Setting sales goals is one of the most important responsibilities of a sales manager, and a valuable practice for individual salespeople. Formal sales training – such as a sales certificate program – can provide the knowledge you need to set goals that are actionable and achievable, yet aggressive enough to spur real growth.
When setting sales goals for yourself or your team, there are five steps you can follow to optimize your results:
It’s important to realize that setting sales goals is just the beginning – you must also identify how you plan to achieve them. Create a list of the steps you’ll need to take to attain those goals, as well as any obstacles that can potentially derail your efforts. This will serve as your master plan. Before you can make real progress toward your sales goals, you must first overcome any obstacles that may hinder your success. Once you’ve resolved those issues, you’ll be able to reach your goals even faster. Maintaining a written outline also helps to keep yours goals in sight, and allows you to physically track your progress by checking off each step and achievement.
In addition to setting sales goals, you must make sure that you and your team have the necessary training to achieve them. Formal sales training courses ensures that every member of your sales force is equipped with the tools and techniques required to meet (or exceed) your sales goals. Training also provides an in-depth understanding of the sales process, so that everyone is on the same page and able to work together to achieve goals. Advance planning and preparation are essential to success, and sales training is one of the best forms of preparation available.
When setting sales goals and objectives, you should always aim to spend less and sell more. You must control costs in order to exceed your sales goals and make a profit. When you take steps to control spending, you’ll achieve greater savings at the end of the project. This will result in increased profitability and reflect positively on you and your team. To encourage your staff to participate in and contribute ideas toward cost-cutting measures, you can apply some of the savings toward incentives and bonuses for them.
If you put the wrong salespeople on a project, it can adversely affect your ability to meet your sales goals. Research the background of each member of your sales team as well as new hires to identify their strengths and weaknesses, and use that information to your advantage. You may find that some people are better at closing new business, while others have a knack for upselling existing customers or obtaining referrals. Match skills, experience and personalities appropriately to ensure a cohesive team and make the best use of each person’s talents.
Setting sales goals and outlining strategies are critical to success, but it’s equally important to follow through on your plans. Each team member must be aware of his or her deliverables. Consider having each salesperson submit regular progress reports – either in writing or verbally in meetings – to ensure that you haven’t skipped any steps or overlooked any obstacles. Consistent follow through helps prevent problems that could otherwise arise later in the process, when it’s more difficult to correct them.
Following these five steps when setting sales goals will improve your ability to meet – and even exceed – those goals. Whether you’re currently tasked with setting sales goals or looking to advance into a management role, sales training can put you on the path to success – and a sales certificate can take your career to the next level!