or past sales history.

This type of quota is frequently used within high-volume industries, such as retail or fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG).

As you can see, there are many ways to set quotas for your sales team. How you choose to proceed will depend on your company’s overall goals, team dynamics, and the characteristics of your product or service.

How To Set Sales Quotas

Crafting and assigning sales quotas to your team members involves several key steps.

Step 1: Establish the Goal

Start by establishing a sales goal that aligns with your company’s overarching objectives. This will lay the foundation for setting quotas that are impactful and in sync with your company’s vision.

Step 2: Analyze Historical Data

Review past sales performance data to identify trends, patterns, and areas for improvement. Gaining insights into the sales cycle, customer behavior, and market trends will help you set effective quotas.

Step 3: Segment Territories or Accounts

Divide sales territories or customer accounts based on factors such as geography, industry, or customer preferences. This allows you to tailor your quotas to the unique characteristics of each segment.

Step 4: Set Challenging-Yet-Attainable Quotas

Set clear, achievable quotas to light a fire under your team without overwhelming them.

Step 5: Communicate Expectations

Be sure to clearly communicate sales quotas and performance metrics to your sales reps. Be transparent about how the quotas were determined, and encourage sales reps to come to you with any questions or concerns. This will create a healthy sales team culture and result in higher performance.

Step 6: Monitor and Adjust

Continuously monitor your sales reps’ performances to ensure they are on track to reach their goals. Provide feedback and coaching as needed. You may even need to adjust sales quotas if there’s a significant shift in market conditions, organizational priorities, or individual performance.

Step 7: Incentivize Performance

Motivate your sales reps to meet—and exceed—their quotas by providing exciting rewards and recognitions. By rewarding salespeople who knock it out of the park, you’ll also inspire your entire team to work harder.

By following these steps, you can effectively set and assign sales quotas that will drive performance, align your sales team with organizational goals, and drive company success.

Hit Quotas Faster with High-Quality B2B Leads

As a sales team manager, you know how important it is to empower your team members to hit their quotas. 

So you set attainable yet challenging goals, and offer ongoing feedback and support. You incentivize high performance with rewards and recognition. And you provide the best possible resources and tools to help them get the job done.

One of the most valuable resources you can provide to your sales team is access to high-quality leads. By providing top-notch lead data to your sales reps, you can speed up the lead generation process, expedite prospecting, shorten the sales cycle, and close more deals in a shorter period of time.

Nimbler is the leading provider of U.S. business contacts, with a database of 120M+ B2B leads. With Nimbler’s AI-powered prospecting, you can easily identify thousands of leads that match your ideal customer profile. 

And the best part? Every lead comes with a real-time verified work email.

If you’re looking for an efficient solution for crushing quotas and driving growth, check out Nimbler.

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