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Sales Models, Metrics, and Motions Blog

PTO vs Making the Number

by Matt Bertuzzi on Thu, Jul 13, 2017

In the US, our approach to vacation is unrecognizable to much of the rest of the world. In Sales & Sales Leadership, our approach to Paid Time Off (PTO)  is incomprehensible to many of our own non-sales colleagues.

A quick trip to Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis tells me that workers in the US work ~11% more hours annually than our peers. That’s roughly an extra half day. Every week. 52 weeks a year.


I suspect you wouldn't argue against the benefits of time away--improved concentration, replenished performance, refreshed attitude-to name a few. But a quick trip to LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Slack, and LinkedIn tells me that taking PTO and making the number are in conflict in many sales organizations.

Search for yourself. You’ll find example after example of reps expressing frustration around taking even a week away. My reflexive reaction was “kids these days” and “back when I carried a bag....” But I wonder if I was being too harsh and a bit short-sighted. I found a few examples of reps praising their companies for supportive policies and even a few job descriptions highlighting PTO with quota relief.


But the big question still looms: how are most sales organizations handling this?

After a fair bit of time googling, I realized there isn’t a great data set on how companies are handling PTO for their sellers. So I decided to create one.

If you’re either an individual contributor or sales leader, please spend 3 minutes on this PTO survey. We’ll compile the anonymous findings into a full report. If you’d like to share your experiences/perspective with me directly, please email me at matt (at)


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