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JOHN KING commented on

Do you know how your quota compares?

In one of the startups where I was the first sales hire, I was given a $750,000 quota for the year.

There was no historical data showing that the quota was attainable.

They did no math based on number of opportunities, deal cycle, average deal size, or win rate to calculate the quota.

They simply used the benchmark of what top VC backed startups should be making.

It was nothing more than a number they knew would impress the investors and help them get a series B round.

I was told "Don't worry Belal. We can make adjustments as we learn more."

Don't worry???

Half my damn livelihood was based on a made up number.

Can you relate to that?

1) Why is it so taboo for sellers to share their comp plans and quotas with fellow teammates?

2) What are your rights when quota is set too high and becomes unattainable?

3) Why are how they calculate commissions and quota such an obscure process?

The truth is, there are no guidelines for quota and commissions. Companies can and truly do make up the numbers. And the people doing it are often times inexperienced business operators.

But if/when they make a mistake, guess who's left with the consequences?

Sanity check, has anyone experienced this too or am I taking crazy pills?

You are not taking crazy pills. It's easier to say "oh the number is x because we say it is" than it is to say "the number is x because of the following". Seems like a spray and pray method and it ignores the people that end up holding the bag at the end-the talent that is supposedly valued.
I see that all the time. It's the matter of squezzing how much they can from sales reps. At the end of the day burden is on him/her and maybe the sales leader - just because they said "ok let's do this".
I agree. Numbers are made up. Sales leadership willingly and knowingly does it so I assume it is a way to keep sales manager and sales team commissions suppressed.
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