Ask a salesperson what their goals are and you’ll likely hear about their quarterly or yearly quota. Ask a top salesperson? They might mention their quota, but that’s just where it begins.
In the popular sales book, The Psychology of Selling, author Brian Tracy describes top salespeople as “intensively goal oriented,” and that they “know how much they’re going to earn each week, each month, each quarter and each year.”
Why? Because the company quota isn’t what drives top salespeople, it’s an internal desire for success. They know setting ambitious yet realistic goals that can be broken down into smaller, more manageable steps is what it takes to reach the top.
So in the spirit of becoming a top salesperson, here are 6 steps you can follow to set and follow through with the goals that really motivate you!
1) Determine how much success you will have
“The starting point of all achievement is desire.” -Napoleon Hill
Your company is going to give you a quota to hit, but what about you? Your company quota may not get you to the income you intend to make, so it’s important for you to determine how much bacon you want to bring home, and then strive to hit that number (as long as it’s not lower!).
Don’t pick a goal so high into the stratosphere that you’ll become discouraged if all doesn’t go according to plan. Best practice is to choose a goal that will be difficult, but still attainable. If you made 50K last year, increasing your income 50% to 75K might be a good goal. Ultimately, you’ll know best what is possible, but just be careful not to let your goal become a demotivator.
2) Track sales behaviors and performance metrics
If you’re only concerned with bottom line metrics like revenue and deals closed, you’ll have a hard time understanding what’s really leading to your sales. Start tracking what you do on a daily basis, like number of sales meetings, calls made, or anything else you do consistently in order to have clear visibility into your sales process. It may seem tedious, but it’s doing the small things right that leads to great success.
3) Understand how behaviors impact performance
Once you have some solid data, you should be able to see clearly what efforts are leading to sales. You may discover that, on average, 1 out of every 5 meetings you have turns into a sale. Or that it usually takes 20 phone calls to secure a meeting. With this information you can develop a more holistic understanding for how your sales process is working so you can develop a strategy going forward, and also determine where you should work to improve or gain efficiencies with your efforts.
4) Break down your income goal into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily performance goals
If your goal is to make 100K this year, you know that you need to make 25K per quarter, between 8K and 9K per month and around 2K per week. How many sales will it take to achieve those numbers? And based on your performance metrics, what actions will you have to take to hit those sales numbers?
For example (using round numbers), you may find you need to make 100 sales to hit your 100K income goal. And if 1 out of every 5 meetings you book results in a sale, you’ll need to book 500 meetings this year to hit that number. Your quarterly meetings goal would then be 125, which means you’ll need about 10 meetings per week or 2 per day to stay on pace.
Take all your key metrics and break them down into manageable short term goals. When you consistently hit those goals, you’ll know you’re on pace for a great year.
5) Analyze your performance and make improvements
You can’t control every variable, so expect things to fluctuate as you go. Use the data you have to set performance benchmarks, but be willing to adapt when circumstances change or you start to fall behind in your goal.
Also use this data to help improve your weaknesses. For example, if you’re hitting your daily or weekly goals but still falling off the pace of your larger goal, you can easily identify where your performance is suffering and work to fix it.
6) Hit your goal and keep striving!
When you break down your loftier goals into smaller, manageable pieces you can conquer, you’ll likely blow past your goal faster than you imagined because you’ll be consistently focused and motivated. When you do, keep challenging yourself to improve and refine your craft. Pushing yourself (within reason), is how you were able to hit that goal in the first place — there’s no reason why you can’t use the same strategy for anything else you want to achieve!
Do you have any goal setting tips that have worked for you? Share them below!