Set up the right sales goals, and you’ll be set to provide customers with a thoughtful and personal buying experience.
Past performance is a terrific benchmark for setting sales goals.
Sales goals based on prior successes reward mediocrity and encourage your best rainmakers to quit.
Imagine a top sales agent, Anne, achieved 120 percent of her annual target. It might have been tough with many late nights, but she did it. By working hard, Anne raised expectations. Aiming to drive even greater performance, one manager sets Anne’s next annual target at 120 percent of last year. Frustrated, Anne’s eyes fall on her colleague Chad, who hit just 85 percent of his yearly target. His sales goal remains unchanged. In Anne’s position, what would you do? Likely look for an employer who appreciates the effort and keeps targets reasonable.
There’s no one-size-fits-all sales goal. The appropriate choice depends on the time period covered and the people responsible for achieving the goal. Sales managers must align their goals with their current resources and needs.
Read on to learn how to pick the right goals for your team, complete with helpful examples.
What are examples of sales goals?
SALES GOAL EXAMPLES
- Close $300,000 in total sales by the end of the current fiscal year.
- Make $70,000 in new sales by the end of Q2.
- Complete $5,000 in sales for the month of June.
- Send 100 cold emails by the end of the workweek.
- Identify 12 new prospects and add them to the CRM.
- Close 15 new accounts in Q1.
- Make $1M as a team by the end of the fiscal year.
- Generate between $500,000 and $700,000 by the end of the year.
- Achieve 120 percent of annual sales target of $100,000.
- Have virtual coffee chats with 10 potential clients by the end of the month.
- Reduce churn rate by 10 percent by the end of Q3.
- Generate over 70 percent of sales from clients X and Y for the month of November.
To set a strong sales goal, you must first figure out what type it should be. You can do this by asking yourself and your sales team these questions:
- When do we need to reach our goal?
- Who will be involved in the process?
- What sales metrics will we use to track our progress?
While this article covers 12 different sales goals, there’s the opportunity for crossover between them. For instance, a team goal can also be an annual goal, and a stretch goal can be set for a team or an individual.
1. Annual goals
2. Quarterly goals
3. Monthly goals
4. Weekly goals
5. Daily goals
6. Individual goals
7. Team goals
8. Success ranges
9. Stretch goals
10. Relationship-driven goals
11. Churn-reduction goals
12. 80-20 goals (the Pareto Principle)
What are SMART goals in sales?
You want to create goals that team members can understand and achieve. To do so, make sure they’re S.M.A.R.T.:
Sales goals that aren’t S.M.A.R.T. typically leave your team with more questions than answers. For example, say your team is told to “grow annual revenue.” This requires a lot of clarification: Grow revenue by how much? By when?
Or, consider the goal of “closing 8 million new sales by the end of the month.” This target is specific, measurable, actionable, and time-bound—but it’s certainly not realistic.
S.M.A.R.T. objectives, like the ones below, are crystal clear and meet all the criteria.
- Increase annual revenue from $500,000 to $650,000.
- Send handwritten notes to 150 MQLs by the end of the quarter.
- Close 75 sales by the end of the quarter.
- Open 200 new accounts by the end of the year.
- Use sales engagement automation tools to send personalized emails at scale to 25,000 past clients this month.
- Increase quarterly revenue by 15 percent.
One final tip for setting S.M.A.R.T. sales goals is to create them with your team, not for your team. When you involve them in the goal-setting process, you give them a chance to voice their opinions and concerns—this is empowering and helps them feel valued. They’re the people who are closest to your customers, too, so it’s essential to incorporate their input when establishing goals.
How to track your sales goals
Once you’ve set your S.M.A.R.T. sales goals, make sure you’re tracking and evaluating them effectively and proactively. This helps you recognize patterns early on in the sales process and make any needed adjustments.
Check-in regularly with your sales team on the status of their goals, and provide support and encouragement to keep them motivated. If you notice a sales rep struggling to meet their targets, ask them what additional resources you can provide to help them out.
You can also use a CRM to easily keep tabs on sales performance. A CRM like Zendesk Sell helps you manage customer data, set and track goals, monitor your team’s pipeline, and perform sales forecasting. You can even create reports to determine whether your team is on track, ahead, or behind in meeting key objectives and milestones.
Effective sales goals go beyond profit
The best sales managers focus on all aspects of the sales process. Your sales goals should go beyond dollar figures to include the human side of sales—specifically, the relationships between sales agents and customers. But the relationship between sales leaders and their teams can also make all the difference.
Set your targets based on the unique needs of your company and team, and involve your sales agents to ensure goals are not only challenging but also realistic. Allowing team members a voice in sales goal creation can help profoundly to gain engagement and buy-in.