Opportunity  |  Friction between sales management and the field sales force isn’t uncommon but when the entire small business division of a major telecom company was underperforming as a result of this dysfunction, swift action was needed to ensure execution of the company’s go-to-market strategy. A lack of trust, low morale, and a sales incentive plan that was perceived as unfair were all contributing to the problem.  Management knew that sales targets would be missed if no action was taken and so something drastic was needed to ensure execution of next year’s business plans.

Approach  |  We diagnosed the problem by conducting a series of focus groups and one-on-one interviews and analyzing business planning and forecasting processes. With an objective perspective the primary problem was clear: there really wasn’t a quota-setting process — a classic case of not seeing the forest for the trees. From there the next steps were clear: quickly developed an inexpensive Excel-based tool that facilitated a top-down and bottom-up quota setting process; set initial sales goals by relying on historical sales data, and territory analysis, instead of opinions; facilitated a six-week process with sales management and the field sales force to set aggressive but attainable sales goals and agree on a process for quota adjustments.


  • Increased sales forecasting accuracy, which helped management run the business better.
  • Reduced time and effort for making quota adjustments from months to weeks.
  • Improved the performance of the 200 sales representatives because they could focus on customers, not internal arguments about sales quotas.

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