We are already halfway into the year. June being a cold month has already started on a high note for most people in business. We set super exciting goals when the year began and said that we would make sure 2019 is a good success. Not so advocate in any way that 2019 is not a successful year. The million dollar question is, has your team been executing their goals to date?
Interrogating the targets and objectives we applied at the beginning of the year is, therefore, important to monitor if our sales teams are following the right steps and calibrating the business as per expectation to deliver the right targets in any business environment.
If your sales teams only have one goal, meeting their targets chances are they are selling themselves short (literally). Like any expectation, hold your representatives accountable to smaller weekly or monthly goals, and you’ll increase the likelihood of meeting the bigger numbers.
Smaller goals let your team build confidence with incremental wins. They also help track progress toward larger goals, giving you as the manager more time to work with struggling reps. A recent study found setting specific goals increases motivation beyond simply telling yourself, “I’ll just do my best.”
If the study ultimately revealed teams which stuck to a goal-oriented plan performed 30 percent better than those who didn’t. What would a 30 percent better performance from each of your reps look like for you?
The following action points are to set sales goals on an individual and team level. It might seem like a lot of work, but the result is motivated salespeople who have the support they need to succeed.
- Calculate your
monthly sales goal
If you’re setting personal or team goals, they should align with annual sales goals. Figure your monthly sales goal by working backward from your company’s annual revenue target. Once that target is defined, calculate how much your department, teams and individual reps need to sell to meet that goal.
Be sure to take seasonal or staffing fluctuations into account. If you’re on boarding three new salespeople in Quarter 2, it may be hard to meet aggressive goals during Q3. However, because you’ve planned for this, you can adjust goals and push harder in Q4.
- Set waterfall goals
Budget for the learning curve time when you’re implementing new goals and on boarding reps. If your reps are currently sending 50 emails a week and you want them to send 100, don’t immediately double their weekly email goal. Instead, raise their goal to 60 emails next week, 70 the following week, and so on.
This approach is better for morale because missing goals can increase fear and crush motivation. The waterfall approach also produces higher quality work and better numbers. Your team won’t experience burnout from the increase in work, and you’ll give them time to ramp up quality.
- Sequence goals
This is another way of saying “prioritise your goals”. Determine which goals bring the highest value when hit, and make sure your reps are meeting those first.
If you’re sequencing goals for a junior salespeople, set goals around where they can improve. If they need to get better at prospecting, make it a goal for them to increase outreach calls by 10 percent every week.
Sequencing means even if your reps don’t meet every goal, they’ll meet the ones that matter most to your company’s bottom line or their professional growth.
- Set activity goals
If your rep needs to close $500 of business this month, convert that target into activity goals.
First, use your salesperson’s historical performance throughout the sales funnel to figure out how many emails, calls, and meetings they need.
Let’s say they have to close an average of four deals per month to hit the target. If 50 percent of their demos convert to deals, that means they must demo to eight prospects each month. If 30 percent of their calls lead to demos, they need to call approximately 27 people.
Working backward lets you turn a (potentially intimidating) revenue goal into manageable metrics.
- Incentivise goals
An incentive for your reps to meet their quota is great, however, what’s the incentive for meeting these smaller goals?
Consider what motivates your reps. Promise a cash bonus or a round of golf to reps who meet their weekly goals. When you don’t have the budget to offer a monetary incentive, it should not be a problem. Make it a point to position company-wide recognition or extra vacation time as reward for goals met based on organisation ability.
- Monitor goal progression
Goals are of no use if they’re not being monitored. Track progress via a dashboard in your CRM, or have reps enter their weekly numbers the old-fashioned way, in an Excel spreadsheet which you monitor. If someone on your team isn’t hitting their weekly numbers, talk to them before it becomes an impediment to meeting their monthly targets. Monitoring these small goals makes them worth the extra implementation time, hence must never be skipped, tempting as it might be.
- Set stretch goals
This is based on the team and individual performance. If a rep is struggling to meet their target every month, a stretch goal will only increase their anxiety. But if you have a high performer, set realistic stretch goals such as a 125 percent of goal, most times this will challenge and motivate them.
- Suggest mentor goals
If a team member is having trouble shooting up or hits a rough patch which should be expected time and again, suggest they find a mentor or two in the area they need support where you agree on a framework you would like them to work through and they share with their mentor. Having someone to confide in besides their manager can be just what they need to thrive.
In conclusion, it is always inspiring as a leader to see your team perform. However, on the road to success, as you’re constantly setting new goals or revisiting old ones, you owe it to yourself and the team to check in with your reps and ask how they’re feeling.
Make sure goals are remaining realistic, challenging, and attainable. That’s the recipe for happy, successful sales teams, or any team member.
The views given herein are solely for information purposes; they are guidelines and suggestions and are not guaranteed to work in any particular way.
Robert Gonye is a Business Growth Influencer. He writes in his personal capacity. Comments and views: [email protected]