A sales team without sales objectives is like a ship without a sail — the boat is at the mercy of the wind and sea with no direction or clear guidance.
That’s why you need to set your sales team up for success by developing sales objectives. They provide the necessary direction for your sales department to reach goals like closing more deals, increasing revenue, retaining customers, and cross-selling.
So, what are sales objectives?
Sales objectives are used by management to supplement the vision and goals they have set for the company and sales department. The sales objectives outline the specific, measurable actions each employee must take to achieve the overall goal.
For example, let’s say the sales team has a goal of increasing revenue over the next six months. To reach this goal, each salesperson’s objective is to increase the amount of revenue they bring each month by 2 percent.
Both sales goals and objectives are discussed and set by the leadership team and communicated to the entire sales team, often with a sales plan. For sales objectives to be effective, SMART goals are often used to provide.
When setting sales objectives for your team, remember to keep the long-term goal in mind.
Let’s dive in.
- Reduce Cycle time by automating email prospecting
Objective: Cycle Time
Reducing cycle time helps the sales team reach its goal of closing deals quicker. Sales organisations often run into hitches by wasting their sales team time with time-consuming tasks — including writing repetitive prospecting emails.
If you were interested in making good on this sales objective, you would probably look into email automation that can streamline these responsibilities without having reps come as too robotic or impersonal in their outreach.
- Spend one hour each day prospecting to find good-fit leads.
The goal is to increase the number of high-quality leads generated by the sales team. With more leads, there’s a higher likelihood of closing more deals and achieving more revenue.
This particular objective is relatively self-explanatory. If you wanted to have members or your organisation spend one hour each day prospecting to find good-fit leads, you would encourage them to do exactly that. Allocate time on your team’s schedule specifically dedicated to this objective.
This example is more process-oriented than it is results-oriented. So when you pursue objectives like this, you simply adjust your process and see where those changes take you.
- Increase win rates by 10 percent in Quarter 4.
Objective : Win rate
Win rate is a key indicator in the success of a sales team or individual contributor: the more deals won, the more revenue generated for the company.
Improving win rate is a bit more complicated than the two objectives listed above. Pursuing this sales objective will take a fair amount of repairing and trial-and-error. There’s no definitive, “adjust this, and see that” solution here.
You would likely need to conduct a thorough analysis of individual reps’ performances to expose the potential cracks in your operations that might be dragging win-rate down. Once you’ve identified those weaker points, you’d want to try offering more specialised, attentive training for salespeople that might be having trouble.
You would also try pressing your reps to involve decision-makers in sales as early as possible. That way, you can weed out deals that don’t have real potential earlier on in the sales process.
3.Bring in 9 percent more revenue each month
This objective can be set for either an individual salesperson or a sales team to reach the goal of increasing the amount of revenue they bring in. More revenue can be often achieved by increasing the transaction size of each customer or the number of customers.
But improving revenue is similar to improving win-rate in that there’s no clear-cut path to achieving this objective. It’s going to involve taking an involved look at how individual reps are performing as well as a holistic overview of how your sales process is functioning.
Ideally, you’ll be able to pin down performance gaps that might be undermining your ability to generate the revenue figures you like to see. Bridging those gaps might mean conducting more extensive sales training, investing in new sales technology, incorporating a new sales methodology, or doing anything else that might inspire your reps and meaningfully impact your sales process.
- Limit the number of discounts given to prospects.
Objective: Profit margins
If the leadership team’s goal is to increase profit margins, there are a few objectives they can pursue — including limiting the number of discounts prospects are offered.
Pursuing this objective is pretty straightforward. Leadership can cap the number of discounts their reps are allowed to offer prospects each month — or they can flat-out stop allowing salespeople to offer discounts at all.
Beyond limiting discounts, sales leadership can take other strides to increase profit margins. In some cases, it might help to either increase prices or adjust pricing structures by offering bundles at varying price points.
- Reduce customer acquisition costs by 15 percent this month.
Objective: Customer acquisition costs
The broader goal is to reduce the amount it costs a company to acquire new customers. Customer acquisition cost is one of the tell-tale metrics behind your company’s efficiency — involving contributions from both sales and marketing.
One way your sales department can help achieve this objective is by identifying where the most money is spent throughout your sales process. If you can tell where your sales efforts are the least cost-effective, you can try some quick fixes that might reduce costs at those points. If you were to pursue a goal like this, you are likely going to need to thoroughly communicate across departments, better align your sales and marketing efforts, and go from there.
7 Improve customer retention by 20 percent by end of year.
Objective: Customer retention
Once you’ve sold to prospects and they converted to customers, the ultimate goal is to retain them. After all, retaining customers is more cost-effective than acquiring them.
Successfully executing this objective hinges on your ability to create and sustain an exceptional customer experience. That means taking actions like staying in touch with customers after they’ve purchased, letting them know you’re still keeping them top of mind, and working to resolve their issues with your product or service as they raise them.
Incentives like loyalty programs can also be a big help. And like the previous point, nailing this objective extends beyond your sales org. Your customer service and customer success departments need to be active, attentive, and enthusiastic to help you maximise your customer retention potential.
- Reduce customer churn rate by 3 percent versus last year same time.
Objective: Churn rate
Churn rate — the rate at which your customers terminate their relationships with your company — is a key metric that can shape practical, meaningful sales objectives.
In a lot of ways, reducing customer churn is an extension of improving customer retention, so taking similar actions to the ones specified above is key. Keep in touch with customers. Position yourself as a trustworthy advisor that can address their concerns with your product or service, and let them know you care.
High customer churn can also be the by-product of selling to poor-fit prospects. If your research and analysis indicate that that’s the case, it might be time to re-evaluate your lead qualification tactics.
Robert Gonye is a Business Growth Expert and Influencer. He writes in his personal capacity. Comments and views: [email protected]
The views given herein are solely for information purposes; they are guidelines and suggestions ONLY.