Sales teams are aware of the importance of setting appropriate goals but it can be difficult to accomplish. You not only want to create targets that allow you to reach your business ambitions, but also ones that motivate and engage employees.
This can be a challenge. It goes without saying that salespeople will need to work hard to achieve the business targets but this doesn't always go hand-in-hand with high morale. So what do you do? How do you accomplish both?
Look at your current resources
The best way to build a goal that is appropriate for your team is to put them first. Of course, you'll want to look at the budget limitations and financial goals you are given for the immediate future, but you'll also need to uncover the dynamic of the professionals you work with.
Making the most of your goals means ensuring salespeople have all the resources they need to realize their potential. This means making sure professionals have the right balance between autonomy and support and that natural leaders are placed in positions to motivate the rest of the team.
Most people recognize that goals need to be SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time Limited), or something similar, to be of any value. If you're considering your employees, the most important of these is whether it's achievable or realistic.
Making goals that are realistic because they are too easy to achieve won't challenge your team and are unlikely to realize your business ambitions. Moreover, setting targets that are significantly below the talent of your salespeople will increase turnover as more ambitious employees start to look elsewhere for a role that will challenge them, allowing them to grow their skillset.
On the other hand, creating goals that are completely unachievable will demotivate a team and make them feel undervalued. If a low number of your sales team - or none at all - are able to realize the goals, it's a good sign that they are unrealistic.
To avoid both of these scenarios, you need to work with a range of professionals to determine what is realistic for your team and build the goals from there.
Understand the market
What goals are your competitors setting themselves? How is your industry expected to change over the next year? Understanding the market will give you a good foundation to set goals that allow employees to feel engaged and push the company towards success.
Determining how big the demand will be for your product or service over the next few years will help you see how your revenue could expand, stabilize or fall in the immediate future. This is an essential part of setting targets that make industry-leading roles for your salespeople and realize the potential of the wider business.