How Likely You Are to Hit Quota Depends on Where You Work [New Data]

Aja Frost
Aja Frost



Why are you in sales? Were you drawn to the autonomy and the adrenaline rush of closing a deal? Or was your first job in sales -- and the rest is history?

As it turns out, the answer may have something to do with where you live.

A survey of more than 250 B2B field salespeople by Steve W. Martin, author of Heavy Hitter Selling, revealed those in the Midwest are the most likely to be in sales so they can “control their own destiny,” while Southern reps are the most likely to say “it just happened naturally.” Approximately 40% of Northeastern sales professionals are primarily motivated by money.

W161122_MARTIN_FUNDAMENTALREASON-850x303.pngSource: Harvard Business Review

The Northeast also had the highest percentage of reps who have polite but limited relationships with their clients because they’re both busy. Western sales reps, on the other hand, are likelier to feel personally invested in their customers’ success. Salespeople in the South gave varied responses: Approximately 19% develop close personal relationships with their clients, yet 15% say they’re content to keep a “general pulse” on the account after the sale.

W161122_MARTIN_HOWDEVELOP-850x355.pngSource: Harvard Business Review

Who’s most successful? West Coast reps achieve an average of 112% of their quota. Southern and Northeastern reps come in at 92% and 91%, respectively. At average quota attainment of 86%, Midwestern reps take last place.

W161122_MARTIN_SALESQUOTA-850x308.pngSource: Harvard Business Review

Career satisfaction might be related to quota attainment, as nearly one in four Midwesterners give their career a letter grade of “C” or below. Meanwhile, West Coast salespeople are the most likely to give their career an “A” or “B,” followed closely by their Northeastern counterparts.

But region doesn’t always make a difference: There’s one topic on which most reps agree. Salespeople across the nation prefer to call or email new prospects during the beginning of the week. Tuesday and Monday are the most popular days; Thursday and Friday are the least popular.

Let us know in the comments how and why you got into sales.

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