How to Set Sales Goals with Sales Team Members - dummies

How to Set Sales Goals with Sales Team Members

By Butch Bellah

It’s time for management and sales teams to dig in and really take a look at how to establish your team’s sales goals. Now’s the time when you shoot for the moon, go for the gusto, and all those other tired old clichés.

As a manager, require each of your salespeople to turn in her sales goals for the coming year. Many people are firm believers in having those goals in writing. They’re much more powerful and everyone knows where she stands at all times if goals are written down. You can also encourage each member of your team to write down her own personal goals.

You’re probably familiar with the S.M.A.R.T. acronym for goals. There are a few different versions, but the one to reference now:

  • Specific: Be as specific as possible. What do you want to do and when do you want to do it by?

  • Measurable: Make your goal something you can actually measure your progress on. “I want to get better” doesn’t give you a very good measuring stick. “I want to increase my sales by 20 percent” is measurable.

  • Attainable: Simply, make your goal something you can accomplish. A vacation home on the moon isn’t achievable; a vacation home in Maui may be.

  • Realistic: Make sure you can achieve your goal in the time you’re allowing yourself. You can lose 50 pounds — that’s attainable — but realistically you can’t do it in two weeks.

  • Time-bound: Set a deadline for when you want to achieve your goal. Give yourself a due date.

As your team works through its goals, make sure each goal meets the S.M.A.R.T. criteria. This makes you think about each goal in detail and drill down to the core of what you’re truly trying to attain. For example, someone can write “I want to increase my sales.” That’s way too vague. Have her set a specific number. Something like, “I want to increase my sales by $100,000.”

Now back into it. Have her calculate how many contacts she has to make to generate the required number of sales at the required closing percentage to yield those results.

If your people don’t have their goals in writing, do yourself a favor: Ask them to try it. Humor you. Write down four or five short-term goals — yes, write them down and get in the habit of reading them daily.

You’ll hear every excuse as to why someone doesn’t have time to look at or read her goals each day, and don’t buy it. Make time. It’s not brain surgery — don’t make it harder than it is. Don’t accept excuses.

Goals are a curious thing. Those who set them, write them down, and read them regularly swear by them. Those who don’t, don’t think they work. Odd how that works, isn’t it?