In every organization, there is a sales head or manager who walks out of management meetings with a look of defeat. This could be you or someone you know. Sales managers are the driving force behind a team’s productivity. These are the leaders who are responsible for ensuring that the company’s revenue continues to grow by creating sales goals that deliver results.
This article is not a crash course in setting goals for your team. This varies from one organization to the next. Instead, this article will help you create a plan to achieve these goals. We also recommend you to adopt these practices that not only help you set better goals but also become a better sales manager.
Step 1: Set Realistic Goals
If 2 people in a team of 10 miss their goals, then they probably need more training. But how do you justify team performance when all 10 members fail to meet goals? This failure often happens because sales managers set unrealistic goals by succumbing to the pressure of delivering more. While the drive to do more is a great idea, it often does not translate into practice. Once you create your goals, measure them against these questions:
- Do the sales goals align with the larger goals of the company?
- Do these goals align with the strengths of my sales team?
Step 2: Breakdown These Goals
Step 1 gives you the goals, step 2 is about breaking these into smaller and simpler goals. You can’t control the end result but you can control the process and activities that lead to these results. The more precise you are about sales activities, the more the chances of achieving goals.
Breaking down large goals into small tasks is akin to eating smaller, easily digestible meals than one large one. While doing this you can consider:
- The volume of sales to be generated.
- Average sales orders that will help you achieve this sales volume.
- Estimate the number of calls you need to make to then achieve these sales orders and volume.
- Break these calls down to annual, monthly and daily targets.
- Assign these targets amongst team members.
Do a monthly assessment to see if this process is being executed. It’s also important to ask your team for feedback and incorporate this into your process breakdown.
Step 3: Assign Timelines To Goals
Once you breakdown your sales goals in step 2, you will be able to map out how much time it takes to achieve these goals. Don’t fret if timelines vary a bit during execution. Adding a timeline is also a way of creating accountability for you and your teams to achieve these goals.
Step 4: Smaller Targets to Achieve Bigger Goals
This may sound contradictory but assigning smaller targets can actually help your team achieve bigger goals. Smaller targets will not mean you compromise on sales volume. The idea is to make the process of achieving targets less overwhelming. You are using a positive manipulation technique and your team will thank you for it.
Smaller targets split across a defined time period makes it easy for your team to achieve targets and for you to monitor your team’s progress.
Step 5: Empower, Educate and Nurture
The most-well defined goals will fail if your team does not feel motivated. Remember knowledge is power. It’s essential to curate a training plan that covers product knowledge, best sales practices, understanding brand ideology, and their own strengths. Spend time with your team by doing workshops and sessions. The idea is to help each member of your team make decisions that align with sales and organizational goals.
Once on the field, it’s equally important to incorporate feedback mechanisms. Keep track of the performance of each member of your team. As Peter Ducker says in ‘The Practice of Management’ – ” What gets measured, gets managed”. Measuring your team’s progress against the goals will tell you who needs training and in what area.
- You can use or modify these parameters to measure performance.
- The percentage of calls that converted to an initial discussion
- The ratio of follow-up calls undertaken post initial discussion.
- The percentage of leads that were converted into meetings.
- Out of these meetings, the percentage of closures generated.
- The average duration of sales cycles.
- Percentage of deals that are lost or on hold from the initial leads generated.
Let us warn you that assessing all these parameters will not be easy if you are using logbooks or excel sheets. If your sales team is made of more than 2 people then you should consider adopting a sales CRM software. These systems automate your sales process and are usually equipped with auto-generated reports. So all performance results are delivered to your email for all members and regions.
Step 6: Set Rewards For Sales Performance
Go back to your childhood and think of all the times you were rewarded for a task done well. This part of our personality remains the same in adulthood. You can’t expect your team to achieve goals without expecting any reward. Keep in mind the budget allotted to your team and then plan a consistent increase in incentives. Be fair and don’t overcommit. The more honest you are with your team the more responsibility they will show towards goals and organizational growth.
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