Skip to main content

Sales - Setting Targets

Are your salespeople included in setting targets?   Very few are.  Sales targets are based on previous individual performance, sales division performance and budget requirements.   In some companies everybody gets the same target, regardless of abilities or previous successes, while in others it is an enormously complex beast with all sorts of criteria used.

While the business requirements have to be met, it is important to discuss and collaborate with the salespeople themselves.

Sales is a game, and each time you play a game, you should want to do better.   If you are not competitive by nature, sales can be a very tough career.  It is, anyway.

More and more, sales management is about coaching, not managing, so it really important for sales managers to understand how coaching works.  There are great courses out there which guide sales managers through the coaching methodology.
A simple, but structured approach to target setting with lots of communication is best practice, but, like budgets, it is often a top / down approach which impacts commitment to the numbers:

First, sales managers need to buy into, and be able to share the model clearly and simply.
  1. Meet the team, and share the model
  2. Discuss the issues and challenges as a group
  3. Discuss which campaigns and strategies worked in the previous year, and any new ones already on the table
  4. Set aside time to meet with each salesperson individually
People need to own their goals and targets, so sales managers should have a genuine conversation with salespeople pre the finalisation of targets.
  1. How did you achieve your targets last year?  or
  2. Why didn't you achieve your targets last year?
  3. Do you believe this years' suggested targets are achievable?
  4. Why?
  5. Are there problems in the business that are stopping you from selling?
  6. If you believe the targets are not achievable, what can I, as your sales manager, do to help you bring the deals in?
  7. How should I be managing you?  (When you are achieving and when you are not.)
  8. If they have set their own goals (and they should) discuss the goals and ways to incorporate success into the departmental model.
  9. Discuss motivation and demotivation - so often these conversations only happen once the stable door is already shut
    • Do they feel the company is behind them?
    • Do they feel recognised for their successes?
  10. Ideally, a discussion about short and long term objectives should take place ie not all salespeople receive orders monthly, they might work on a deal for two or three years, or two or three weeks.  Keeping morale high is a challenge in long term business.
  11. Create an action plan together that facilitates the management process because it gives the manager something to measure and the salesperson a very clear guideline
  12. Set up a regular meeting schedule
When people are aware that there are regular meetings, that their manager is measuring them against clear objectives in addition to targets, behaviour starts to change.   Salespeople, like most of us, do what managers measure.   It is part of a good coaching technique to clearly identify the measurements.

It also helps to define an acceptable degree of variation.   When everybody knows what is significant, it is much easier for the conversations around performance to be objective.

Sales today is more of a challenge than ever, coaching, clear goals and celebration of every success can make a difference.


Links, References and Notes

Accsys
Stratham Bryce Sales Training

Note


Thank you for reading Teryl@Work.   Should you wish to use any of the material, please acknowledge this blog as the source

email:      tschroenn@accsys.co.za

twitter:   @TerylSchroenn

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Which Wolf are you Feeding?

Which Wolf are you Feeding?
An old Cherokee is teaching his grandson about life: (Sources – See below) A fight is going on inside me, he said to the boy.   It is a terrible fight and it is between two wolves.   One is evil – he is anger, envy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority and ego. The other is good – he is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith. This same fight is going on inside you – and every other person, too. The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather “Which wolf will win?” The old man replied simply “ The one you feed”. When I came across this story in a thriller by Michael Robotham, my reaction was immediate.  This is a great hook for creating positive thinking and, importantly to our business, a new way to approach an age old concern. Feeding the good wolf - focusing on the right stuff!  The message …

Thinking of leaving - should you discuss it with your manager?

The exit interview is not the time to tell your manager that you would have stayed if.....   When you are serious about your career, and really enjoy your job, except for one key component, take the time to talk before you resign.

While sometimes the grass is greener, more often than not you just inherit new issues at a new company.

It is a difficult labour market in South Africa right now, there is a skills shortage, and yet there are millions of people without jobs.   Working for a stable company, with people you like, and a job you enjoy is important, and yet there are often those frustrations that give you itchy feet.

In your current position, your manager might really want to keep you, and be very interested in finding out what would make you a happier, more productive, employee.   It is also sometimes much easier to have that conversation with somebody you already know, than have it in your first weeks in a new position.

When you know you have choices, as well as know that you …

Feeding the Right Wolf

Feeding the Right Wolf This Cherokee story resonated with me (see below). Like many business people, I get caught up in managing details, instead of focusing on strategy and growth.Measuring myself against the Good Wolf concept has become a way of thinking for me. Feeding the good wolf - focusing on the right stuff! In a previous article on this topic, I commented that the message is simple, the wolf you feed is the one that grows. The good wolf attributes in a business are where we ideally should spend our time, that good old 80 – 20 rule focusing on our engaged employees, improving client experience and quality of product, to name a few. Creating a Good Wolf Environment While we have many different tools – appraisals, customer and employee surveys – to try and understand the temperature and levels of entropy in our businesses – the truth is that it is really difficult to explain to people that they are not seen as feeding the good wolf.Often the people who offer the most negative input s…