How Setting Smart Goals Can Create a Sales Surge

April 18, 2019    Comment off

Speak to any salesperson and they’ll tell you that their role is all about goals. Meeting their personal goals, exceeding their team’s goals, wanting to earn incentivised goals, achieving the goals laid out to them by their mentor – the list goes on.

So if your sales reps only have one goal then you know that there’s something wrong and they could be doing more. That means there’s an opportunity for you to begin challenging them to also hit weekly or monthly goals, which will not only increase their productivity but help your business’ sales surge.

Setting a series of smaller goals is a tried and tested methodology, especially with sales reps who are struggling to hit their targets and, as a result, suffering with motivation. Indeed, a Harvard University study found that setting smaller goals increases motivation to the extent that students taking this approach performed 30% better than those who didn’t.

It’s important to set sales goals on an individual and team level, which might seem like hard work but will help you reap the reward of motivated salespeople who are spurred on by the support they need to succeed.

Here we explore a series of effective goal-setting options that could help your sales process flourish.

Monthly sales goals

Setting personal and team goals are great but it also needs to feed into the business’ annual goals. Start with the company’s annual revenue target and from there figure out what monthly sales goals you should be targeting and define targets for each department, team and individual sales reps.

Waterfall goals

This is all about gradually increasing your sales team’s productivity. Suddenly doubling a sales rep’s target is only going to frustrate them, whereas gradually increasing their targets over several weeks or months will ease them into it. This will coach staff into improving and boost morale, as not only are they hitting targets and boosting your numbers, they’re also more likely to be enjoying their success.

Incentivise goals

Now you’re talking every salesperson’s language. What better way to encourage your team to hit their targets than to offer bonuses, or an incentive like a round of golf or experience day, if they hit them. Or, if a monetary incentive isn’t an option, consider promoting their achievements to the rest of the company or offering extra holidays. Essentially, find out what motivates your employees and reward them accordingly for meeting their weekly or monthly goals.

Sequence goals

This basically means prioritising the goals that bring the highest value and ensuring your sales reps hit them first. For example, if a sales rep has a particular weakness for closing deals on the phone then set a goal for them to increase their phone activity every week. A sequencing approach means that if reps don’t meet all their goals then they will hit all the ones you need them to.

Activity goals

This is a good approach to take to reduce what may be an intimidating revenue goal into a more manageable looking task. Look at a salesperson’s activity – be it the number of emails, demos, calls, meetings they’ve had – and compare it to their success – how many deals they’ve closed. That will help you break the big money revenue target into smaller, achievable demos or phone call targets.

Stretch goals

These aren’t for everyone as they can cause undue concern. But, for the right employee – most likely a high performer – set ambitious goals that will challenge them and motivate them to outstanding results.

Mentor goals

These can be really useful for anyone in your team, but particularly for staff who are going through a rough spell or struggling with a specific issue. Assigning them a mentor, who can help them get back to basics, talk through the issue or put a plan in place, can help them re-discover their form. Giving them someone to talk to and can help them get back on track could be vital to your sales team thriving.

Whatever goals policy you put in place for your sales team it is crucial to ensure they’re being monitored. Track sales reps’ progress through a dashboard or have them put their results into a spreadsheet – either way, it’s vital to keep a close eye on progression. If someone isn’t hitting targets then you can quickly spot it and help them identify the problem before it becomes a major issue.

When introducing new goals it’s important to take the time to check in with your sales reps to ensure they’re comfortable with what you’re asking of them. Ensure goals are realistic and attainable while also challenging, as that’s the secret to happy and successful salespeople – which in turn boosts your sales results.