Sales leaders are taught to set sales goals, both for individual salespeople and the organization as a whole, and that by doing so they’ll sell more, make more money, and climb the ladder of success.
I want to ask you, has that promise come true for you?
For most people the answer is no, or at least not completely.
I can say this with certainty because not hitting budget is the number one reason people reach out to me in the first place. I’ve had hundreds of discussions with sales leaders across the country revealing the frustration of people who have set sales goals and failed to consistently achieve them.
The issue is that sales goals by themselves don’t work for most people.
Now, don’t jump to conclusions. Goals are important, and I believe you must set them in order to find success in sales.
The issue with the simple advice of, “Set goals,” is that it’s incomplete and fails to reveal the reason why salespeople so often miss the mark and fail to achieve those goals.
The truth is that there is a small percentage of sales professionals for which setting goals is highly motivational and routine. It is the personal characteristics of those individuals that cause goal setting to work or not, and that is the variable you need to consider.
To understand how to make goal setting an effective catalyst to your success we need to look at the DNA and skill set of a relatively small group of salespeople for whom goal setting is known to be effective in achieving their desired outcomes. Once you know what those characteristics are, you can begin to identify strong candidates when hiring and alter the behavior of your current sales force so you can achieve a higher level of sales success.
The Secret of People Who Achieve Their Sales Goals.
There are two core characteristics or abilities that drive the achievement of sales goals: a sense of urgency and a willingness to consistently take action.
In order for salespeople to be successful, visualization of goals is not enough. They must also have a strong internal sense of urgency, desire, and commitment to achieve those goals.
For these salespeople achieving goals is priority #1. It’s not a “nice to have” or something that can get tackled later. Successful sales people are constantly in pursuit of greater success and achievement.
In addition, “smart” goal setting is really important because your salespeople must be able to believe that their goals are a reality even before they are achieved. That’s where strategizing with a coach can be very effective -- someone who has the tools to effectively evaluate each salesperson on your team and provide you with the insight needed to understand which of your existing salespeople possess this internal drive.
Nothing will come from simply asking for it. Your salespeople must do the work, and this time with more purpose, more intensity and more consistency.
Work produces results. It’s something I discuss with every client, that when salespeople finally begin to execute a well thought out process with consistency, when they laser in on the actions that will deliver results, the pipeline builds and new business begins to close. This is not “wishful thinking”. This is reality.
The reality is that a relatively small number of salespeople have a natural sense of urgency combined with the commitment to take consistent action, and that’s the reason so many goals fail to be met. The secret to achieving sales goals requires both urgency and action.
Now that your wheels are turning, you’ll want to focus on perfecting a hiring process that identifies the characteristics of a strong sales candidate. Note that a sense of urgency and action aren’t the only components! There are actually many; but, urgency and action are two of the most impactful.
As for your existing sales force, if you have the right people in the right roles, we can take steps to improve their behaviors. That will come as we begin to develop your overall sales process. Of course, there is a strong possibility that you don’t have the right people in the right roles and will need to make some changes. We’ll address that, too.
You now know some of the secrets to achieving your sales objectives. When hitting your revenue numbers hits the top of your priority list, give us a call.
Sales management expert Duane Cashin has lead award-winning sales organizations and trained sales teams for companies of all sizes. He’s earned membership in Presidents Club and Circle of Excellence, successfully built and sold his own multi-million-dollar business, and enjoys sharing his passion for sales.