The benefits of developing goals for your team are well-publicized, but they may not be doing what you intend. In fact, there are a number of reasons why your sales goals may actually be damaging your team and the wider business.
Goals should follow a SMART outline or something similar to ensure they are appropriate for your team. Arguably the most important element of this is making sure they are realistic. Sales can be a competitive environment, so it can be tempting to try and evoke this in your team by creating practically unachievable goals to push them further.
If no one on your team - or only one or two employees - are actually achieving the goals set out for them, it can lead to a massive drop in morale. This - in turn - will eventually cause low productivity across the team, which will ultimately be damaging to the entire business.
If your sales goals rely on unethical practices to achieve, then they won't be performing well for your team or the business in the long run. Whether it's overpromising to get consumers to convert, misrepresenting products or stealing work from colleagues, it's not going to create a good company culture. This may not sound like a big deal, but it can seriously harm your business and your chance of acquiring and keeping talent in the future.
Unethical company policies or cultures can cause a massive hit to overall reputation, as Uber and other businesses have found out. Even if you're not doing anything legally wrong, you need to consider whether your sales goals are built around doing what's right for the consumer or not.
They're too long-term
Whenever you're creating a goal or target, you need to ensure that there's an appropriate timeline in place to see results. This allows sales professionals to review their progress and alter their approach if necessary. Not reaching a goal won't kill the business, but continuing to do something that isn't working could.
There should be an almost constant process of trying, tracking, reviewing and amending goals to ensure the entire team is working to their full potential.
They encourage burnout
If your sales goals are focused purely on sales numbers, then you are encouraging your employees to overwork. This burnout can be costly for businesses and will lead to high employee turnover, pushing up your recruitment expenses. The sales sector is well-known for its competitiveness and all businesses want to make as much money as possible, but this should be based around upskilling employees with the most effective ways of selling, rather than making as many sales as possible at any cost.