It’s widely accepted that goal setting is the best way to become more organized, motivated and successful. This is especially true for sales teams, for whom performance is often evaluated through a range of metrics and assessments. The exact goals you set for your team will depend on a variety of factors, such as team size, industry, length of sales cycle, and more.

There are a plethora of resources and templates available to help with goal setting. No matter what you choose to use, it is important for your sales people to frequently set goals (both short and long-term) and hold themselves accountable. There are a three important things to keep in mind when defining your goals:

Task Clarity

According to Harvard Business Review, “sales task clarity has a greater impact on the motivation of field salespeople than ego drive or compensation method.” Ensuring that your seller knows exactly how to reach their goals will eliminate reluctance and help them work as efficiently as possible.

When developing goals with your seller, be clear and concise on what they should be doing and don’t leave any room for interpretation.

Focus On What’s Controllable

If your sellers are focusing on end results for their goals, they are missing a very vital piece of goal setting – the controllable activities that get them there. If they simply state:

“I’d like to add 5 new opportunities to my funnel this week,” or “I’d like to get 2 new signed deals this week,” – those goals are out of their control and rely on other people.

The sales profession is often riddled with rejection and can seem daunting at times, so it’s important to set controllable, attainable goals for your sales team. As Business Insider writes, setting attainable goals is all about being specific. And according to HubSpot and Harvard study, specific goals increase motivation and performance by 30%.

When organizations set goals that are dependent on external factors, success becomes harder to reach and motivation can be derailed. Instead, work with your sales team to define the activities that will achieve their goals, and set targets for those activities. 

When your seller wants to add X amount of new opportunities to their funnel this week, ask them about how many dials, emails, companies prospected, etc. are required to reach that end goal. In turn, reaching that level of activity becomes the goal. 

Not only does this help build momentum with incremental, attainable wins, it also helps managers highlight potential areas of friction. If your seller is not meeting expectations, you can break down and examine their controllable activities to determine how they can improve.

Taking Ownership and Accountability

After you and your sellers develop clear and controllable activity goals for the week, month, and quarter, the next step is to hold them accountable. Accountability is one of the most important elements of a great sales culture. One of the simplest ways to do this is to have them share their goals with you and the team for the week. Typically, this is done during a team meeting where everyone quickly shares their own goals for the week.

Additionally, have your seller document their progress towards the goal and email them to you on a weekly basis. This ensures accountability and sets expectations for the week.

After the week is over, it is also important to recap performance against goals and provide feedback. If they exceeded or fell short of their goals, always ask them why and start with the positives.

Maximize Your Sales Goals Effectiveness

Setting goals is not a new concept and is a very common practice. To maximize the effectiveness of your team’s sales goals, be sure to incorporate task clarity, controllable metrics, and accountability.

Set better sales goals and coach your team to success.


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