Setting More Achievable Sales Goals
You have heard over and over how important it is to set sales goals, so that you have a specific target to work toward. Otherwise, your sales activities lack focus and direction. But before you can purposefully move forward, you need to know where you want to go and design a clear plan to get there.
The process does not need to be overly complicated, but effective goal achievement does require thoughtful planning, clarity of purpose, rigorous self-discipline, and unswerving perseverance. The key is to identify sales goals that matter to you, your boss, and your sales team that are also achievable with reasonable but sustained effort.
4 Tips that Work for Achieving Sales Goals
While most consultative selling training programs teach meaningful skills to help achieve sales quota, they rarely touch upon the actual process of setting achievable sales goals.
- Goal Setting
Let’s assume that overall sales goals are set by your sales manager. Presumably, you negotiated your individual sales quota as best you could so that you believe that, with hard work and team support, your sales targets are achievable, clear, relevant, meaningful, fair, consistent, accurate, trusted, timely, and transparent. While that is a long list, we know that goals must have ALL of those attributes to be effective.
Now you need to translate those sales goals into more than just a number. The goal needs to be meaningful to you in terms of a bigger picture. What is it you want over the long-term? What are your career goals, your desired annual income, your savings plan for retirement?
Define your sales goals in terms that are meaningful and make sense in the context of your life. If, for instance, you provide the additional revenue of $1M your sales manager expects this next fiscal year, how will that affect your chances for promotion, your compensation, your ability to set aside more in savings? List the personal tangible and intangible benefits to you of reaching that goal.
- Action Planning
Once you know where you are headed, set up a step-by-step plan for getting there. The plan should have weekly, monthly, quarterly, and year-end goals — the more concrete the better. Generalities just do not cut it.
It is much more effective to schedule “10 hours per week for cold calls” than “time to prospect for new clients.” Bracket each action with specific times on your calendar as a way to hold yourself accountable. You might even consider having an “accountability partner” so you check in regularly on your progress with someone else.
- Behavior Modification
As with any new program that involves reaching challenging goals, you will likely need to change some behaviors. And behavior change is not easy. Think through the critical few behavior changes that will support your success.
If you have been working as a lone wolf for instance, consider developing better relationships with your team members so you can boost your sales success through behaving more collaboratively. Or check in regularly with your boss for coaching help on improving your performance.
- Time Management
Achieving more goals is directly related to how you spend your time. What are your time wasters and how can you avoid them? Perhaps you need to limit your time on social media, be more selective in the meetings you attend, or schedule hours when you will allow no interruptions.
Are you a classic procrastinator? You should know by now that you waste more time in putting things off than if you “just do it.”
The Bottom Line
Do not take goals and accountabilities for granted. In essence, sales goals are more achievable if they matter to you beyond a simple quota game and if you establish a step-by-step process to reach them. Harness your energy and skills to drive in a purposeful direction.
To learn more about increasing sales skills, download The 6 Top Reasons Business Sales Training Initiatives Fail