There’s a big problem with annual sales targets
This type of sales goal can be very hard to remain focused on. At the beginning of the year, no-one is too worried if you are behind with a big target. After all, there is plenty of time to make up for it later. This feeling can easily stay until the end of the first quarter.
However, at that point you suddenly have to achieve a full year’s sales in just nine months. You are soon going to start seriously slipping behind with your figures. By the time you realize you are in trouble, it’s often too late to do anything about it.
Here are three sales goals that produce better results
- Set three-month sales targets
A shorter-term sales goal really focuses the sales person. They need to produce results in a much shorter time frame. That means that they get down to work straight away.
If the sales target is missed, there is still the opportunity to meet the figures later in the year with another three-month sales project.
However, sometimes sales people need to be focused on more regular activity. That’s where the next goal comes in.
- Create a measurable sales pipeline
Sales people should be able to accurately estimate what work they are likely to bring in over the next few months. This can be achieved with a simple spreadsheet.
It should be possible to estimate the monthly turnover of each prospect. This figure can then be multiplied by the number of months left in the year. This gives you the total potential new business for the remainder of the year.
Naturally, you will not convert all this business! Therefore you should work out the percentage likelihood of you winning the business, depending of the stage of the sale.
For instance, you may only estimate the likelihood of conversion at 10 or 20% if you have submitted a first quote. But the likelihood may be 75% if you are discussing schedules. You can work these percentages out according to your past sales performance. You now have an accurate estimate of the work you are likely to win over the coming months.
- Set sales activity goals
Rather than setting a specific turnover for a sales person to achieve, it may be more beneficial to set activity targets. Targeting sales people with a set number of activities each week should ensure that you achieve the right results.
Here are some of the targets you might consider setting:
- Number of calls
- Number of emails
- Number of meetings
- Number of outreaches on social media
- Number of referrals
Whatever goals you set, remember one important rule:
Sales people should also be accountable
All sales people should have someone they report to. It may be a manger. Or it may simply be someone they have promised to report their activity and results to. Being accountable means that you really focus on achieving what you have been set.
Try out one of these sales goals today
You may find that they create far better results than having an annual target.
Editor’s Note: This is a two-part series on effective sales strategies and tactics:
- 3 Tips That’ll Boost your Sales Team’s Performance
- How to Create Realistic Sales Measurement
PS If you’d like more information on how to use social media effectively to drive readers to your newsletter and to sell printing services, download my free e-guide “Ten Social Media Rules For Print Sales People”. You’ll also receive my regular “Views from the print buyer” bulletin, full of ideas on how to use social media and sell print effectively.