What would you rather have?
- A motivated sales team hustling towards smashing their sales quotas, or
- A team of hopeless salespeople who have given up on ever achieving them?
The question is obviously rhetorical - nobody would want to not crush their goals - and yet, it’s a reality in every second organization. Why?
Did I hear you say, “not enough good reps”, or “a pandemic year”, or “lack of coaching”?
Have you ever wondered if the problem is bigger than you realized: such as unattainable targets in the first place?
In a nutshell, if you overestimate the capabilities of your sales team and set unattainable goals for them, you’re basically setting yourself up for failure. For example, let’s say your team closed ten enterprise-level and 30 small-sized businesses in the last quarter. So, for the next quarter, if you’re asking them to land 20 enterprise-level deals by reducing the number of small client wins, you’re putting yourself in a pickle.
So, how do you set achievable sales goals for your sales team in the first place? This article will provide you with actionable tips to set effective sales goals that will only set you up for success.
7 essential tips for setting achievable sales goals
Set goals the S.M.A.R.T. way
Specific: What sounds more actionable to you: “Generate more bottom-line revenue this quarter” or “Increase revenue by 4% month over month”. The latter revenue goal is specific, gives more insight into what to do, and can better help you set and achieve your monthly quotas.
Measurable: You can't manage what you can't measure. Set measurable sales goals that can be tracked over a specific time frame to analyze your progress and course-correct as and when required.
Achievable: You can’t expect your team members to jump the ladder by ten steps if they’re used to taking one step at a time. If your business goal is to reduce your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC), which currently amounts to $10,000, you can’t expect your sales reps to cut it down by half. Instead, reducing it by 12% year over year and setting monthly and quarterly goals for the same is an ambitious yet achievable goal that also promises higher ROI.
Realistic: It’s important to take all the influencing factors into account when setting sales goals so that you set attainable and realistic goals. Unrealistic goals and expectations can cause stress for your sales team, ultimately leading to burnout.
Time-bound: Setting goals without a timeline is similar to making catch-up plans over a session of small-talk - they are limited to that conversation and never actually happen. Your key consideration while setting sales goals should be to set a deadline to achieve them. It will keep your team motivated, avoid any scope of procrastination, and maintain a sense of urgency, enabling reps to keep moving forward.
Embrace the theory of small wins
“The journey to reach your destination is not a big leap; it’s a series of small steps to achieve a long-term goal.”
In sales terminology, those small steps are your activity goals. If you have set a long-term sales goal to increase your customer retention rate by X% this year, how do you approach this goal? You can set smaller, activity-based goals to make X calls to your existing customers every month or up-sell/cross-sell to Y customers every quarter to reduce the churn rate. This will keep your reps’ plates full with specific goals and well-defined tasks to complete on an everyday basis, eventually enabling them to achieve the final team goal.
Place data at the core
When setting sales goals, what do you base your decisions on? How do you decide if you need to increase or decrease X metric to increase your annual revenue by a certain percentage? What is the value of that X, and what is that certain percentage?
Umm, certainly (and hopefully), it’s not based on your or your sales reps’ intuition. And if it is, then this newsflash is for you: “It’s not the 90s anymore. You NEED to use your DATA.”
“Most of the world will make decisions by either guessing or using their gut. They will be either lucky or wrong.” – Suhail Doshi, CEO, Mixpanel
To set S.M.A.R.T. sales goals, you need to forecast accurate sales metrics, for which you need to leverage your company’s historical sales data. The crux of the matter is that you have ample data stored in your CRM, but you don’t have the time to comb through all of it to extract selective information that matters.
Enter sales intelligence
Sales intelligence software (like Wingman) sifts through your endless call recordings and CRM data to glean actionable insights - that you can use to forecast accurate sales metrics. An AI-powered sales intelligence platform can make your goal-setting process data-driven, ensuring that you set SM.A.R.T. sales goals.
Align annual, quarterly, and monthly goals & quotas
Annual sales goals are a long bet and can even seem lofty if not backed by smaller goals spread over shorter timelines throughout the year. To achieve your long-term annual goals, you need to set smaller quarterly and monthly goals and sales quotas (and even weekly quotas, if required).
For example, let’s say your goal is to increase the product units sold in Minnesota. So, how do you approach this to decide what would be an achievable sales goal? And how do you align your long-term goal with quarterly goals and monthly and weekly targets?
- Begin with giving your annual goal a specific number. Let’s say you sold ten units of your SaaS product every month last year, and of course, you need to sell more and generate more revenue this year. A S.M.A.R.T. annual goal would be to increase your revenue by 20%.
- To achieve this annual goal, you would need to align your monthly goals accordingly. So, to see a 20% hike in your annual revenue, you would now need to sell twelve units every month.
- To align this with your weekly or daily activity-based sales quotas, you can increase the number of cold calls your sales rep makes or the number of emails they send to interested leads every week or every day. On average, your reps should make 50 to 60 calls every day to make sure that they are able to mark a considerate number of leads as qualified.
Keep your team motivated with incentives
"If you appreciate someone, never keep it a secret.”
Your sales reps are always on a roll to hit their everyday quotas, weekly sales targets, and monthly goals, ensuring that their efforts reflect in your sales cycles and revenue. There will be times when they will have a lot on their plates, and in times like these, staying motivated can be a fickle thing. This is where recognition, rewards, healthy competitions, and incentives can help you tremendously.
You can leverage activity-based leaderboards to organize healthy team competitions and reward the ones who go off the charts with their quota attainment. Even better, you can reward within a range to boost the morale of all your sales reps, rather than just rewarding the star performers. For example, whoever closes between seven to ten clients this month, gets rewarded in the range of $3000 to $6000.
Coach your sales team simultaneously
With missions come challenges, and your sales team might go off the track in their quest to hit quotas and achieve goals. They might lack valuable sales skills, face issues in dealing with large clients, or just might need your guidance to improve their sales performance. As a sales manager, this is where you should step in to solve your reps’ woes and get them back on track to achieve their goals.
Sales coaching software to the rescue!
With AI-powered sales coaching software (like Wingman), you can quickly gather important insights from your reps’ sales calls and identify their weaknesses and areas of improvement. Based on that, you can organize coaching sessions and suggest training courses to your sales reps to help them get better results.
Track and analyze with intelligence
If your car gets off the track on your way to your destination, do you keep going, or do you check the GPS to switch to the right route again? Of course, the latter.
Similarly, your sales team might stumble upon some roadblocks in their journey to achieve sales goals and would need to take instant measures to prevent any loss. All your goal-setting efforts will go in vain if you don’t track and analyze your team’s sales process and progress regularly. So, as a sales leader, you should set recurring reminders to track and analyze your team’s progress, follow up to ensure that they are hitting their sales targets, and take course-corrective measures if they are not.
Need some help with that? Your wingman is here to guide your way!
Wingman, our sales intelligence software, can help you set achievable revenue targets and activity goals with its data-driven sales analytics in these ways:
Set achievable sales goals: You can derive valuable insights from your sales data for each client, deal, and sales rep on your team and use that information to set S.M.A.R.T. sales goals.
Analyze calls and coach reps: With its conversation intelligence and real-time transcription features, Wingman enables you to quickly analyze your reps’ sales calls and identify where they need to improve. You can also create sales playlists of your top performers’ best sales calls and share them with new hires or sales reps who need to improve their game.
Live call assistance: Do you ever end up in tricky situations on calls? Have there been sales objections you can’t easily handle or a competitor mentioned by your prospect that you don’t know how to respond to? Wingman proves to be your wingman in such tough situations on sales calls. It provides battle cards and live assistance to help you close deals, increase conversion rate, and ultimately reach your benchmarks.
You can admit it now - you’re better with your Wingman by your side. To set, meet, and exceed sales goals and supercharge your company’s flywheel - book a demo with us today. And off you’ll go in the AI-powered sales world where sales goal setting can’t go wrong, and your revenue graph goes up!