Are you on track to hit your end-of-year sales goal?
True or False: Sales goals are typically set by the company and should be raised each year according to the previous year’s results. False. Quotas are set by the company and tend to be somewhat “detached” from the individual goals of the salesperson. Too often, company leaders and sales managers feel that the salespeople on their teams do not buy into the goal that they have been given. Why? Because it is not their goal! Instead, the sales number (the goal) is one that has been decided without the input of the salesperson and thus, lack of buy-in is inevitable. In order to really accomplish GREAT things in the goal setting process in your organization, first, find out what it is that your salespeople truly would like to accomplish. This may be a financial goal or a personal goal such as a home, car, or vacation that can be accomplished with increased commissions. Now, together, figure out what needs to change in their daily efforts (and thus, results) in order to hit the commission goal. This takes time and effort on both the part of the manager and the salesperson (just like figuring out your customer’s goals). But when both the salesperson and the sales manager are clear on the WHAT is the goal, together they are bought-in and can “put up with” almost any of the HOW it is to be accomplished. It is the difference between pushing someone towards YOUR goal (quota) or pulling them towards THEIR goals (rewards). One is a lesson in futility (hard work) and the other is good business practice.
True or False: Goals are something that are to be set to gauge your success every year. False. Your goals are a “track on which to run” your race-be it a daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly, annual, or lifetime race! Your goals are you life plan. Your goals are personal to you and your success-not a gauge as to whether or not you are. Year after year, studies have discovered that the most successful business people of our time have a few things in common. The most common characteristic or trait is that each of them has clearly defined, written goals by which they lead their lives. It has been said that you miss 100% of the targets that you do not aim at. Setting goals allows you to set individual targets for your success in many areas of your life. If, at the end of the year, you find that your sales goals have not been reached, an appropriate inventory of what happened and what did not happen is in order. However, if you wait until the end of the year, you will find that, more often than not, you will have fallen short. Goals need to be “checked-in-on” regularly (at least monthly) to make sure that you are on track. If you are not, adjustments need to be made to the way that you are running the race. Those adjustments can come in the form of attitude, skills, activity, and even moving the finish line. Set goals with your people and make those goals a living, breathing, real-time plan that you will visit regularly and constantly strive to achieve throughout the year.
True or False: Goals should be broken down into quarterly and even monthly. True! An amazing thing happens whenever there is a deadline! Most companies radically increase sales production in the final quarter or every year. Some companies greatly increase their sales results in the final weeks of every quarter each year. And some companies greatly increase their numbers of closed sales during the final few days of every month. Why is this? Customers don’t buy differently at the end of the month, quarter, or year do they? Results increase because there is a deadline–a measurement of success specific to each of these companies and their sales cycles that is determined by not only the results themselves, but also by when the results are accomplished. In American football, every team can run a series of plays called “the Two-Minute Drill” in which a team can go the entire length of the field inside the Two-Minute time frame. It is a thing of beauty to see a team operate this drill in harmony and accomplish things in a matter of less than two minutes that they had been working hard all game to accomplish in much longer timeframes. What is it that both sales teams and sports teams GET when there is a deadline? A sense of urgency! By making sure that your team’s sales goals are set up in such a way that deadlines are looming on a regular basis, you build an inherent sense of urgency into the attitudes and daily activities of each person on your team. Because of this sense of urgency, complacency will become non-existent. Because of this sense of urgency, salespeople ask better questions, run better plays, anticipate the moves the defense (customer) will make, and in turn, will score more frequently. The result, a much greater chance of answering the first question asked above (Are you on track for your year-end sales goals?) with a YES!