All salespeople have goals. Usually, these are broken down into quarterly and annual sales targets. Since some 67% of salespeople apparently miss these targets, we think it is very important to have short-term goals to boost your sales performance. More regular checkpoints not only serve to keep you motivated, they’re also good indicators of long-term ‘health’ – how likely you are to meet those quarterly or annual targets.
Hopefully you work in the kind of company that would help you set these kinds of goals. Not everyone does, so to those people I would say: set your own. If you like your job but you find far-off sales targets just too intangible to motivate you, try these suggestions and see if it helps be a better salesperson!
Setting personal goals
Let’s forget the financial targets. You’re not going after money so much as you’re going after business. Bringing in new business means following up on leads and closing deals, so how do you do that? Send out emails? Make phone calls? Visit customers? Network on social media?
Make a list of all the ways you do your job and then challenge yourself to do more.
- Do you feel you get the most out of your phone calls? You could buddy up with a colleague and practice your approach; aim to increase the number of calls you make and ultimately the number of positive conversations you have.
- Are you the right amount of active on social media? If you’re only sharing your company’s content and tooting your own horn on LinkedIn, try changing your strategy. You need to interact with customers – comment on the stories they share, keep an eye on their activity and respond with insight and enthusiasm.
- What about training? Do you only do the company-prescribed bare minimum, or are you getting the most of what’s on offer? Make continual improvement and learning part of your goal.
Healthy competition creates winners
We’ve written previously about the benefits of working as a team and the trouble many sales forces have with the lone wolf mentality. If you decide to challenge yourself with any of the above personal goals, why not get the rest of your team in on it too? You can learn from each other’s experiences and spur each other on. John did 70 calls this week? You can beat that next week. Overheard Gayle on the phone making a killer pitch? Make a few notes and next time you’re on the phone see if you can do better. Notice Adam is all over LinkedIn? Watch and learn – then take action. You’re just as good a salesperson as he is, right? (Just don’t go after the same customers without agreeing it first – that’s a sure-fire way for the team dynamic to turn sour!)
Ideally this kind of strategy is going to come from the top, and someone at the top is going to be measuring your progress and rewarding you accordingly. If your company isn’t open to operating that way, however, that’s no reason not to give it a go. Your reward will come when you hit your target.
Did you read our blog on sales motivation? With C-suite support, regular goals should mean regular rewards and it doesn’t always have to cost the company a lot of money. It could be something small, like a weekly cake trolley. Or a monthly treat – like a company-sponsored happy hour! And working towards bonus vacation days is always a great motivator.
If you don’t have this kind of support you need to learn to celebrate your own success and make your own rewards. Make a note of your achievements – literally write them down – so that you spend some time reflecting on the fact that you met your goal. It’ll give you a little kick, and in your less positive moments it’s nice to have something to look at that reinforces the message that you are capable and successful. Reward yourself with a coffee break or a brief walk. Getting some fresh air can be a real treat after hours spent slaving over your keyboard. Think about what you’ll spend your hard-earned bonus on when you hit target.
Free, team-led rewards could be things like a trophy that gets passed around to the ‘winning’ salesperson each week – not necessarily the person who closed the most deals, but perhaps the person who followed up the most leads. Or instead of a trophy, how about offering up the best desk in the office – you know the one: within reach of the air con but not freezing your butt off, nice view out of the window, a little bit of extra legroom. Basically we’re talking about little status symbols that allow you to revel in the fact that you are making strides towards meeting your quota.
A goal should always be within your grasp
The idea is that you stretch yourself to reach your goal, so whether you’re agreeing your quarterly quota with your boss or setting your own targets, make sure they are physically attainable. Obviously, they shouldn’t be easy, but there’s no sense going after the impossible. No sane person keeps reaching for something once they’ve figured out they’re never going to stretch that far.