In sales, everyone has goals. Some are set by the companies, and some by the individual. For many, the New Year means new sales quotas and new personal objectives. Despite the importance placed on these goals, research shows that 54% of sales reps don’t reach them.
It has been suggested that the problem is multifold. Goals set may not be well defined or perhaps they are unrealistic. Often there’s difficulty measuring the outcome or staying focused.
Accountability is another area where many sales professionals fall short. Since each professional’s goals are different, this article will focus on setting attainable sales goals. It will also suggest a few proven strategies to reach them.
Create SMART Goals
What makes a sales goal attainable? Experts say that every goal should be clearly defined, quantifiable, realistic, result qualified, and one that occurs within a set timeframe. Utilize the SMART method of goal setting to be certain the aim is correct. This method is a stalwart in the world of academia and has been successful in the business environment as well.
- S-Specific: Goals are simple, written, and clearly define the objective.
- M-Measurable: The goal statement itself can measure or may have smaller measurements leading to the primary goal.
- A-Attainable: The goal should stretch a person’s capabilities but remain realistic.
- R-Results: Most goals should measure the result, not the activity.
- T-Time bound: Goals should have a set time in which they are to be attained.
This method is most helpful in setting individual goals but also translates well in developing project oriented, organizational and departmental goals.
Use Personal Metrics
Implement the metric that’s right for the individual.
Acknowledging personal bests (PB) is a great place to start. Jill Konrath makes a case for using this system for measuring outcomes and inspiring continuous improvement. She believes that in sales, if the focus were to be on personal bests rather than quantity, goals would be achievable. When a team has a tool like RingCentral CTI integration in place, it’s easy to capture data that can help leaders identify agents’ PBs.
Goals created using PBs are easily sequenced which is necessary for learning.
Konrath says that by maintaining this mindset, the sales professional will become proficient in a particular skill and then be able to apply the agility and momentum in other parts of their sales process. She describes a fluid process where the one-upping becomes a second nature process which perpetuates.
Commit to full accountability.
What top sales performers have in common is the commitment to detailed accountability.
Accountability is an individual’s obligation to accept responsibility for their activities and to disclose those results to a trusted party. This accountability partner doesn’t have to be a co-worker, it can be a friend or acquaintance. It is an excellent idea to encourage accountability within the sales department as research shows that
It’s an excellent idea to encourage accountability within the sales department as research shows that accountability matters in the long term success of an organization.
If the goal is to increase prospecting, plan the time to call customers. Mark that time in the calendar each day and eliminate outside distraction until that task has been completed. Fewer distractions mean that the work will get done faster and the goals met sooner.
Looking at the bigger picture, the focus should remain on the end goal, engaging each day in activities that will help achieve this aim. Remember what the great Henry Ford once said, “Obstacles are those frightful things one sees when one takes one’s eyes off the goal.”
In sales, tools like Salesforce RingCentral CTI integration provide a powerful way to manage and execute goals.
Customer relationship management or CRM is a system that organizes relevant business data and reports it in a way that is meaningful to the individual user. By integrating with your phone system, daily processes can be streamlined to achieve greater productivity and improved efficiency.
Reinforce Goals for Motivation
The late Jim Rohn said, “Discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.”
Learning to be self-motivated is one of the hardest endeavors. In sales, it’s crucial to survival. One way to stay motivated and to reinforce set goals is to create rewards. It may be something as simple as denying the first cup of coffee until after a certain number of calls have been made, or a sales report has been created, or it could be monetary when meeting larger goals.
Develop Defensive Strategies
Considering the last set of unmet goals, sales professionals should evaluate what kept them from achieving their sales targets. Once those challenges are identified, they can be prioritized into a list that aligns with current goals. Next, a set of defensive strategies can be devised to help the sales rep prevent a similar set of circumstances from occurring.
Why is goal setting important? Because it’s effective. Those who engage in setting personal and professional goals achieve around 30% more than those individuals who don’t set goals. In sales, the top performers are those who set actionable, meaningful, and realistic goals. They utilize technology to develop a clear plan to achieve their goals, and they manage that plan daily.
This year, commit to becoming a top performer. Design a plan, act on it consistently, monitor your progress and achieve results.
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