How to Set Sales Goals
If your keen to set sales goals but tried setting Sales Goals using the SMART or more recent SMARTER goal setting process only to be left a little wanting, then read on. In theory Goal Setting is easy, Goal Attainment on the other hand, can be difficult. If Goal Attainment was easy though, I think we might be accused of not setting challenging enough Sales Goals in the first place. The reality for most Sales People, is that when we only achieve 50, 60 or 70% towards a Sales Goal this can hardly be described as a failure. Perhaps the goal was right but the timescale slightly optimistic. Setting Sales Goals is not an exact science so we might never attain perfection 100% of the time, but there are obviously certain things we can do, to help dramatically increase our odds of success.
If you want to be successful at setting Sales Goals, you must first set Sales Goals, then create a Sales Plan which is like a road map to take you to your Sales Goals and then work on Goal Attainment.
Set Sales Goals
Every Sales Professional has four main areas of their life. When we tie the four together, we make success much more likely. Most Goal setting fails to consider and include a Sales Professionals Personal Goals, their Financial Goals and their need to Develop and Grow (See Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs).
Sales People are human like all of us, and can often suffer from relationship breakdowns and personal financial problems. It would be naive to believe that these do not impact negatively on their work performance. Whilst setting Sales Goals we should acknowledge this and include it in the process. Furthermore most successful sales professionals are ambitious by nature, so if our Goal Setting doesn’t take into account their own needs and desire to grow, why would they stay, let alone hit the company’s sales goals.
Some examples below:
Personal Goals – Partner, Children, Holidays, Cars, Hobbies, Sports, etc.
Financial Goals – Mortgage Payments, Savings, Pensions, University Tuition Fees, Stocks & Shares, etc.
Development Goals – Product Knowledge, Industry Knowledge, Sales Training, Management Training, Business Training, etc.
I am not suggesting that we become surrogate Financial Advisers or a Marriage Counselor, but we can help the Sales Professionals help themselves.
Much as we might like to, we cannot separate our private lives from our sales lives, and Sales Professionals are much more likely to achieve their Sales Goals if the rest of their life is, as they want it to be. The best way therefore to reach our Sales Goals is to tie these into a Sales Rep’s Personal, Financial and Development Goals. For young Graduates you could link an element of their Sales Goals to an offer on paid or part paid Driving Lessons. For more experienced Sales Professionals you could link an element of their Sales Goals to a short weekend break for two. Yes, this takes more management time, and Yes, this is more complicated, but this is a small price to pay if you want to hit your sales targets and more importantly, have a happy and effective sales team who stay with the company for a long time. Unhappy sales people do not just leave – they underperform and then leave. Both of which cost the business time and money. Of course once you’ve set Sales Goals you will need to go on and create a Sales Plan and then finally you can get to work on Goal Attainment.
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