Three Essential Sales Activities – Are You Practicing Them?

What is the strangest sales targets you have seen?

I have seen all sorts of odd targets. These have included the minimum time spent at meetings and even the most efficient driving routes.
Some targets are more useful than others.  Many people are tasked with a minimum number of quotes every month.  There’s a temptation to ask for quotes just to meet a target.  It keeps the estimators busy but it doesn’t turn into much business.
So here are three rather more useful targets that you might consider setting for yourself or your team. The first one is about what you do.

Set basic activity targets

It’s always important to make sure that sales people are carrying out the right activity.  So I would expect them to be measured on the number of calls and visits made.  However, it’s often useful to expand this target beyond the basics.  You might set social media activity targets, networking goals or a number of customer-focused events to attend.
I’m a great believer in setting targets according to the strengths of different people.  Not everyone should receive the same call targets. If someone is better at getting results from social media, then their targets should focus around this rather than cold calling.
But we all know that sales is about more than how active you are.

Target profit margins

The majority of sales people in the print industry are measured on turnover.  It’s certainly important to keep the presses running. However, it’s just as important to make some money!
That’s why I believe that it’s important to measure the profit margin achieved on jobs. If sales people are, in part, rewarded on profit they will tend to negotiate harder with customers.
There’s one final area that I want to discuss.

Target specific types of job and customer

Many companies have an ideal customer. They also have an ideal type of product to produce.  It can be worth setting targets that encourage your sales people to focus on these types of clients and jobs.  Consider setting a higher reward rate for wins in these areas.
Naturally, there is one issue with all targets.

Sales people hate targets

No matter what targets you set, someone at your company will probably have an issue with at least one of them.  Remember that this is normal behavior for sales people! They like to have as easy a set of targets as possible!
Perhaps it’s time to point out that at least you haven’t set targets that involve minimum meeting time and efficient driving routes!

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