The Annual Sales Targets Setting Dance

Sales Targets – set them now for next year!

The annual sales targets setting dance should have begun.

5 sales targets setting checks for more sales

What, it’s not yet in your company, why not, get on with it!  Honestly, sales targets setting is not something that can wait until January.

I’ve seen too many companies waste the first quarter of the year faffing around with an activity that should be almost put to bed now.

Act quickly because you still have the time to think it through and organise it well, communicate it effectively and set up the process on how you will report progress each month.

But don’t dictate.

Your Sales Professionals shouldn’t have their targets dictated to them; they should work with you to agree what are the most realistic and achievable they can make within the twelve month timeframe. 

Target them on what they can control and make sure you have a reporting structure in place so that you all know how you are progressing towards your goals as the year goes on.

Always involve your staff in setting sales targets.

Whilst that might seem like a massive task, if you suddenly cascade these targets without any discussion, you might well not get the reaction you were hoping for. 

I mean you know that dictating your ideas to your team never brings the best rewards, so why would it be a different outcome when your talking about sales targets.

A natural reaction from your sellers would be an immediate correlation to their bonus, their motivation and their effort. 

Whilst being honest and transparent.

If you need to be open about the financial implications of any targets you set; if you are in a position where you need to increase your profits in order for the business to survive, let your staff know that. 

You’ll be surprised how much harder people will work when they want to help you keep the business going, and when they feel like they are a valued part of that business rather than just an employee. 

Get your staff invested in the company and the targets you set, and you’ll find everyone goes much further and probably much faster.

Own your role as it’s important in this process.

If your staff are uncomfortable with this process, it is your job as the leader to educate them as to why there needs to be sales targets. 

If they’re uncomfortable with the level of the target, again it’s your job to explain why it is at that level or to work through to an achievable target. 

Don’t lower your expectations; a collaborative process with good people will always result in realistic outcomes.

If you believe the sales targets are reasonable, be prepared to justify this to your team.

Listen to their concerns and it may well be that they can come up with a valid point which you had not considered – but on the whole, targets should be set to slightly stretch. 

If your goal is not big and scary, is it worth hitting? 

Also, if you set a goal really high and aim for that but fall short, you will still have done pretty well.

If you set it lower, and still fall short, you won’t have done very well and it won’t feel great.

Now keep the sales targets visible and measure progress.

Once sales targets are set, they should be displayed for all staff members to see, and for everyone to track progress.

Sales Professional love being top and are generally motivated if they are not if performance is visible.

Once your goals are set and agreed, it is important to be structured in your monthly reviews (MILO). 

Don’t let anything distract you. In fact, now is the perfect time revisit the effectiveness of the structure you use and to set dates each month for review. 

Setting targets for the year ahead is critically important and something that will help to push your business forward over the next twelve months – but it’s important to do it properly, and to make sure that your staff are with you.

But like I said at the beginning of this blog, you should be all over this by now –  so don’t wait any longer to get started!

Sales Excellence Principle 2 – Growth Management provides you what you need to do to succeed in Target Setting, Incentive Management and Inclusive Organisations.

If you enjoyed this post please click LIKE and click SHARE to share it with your network.

Please also take time to read some of my other blogs:

Set Sales Targets That Get Smashed

5 Sales Target Set Checks For More Sales

5 Attributes That Make Goals Stick

 

Steve Knapp is the Founder and Owner of Steve Knapp Sales & Corporate Director in the Association of Professional Sales. With 30+ years of B2B successful sales, sales management and sales leadership experience. Steve created The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & has used this to drive sustained sales performance in one of the most successful companies in the world. To discuss your sales requirements contact Steve on [email protected]

Set Sales Targets That Get Smashed!

Set Sales Targets That Get Smashed!

How to improve your Sales by setting Sales Targets the SMART  way 

SMART sales targets

It’s not actually easy to set targets with no basis. It’d be like talking about how high you’re going to build a tower, without knowing how much material you have or if the foundations are secure.

Everybody thinks they do it, but the reality is, when I ask to actually see managers’ sales targets? They’re fluffy and lack substance. As a result, sales teams end up either stressed or complacent with unrealistic or unambitious targets. 

Salespeople roll their eyes when I ask them if they use SMART.

“What you gonna teach me on Day Two?“ they ask sarcastically.

“Nothing, until you’ve learnt Day One properly!” I answer.

SMART (pictured) works for me (and has always done) and I still see this method as the most effective way to set targets. 

Let me walk you through the FIVE steps of how I set sales targets for sales teams, with the SMART system in mind. 

Set Sales Targets Bottoms Up

This phrase, which you may have come across in sales, means to me, to build from both feeling and reality.

  • You should have 80% confidence the sales target  is set right.
  • It should feel like a stretch. But not too comfy and not too tough.
  • It should be based on your current situation, completely grounded in reality.

Data is Your Friend 

Data is your “friend” when you set sales targets

Don’t be consumed by data, but find and focus on the key data that drives your business forward. You also need data to:

  • Review performance history
  • Break performance history down into easier chunks
  • Create a visual guide of these chunks. I’ve found making it visual helps greatly.
  • Know the maths of selling – what are your metrics? (important bold font alert) examples:
    Phone calls to appointments?
    Sales pitches to quotes?
    Quotes to sales?

If you don’t know these facts, your targets aren’t based on reality.

Think Small to Achieve Big 

Think big but act small to deliver success

This one really works for me.

Big dreams and ambitions are great…be the biggest, best etc. But then the pragmatic reality of getting after that can be daunting.

Instead, break things down to the smallest meaningful level and ask yourself things like:

  • Can this target be broken down to a daily / weekly / monthly target? The yearly thing just doesn’t translate into action.
  • Can I control the outcome? Am I directly in control of all parameters? If not, is it even right to set a target?

Make them Inspiring

Yep, I did say inspiring. Are your targets pushing you forward, out of your comfort zone, asking you to do something different? 

Think about it – as an example, can you push yourself through your targets to increase demonstrations or presentations to a senior level?

Whilst sales targets are predominately about numbers, be creative and make them inspiring by giving them a place in personal development.

Now, Hulk, Smash!

Smashing target is easier than getting a girlfriend Hulk!

Smash your targets is a bit sales cheesy, so let’s just meet or exceed targets shall we?  

The key for me here, is it’s all in the planning…So take the time to PLAN.

  • Do you know the barriers to success?
  • Do you have the right skills?
  • Have you put enough resources to it?
  • Do you know your market?

As Ive already said to set sales targets isn’t easy.

It’s a lot easier said than done, but it’s so critical that you invest the time to do the planning right.

Sales Target Setting is covered inSales Excellence Principle #2  Growth Management

If you have concerns about how effective your sales targets are then why not contact me to see how Setting your sales targets correctly?

The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence are:

Business Strategy – Leadership has a genuine commitment to develop Sales Excellence.

Growth Management – Meaningful targets are set and the performance of the business is made visible.

Sales Leadership – Managers spend their time on business performance and people development.

Sales Execution – Sales standards are clear & consistency in Sales Execution is achieved.

Pipeline Management – Sales pipeline and lead management practices are in place and are effective.

Contact me if you want to talk more about The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & about how I can help your company “sell more“.

If you enjoyed this article please leave a COMMENT, click LIKE and click SHARE to share it with your network.

Please also take some time to read some of my other recent posts.

Steve Knapp is the Founder and Owner of Steve Knapp Sales & Corporate Director in the Association of Professional Sales. With 30+ years of B2B successful sales, sales management and sales leadership experience. Steve created The 5 Principles of Sales Excellence & has used this to drive sustained sales performance in one of the most successful companies in the world. To discuss your sales requirements contact Steve on [email protected]

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