6 Steps to Setting Smarter Sales Goals

If a few of your employees aren’t hitting their sales goals, it’s likely that their techniques are the problem. But if most of your salespeople aren’t hitting their goals – it’s the system that needs improving. It’s not enough to just hope to “do better.” Goal setting needs to be well-thought-out, specific, and tangible so the whole team can work towards them together.

A Harvard University study found that setting specific goals increases motivation, and students who stuck to a goal-oriented plan performed 30% better than those who didn’t.

It’s time to put more time and effort into your goal-setting so you can get your team on track. Here are six steps to set smarter sales goals:

  1. Start with Numbers

Tangible, number-based goals are easier to understand and reach. Start with your company’s annual revenue target ,then work backwards to determine the monthly sales goals. Once you have that number, calculate how much your department, teams, and individual reps need to sell to meet that goal.

  1. Break Them Into Activities

Knowing they need to make $X more in a week can be helpful, but doesn’t necessarily tell your team how to achieve it. Convert a financial target into a series of activities.

First, look at the rep’s performance in the past to figure out how many emails, calls, and meetings they need to hit the target. If they need to increase their deals by 20%, determine how much their demos need to increase, as well as their calls. Now, a large revenue-based goal is turned into smaller, more manageable goals. Plus, your reps can easily know whether they accomplished these smaller goals or not.

  1. Focus on What Your Team Can Control

No matter what you do, you can’t control how much people will buy. Phrase your goals so they are things your reps can control, actions that encourage buying behavior. Prioritize tasks such as how many calls they make or how many demos they schedule. Your reps will feel empowered that they can achieve their goals no matter which difficult potential clients they might be working with.

  1. Set Gradual Goals

If you want your reps to start sending 100 emails a week instead of the current 50, don’t have them leap immediately to that number. Instead, raise it by ten or week. Gradual goals are better for morale, because they make the goals more easily attainable. Your team will be more nervous and less motivation if they keep missing goals. By moving slower, your team will produce higher quality work and won’t get burned out.

  1. Prioritize

When all the goals are of equal priority, your team might not be focusing on the right things, or may get overwhelmed by trying to do everything at once. Determine which goals have the highest value, and make sure your sales team is meeting those first. By prioritizing the goals, your team can focus on meeting the ones that are the most important, either for the company’s revenue, or their professional growth.

  1. Revise and Repeat

Always keep the door of communication open between you and your team. If the goals aren’t working for them, you might need to try something else. The same goals might not work for every rep, so be prepared to be flexible. At the end of the day, it’s in your interest to ensure every salesperson is motivated appropriately. Some reps might be motivated by hitting revenue targets, others might be more interested in hitting professional growth checkpoints. AT some point, you might realize that no matter how many people a salesperson is calling, no one is moving forward in the sales funnel. At that point, you can know who you need to have a conversation with. When you have clear goals, you can more easily track the progress of your reps, and they can know where they stand as well. Everyone will be happier when goals are more transparent, and catered to them.

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Pete is a great strategist, trainer, coach and speaker. Over the past few years he has shared his insights and expertise to the ChannelPro audience and we are grateful for it. He excels at getting organizations to think, act and perform better – driving business value and improving corporate culture at the same time.

- Michael Siggins – ChannelPro Network, VP and Publisher

I have enjoyed working with Pete in the past. His “can do” approach to the business is refreshing and good for those around him. He is creative, willing to think out of the box, and does a good job pulling others into his projects to ensure he gathers opinions from resources across the teams he is supporting.

- Michael Humke – M.Humke Consulting LLC

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