Why Your Sales Goals Are Missing the Mark and How to Set Them Right


Revenue is an important yardstick to judge your sales team’s goals so that you could align them along the various routes of the sales cycle. Oftentimes sales leaders get so caught up in strategy and competition that they start thinking of revenue as the team’s major goal. However, the be-all and end-all focus on driving revenue without defining how to get there can be tough on the operations and your sales team.  

       

While all the sales activities contribute towards your organization’s revenue, you, as an intuitive sales leader, shouldn’t be limiting your focus on amassing big numbers. You don’t want to end up in the same soup as Bausch & Lomb. In 1993 with the main focus on revenue the company “improperly booked sales of contact lenses and sunglasses, and as a result, overstated revenues and earnings”.

 

It’s better to treat revenue as an ultimate measurement of performance and not as a sales goal.

 

The basic question is how to get to the achievable, realistic goals, without driving your team crazy?  

 

Time to revisit your sales goals – Set good goals, shun bad ones

As a sales leader your job is to identify and set goals for the current sales cycle by taking feedback from past success as well as failures. It is imperative for you and your team to step back and modify your goals because if you don’t do so you might continue wasting resources in chasing wrong goals.

 

Here, we help you differentiate between good and bad goals so that you are able to restructure your process and objectives.

A good sales leader is one who can quantify the activities of the team. You cannot just say that you want more leads, more conversion, satisfied customers and better revenue. These are vague and bad goals.

 

Good goals need to be SMART, which basically stands for specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and time-bound goals. So, don’t forget to glean through your data to answer questions like: number of leads getting generated, how long is the current sales cycle, which channel gives more number of leads and conversions, number of follow-ups, time taken to respond to inbound leads, prospect’s remarks, why and who is team’s star performer etc. Then after the investigation and calculation you will know what your team’s new goals should be.  

 

Activity goals OR result oriented goals – solve the dilemma

Say, you have already revisited, reset and reiterated over the sales goal with your team during the entire course of sales cycle.  Hence, fixing the glitches, introducing the new goals and shunning the old ones that didn’t work, are all part of your important job. While doing so, you have already set SMART goals for your sales team with focus on earnings.

 

But oftentimes sales suffer because of too much focus on result and less on activities. We do agree that result and revenue are the numbers that throw light into your sales performance. However, these numbers are not the goals. The rule of thumb is to look at the numbers from every angle and set activity-based goals that can help drive revenue.

 

For example, while browsing, a prospect comes across your product’s PPC ad. S/he clicks on the ad and fills your landing page form. The information is now in your CRM. Since your prospect has directly contacted you by sharing phone number or email id, wouldn’t you think that your team should be super prompt in calling the prospect back. May be it takes somewhere between 15-20 hours for your rep to get in touch with the prospect but it is too long and by this time prospect could lose interest. So, setting up small and relevant action-oriented goal like ‘make the first contact within <X> minutes with inbound lead’, gives clear direction to your sales rep.

 

How to put activity goals in action- this needs some investigation.

Help your sales team shift the focus from chasing fancy revenue to a higher closing ratio. This is how it can be realistically done:

 

Know your team members and data like the back of your hand. This way you can set goals for individual members of your team. First thing first, know your data so that you can forecast. For example how many leads, in a day, do each rep in your team connects to? Just setting up a quota for sales reps on number of emails to be sent or calls to be made will not work. The important question to ask here is: how many leads respond as soon as the first contact is made either through a phone call or email? Dive deeper to get insight into your contact patterns.

 

– Make use of call tracking software to know what and how your reps are talking to the prospects. After all sales is about building relationship with the prospects. Work on the pitching material with your team.

 

– What is the length of your sales cycle? Is it taking longer than anticipated to convert and why? Always remember that the prospects suffer from attention deficiency syndrome. So, if your sales reps are not prompt in making that initial contact as soon as some prospect has shown interest then deal can be lost to your competitor.

 

– Track how many follow ups does it take before the prospect becomes your customer. Help your reps reduce the number of follow ups by constantly training them and letting them do thorough research on prospects and competitors too. Apart from this, your reps should have the deep knowledge of your product!

 

Don’t set too many goals for the team. Work with individuals to identify their weakness and set goals for them accordingly.

Selling in an art and it can be mastered only with practice. Through our product Mo-Data’s Sales Force Performance, you can evaluate your best sales reps by getting insight into sales by week, time to close, repeat purchases, ranking salespeople by revenues, profitability and sales effectiveness. Monitoring of data and setting goals should go hand in hand because data helps in setting good goals apart from the bad ones.

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