• Steve W. Martin

The Twelve Sales Metrics that Matter Most


Sales is both an art and a science. It is the skillful combination of emotion and logic, people and process, free-thinking and organization. I recently conducted an extensive research project involving more than one-hundred vice presidents of sales at top technology companies (software, cloud, computer hardware, and telecommunications) to better understand the art and science of managing a sales organization today.

While the study results provided detailed insights about sales organization trends, it also yielded a wide range of statistics that reflect the strategies sales leaders are employing to overcome their top challenges. Below, you will find twelve of these key sales metrics that benchmark sales organization performance, structure, and effectiveness.

1. Percent of Organization Achieving Quota

The overall average for percentage of salespeople that achieved one hundred percent of quota last year was sixty percent. However, the number of salespeople who achieved one hundred percent of quota varied greatly by sales organization. Twenty-six percent of sales leaders reported that seventy percent or more of their salespeople made quota. Fifty-four percent of sales leaders reported that between fifty to six­ty-nine percent of their salespeople made quota. Twenty percent of sales leaders report that less than half of their salespeople made quota.

2. Quota Attainment Average

The average percentage of salespeople that achieved one hundred percent of annual quota last year varied by type of industry:

Software 52%

Computer hardware 60%

Cloud/SaaS 61%

Telecommunications 66%

3. Average Annual Quota for Field Salesperson

The overall average annual quota for an outside field salesperson was $2.7 million. Quota for computer hardware salespeople was the highest at $4.2 million. Telecommunications salespeople averaged $3.3 million and software was $3.2 million. Cloud/SaaS salespeople had the lowest quota at $1.6 million.

4. Average Annual Quota for Inside Salesperson The overall average annual quota for an inside field salesperson was $985,000. Annual quota for computer hardware inside salespeople was $1.35 million, for computer software it was $1.22 million, for Cloud/SaaS inside salespeople the average was $795,000 and telecommunications was $730,000.

5. Average Annual On Target Earnings

The average annual on target earnings including salary, commission, and bonuses for field and inside salespeople at one hundred percent of quota are shown by industry below.

Outside salesperson Inside salesperson

on target earnings on target earnings

Software $240,000 $120,000

Cloud/SaaS $210,000 $100,000

Computer hardware $180,000 $80,000

Telecommunications $150,000 $85,000

6. Average New Deal Size

The average new deal size reported for field sales was $166,000 and new deal size for inside sales was $19,000.

7. Sales Cycle Length

Seventy percent reported an average sales cycle length of sixty days or less for inside sales while fifty-four percent reported an average sales cycle length of ninety days or more for outside sales. BPO can be 180 days to (1) year.

Twenty-four percent of inside sales cycles and twenty-three percent of outside sales cycles were between sixty-one and ninety days in length.


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