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If you or your sales team only have one goal — meeting their targets — they’re selling themselves short (literally). If you start holding yourself accountable for smaller weekly or monthly goals, you’ll increase the likelihood you’ll meet their bigger number.

Smaller goals let you build confidence with incremental wins and they also help track progress toward larger goals.

There’s some recent research that found that businesses using a goal oriented plan performed 30% better than those who don’t. Just telling yourself “I’ll do my best” isn’t enough.

So we’ve come up with some suggestions you can use to develop your own goals, whether they’re just for you or for a wider team. It might seem like a lot of work, but believe me, it works.

1. Calculate your monthly sales goal.

If you’re setting personal or team goals, they should align with annual sales goals. Calculate 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 onboarding three new salespeople this quarter, it may be hard to meet aggressive goals during the early stage. However, because you’ve planned for this, you can adjust goals and push harder in subsequent periods.

2. Set waterfall goals.

Budget for ramp-up time when you’re implementing new goals and onboarding new team members. If your team is 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 squash 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.

3. Sequence goals.

This is another way of saying “prioritise your goals.” Determine which goals bring the highest value when hit, and make sure you and your team are meeting those first. If you’re sequencing goals for a junior sales person, 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% every week.

Sequencing means even if you don’t meet every goal, you’ll meet the ones that matter most to your company’s bottom line.

4. Set activity goals.

If you need to close £4,000 of business this month, convert that target into activity goals.
First, use your historical performance throughout the sales funnel to figure out how many emails, calls, and meetings they need.

Let’s say you need to close an average of four deals per month to hit your target. If 50% of your demos convert to deals, that means they must demo to eight prospects each month. If 30% of their calls lead to demos, they need to call roughly 27 people.

Working backward lets you turn a (potentially intimidating) revenue goal into manageable metrics.

5. Incentivise goals.

Receiving bonuses, getting variable commission, and even keeping their job are all incentives for sales people to meet their target. So what’s the incentive for meeting these smaller goals?

Consider what motivates your team. Promise a cash bonus or a round of golf to sales people who meet their weekly goals. Don’t have the budget to offer monetary incentive? No problem. Position company-wide recognition or extra holiday time as a reward for goals met.

6. Monitor goal progression.

Goals are of no use if they’re not being monitored. Track progress via a dashboard in your CRM or get the team to enter their weekly numbers the old-fashioned way — in an Excel spreadsheet. If someone on your team isn’t hitting their weekly numbers, talk to them before it becomes an impediment to meeting their monthly target. Monitoring these small goals makes them worth the extra implementation time, so don’t skimp here — even if it’s tempting.

7. Set stretch goals.

A stretch goal is a goal exceeding their primary goal, which can be effective. Think about the old saying: “Aim for the moon. If you miss, you’ll be among the stars”. Keep in mind that this isn’t right for everyone. If a sales person 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, perhaps 125% of target, that will challenge and motivate them.

8. Suggest coaching goals.

If a sales person is having trouble ramping up or hits a rough patch (it happens to everyone), suggest they find a coach. Provide a framework you’d like them to work through or advise them to create one with their coach. Having someone to confide in besides their manager can be just what they need to thrive.

9. Create a collective goal.

Provide an incentive that’s only awarded when everyone meets the goal. For example, all salespeople must hit X number of calls/meetings/emails, X amount of revenue, or X% client retention.

Dangle a company-paid happy hour in front of your team and watch them work together to help each other succeed.

Sales Goals Examples

Add £3,000 more revenue in Q2, £4,000 in Q3, and £5,000 in Q4.
Set up X product demonstrations per week/day.
Increase your closing ratio by X% this quarter.
Touch base with each new client at least once a month.
Share one article per week.
Hit a retention number greater than X%.
Reduce the amount of time it takes to convert a lead to a customer.
Attend one professional development event per month.
Book the most meetings of any rep on the team.
Schedule at least three demos with enterprise-level prospects.

Above all, as you’re setting new goals or revisiting old ones, check in with your team regularly and ask how they’re feeling. Make sure goals are remaining realistic, challenging, and attainable. That’s the recipe for a happy and successful team.

Do you need help calculating effective sales goals, then get in touch.

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