2020 has been a year to remember, except that it is a year that could easily be called “stink, stank, stunk,” (courtesy of “The Grinch.”) Yet always, and in the face of challenging circumstances virtually everyone has faced in 2020, wise and successful people set goals. Goals help people and organizations look forward with some objective optimism. In business, sales goal setting is essential to achieving successful results.

Why is it Important to Set Goals?

Setting goals is like creating a map to travel by; a way that the “traveler” in life has direction and a clear path to a destination. Goals:

  • Help motivate individuals and make life more interesting and more meaningful.
  • Help focus attention and activities.
  • Help reduce stress because goal seekers are following a route, not spinning in circles.
  • Provide an end game of measurable satisfaction.

Why is it Important for Businesses to Utilize Sales Goal Setting?

Sales goal setting provides focus. Goals help define a clear destination that avoids wasting time, wasting resources, and missing opportunities. Goals drive efficiency. Goals provide a measure of progress. As motivational speaker and author Tony Robbins said, “Setting goals is the first step in turning the invisible into the visible.”

How to Set Sales Goals for Salespeople

Look forward to sales goal setting using these tips:

  1. Understand where you are now—your starting point. It requires knowing what the overarching business goals are, how your business processes run, and assessing how you can improve your processes to achieve your important sales goals. Look at all pieces of the sales puzzle with eyes wide open to improvement. Learn what things are working and what things need improvement, refocus, more training, or new approaches.
  2. Set goals that are realistic. Look at what has taken place in the past to get a baseline for future planning. Keep sales goals simple. Make them specific, attainable, and measurable.
  3. Set the specific actions that will help achieve the goals that are set. That can include more or higher quality leads, means to secure higher closing rates, means to get more from current customers, etc.
  4. Evaluate your sales team. Do you have the numbers and talent that you need?
  5. Educate and empower the sales team. They need to have the training and resources that will enable them to succeed, as well as the measurements that allow them to determine how well they are doing.
  6. Properly incentivize the sales team. Make sure that the compensation methods are focused on the desired measurable results. Track progress towards objectives on a regular basis. Reward salespersons when their customer hit an anniversary, when they upgrade to a higher plan, and when they refer other customers.
  7. Emphasize activity goals that are efficiently pointed to achieving the sales goal setting objectives.
  8. Get (and keep) early momentum in the year.
  9. Remember flexibility. Goals may have to be adjusted during the year as the economy and market shifts take place, and as results roll in.
  10. Keep communicating to keep all team members aligned with objectives and moving in the same direction.
  11. Celebrate all wins, not just the end of year victories. Small wins are important too.

To Achieve Sales Success, Seek Outside Expertise

As a fractional VP of Sales, James Bellew works with small to medium-sized business owners to build or rebuild their sales organizations. That includes sales strategy, processes, building, establishing, and aligning sales teams and their sales tools.