Setting achievable sales goals often leads to great results for a business. But, getting this wrong can have a damning effect. Unrealistic sales targets can result in the sales team falling short of their goals. But, this can also lead to further issues developing. It can cause a distrust of management and result in a demotivated sales team. Yet, avoiding this takes a lot of consideration. This blog will take you through some of those steps, helping you to set achievable sales targets.
Analyse previous results
Before you can set new targets, you must be aware of your team’s past performance. Otherwise, the goals you set might be too generic and as a result, unachievable. To get an idea of what’s realistic, analyse their results from the previous year or quarter. This will allow you to identify any patterns or trends in your sales team’s performance. This approach will help you to build a foundation to work from, helping you to set achievable goals.
Past results allow you to see which salespeople are performing better than others. You can use this data to see which areas your team needs improvement. For example, you might find your salespeople struggle to sell a specific product. You can then target these weaker areas. And provide your sales team with the necessary training. By doing this, you can ensure your sales team has the skills to achieve their future goals.
No one business is the same. That’s why it’s essential to consider the unique situation of your business. You should take a variety of factors into account to determine if the targets are achievable. For this, you have to assess the current standing of your business. And to do this, you need to be aware of your financial situation, market position and goals.
Being aware of your business situation will allow you to set targets for your sales team. Of course, the sales team’s targets should align with your company’s objectives. But, the resources you have at your disposal will go a long way in dictating what’s realistic.
Your company might be enjoying a period of financial stability. In this case, you’ll have a bigger budget to spend on marketing and product development. Because of this, you’ll be able to be more ambitious with your sales targets. Whereas, if you have limited resources, you won’t have as much money to support your sales team. And with fewer salespeople, you have to be more reasonable with your targets.
While your business situation can impact your sales team, the market can too. Several factors can influence the market your company operates in. These include consumer behaviour, economic trends, regulations and competitors. To set achievable sales targets you first need to understand the market. You should take note of market trends and the challenges that your sales team might face because of them.
Your Sales team is more likely to meet their targets when there's a favourable market. In a favourable market, there will be more interest in your products and services. As a result, your salespeople will find it easier to make more sales. But, an unfavourable market, usually means there’s a period of economic downturn. Or there’s been a recent increase in competition. Either way, your sales team won’t make as many sales, making it difficult to achieve their targets.
Remember, you should set targets with the current state of the market in mind. This way, your sales team are more likely to achieve them.
Involve the Sales Team
Your salespeople are the ones who will be working towards the targets. So, it’s only right that you consider their point of view. After all, they know their abilities better than anyone else. And with this, they will be able to give you an indicator of what’s realistic and what isn’t. Involving the sales team in this means they will understand how the targets are set. Being included in this process will create a sense of ownership. And with accountability, they will be more invested in achieving their goals.
Your sales team are interacting with customers on a daily basis. So, they can provide your company with valuable, first-hand information on consumer behaviour. This can help to identify challenges and certain trends that are taking place. You can use this information to set challenging, yet achievable sales targets. Being involved in this process will motivate your sales team to go and achieve their goals.
Once you have set your sales targets you can’t go and forget about them. Instead, you should monitor their progress. This will allow you to track performance and see which areas of the business are doing well. Yet, if you’re underperforming in certain places, you can make subtle changes to the strategy.
Salespeople also enjoy being able to monitor their progress. With clear targets to work towards, your sales team will remain engaged. But, without regular updates, your salespeople can lose track and become demotivated.
Monitoring your progress allows you to spot issues early on. For example, your sales team might be falling short of its targets. This might indicate that there are problems with your team’s approach. Recognising this early is essential, as it allows you to pivot without wasting too much time. You can also use this data to ensure you set more realistic targets in the future.
SMART targets stand for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Due to their very nature, SMART targets provide clear goals for sales teams to work towards. Setting these goals means your sales team can deliver the results in a specified time frame.
SMART targets provide sales teams with an understanding of what’s expected from them. They know their performance is being measured. So, they can increase engagement and act as a motivator for your sales team. This can help your sales team build momentum, driving them towards their targets.
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