Setting sales goals is an important part of any successful sales strategy. However, it can be difficult to create goals that are both realistic and motivating.
In this article, we’ll discuss the best tips for setting sales goals and ways to track progress towards meeting these targets.
Setting Sales Goals
If they have only one goal, reps are selling themselves short. By holding your reps accountable for smaller weekly or monthly goals, you can increase their chances of reaching their larger goals.
Through incremental wins and smaller goals, your reps will gain confidence. These allow you to track your reps’ progress towards larger goals and allow you to spend more time with struggling reps.
A Dominican University study showed that setting goals is more motivating than simply telling yourself “I’ll do my best,” and it was more effective than simply telling yourself “I’ll just try my best.”
What would a sales rep’s sales performance look like if they were more productive?
Learn how to set sales goals for your team and yourself. It may seem like a lot of work, but the end result is motivated salespeople who get the support they need.
Tips for setting sales goals
- Calculate your monthly sales goals.
- Set waterfall goals.
- Sequence goals.
- Set activity goals.
- Incentivize goal attainment.
- Keep track of your progress towards your goals.
- Set stretch goals.
- Suggest mentor goals.
- Create a collective goal.
1. Calculate your monthly sales goals.
The annual sales goals should align with personal and team sales goals. Your monthly sales goals will be based on your company’s annual revenue target. Once you have established your target, calculate how many sales each department, team and individual rep must make to reach it.
Be aware of seasonal and staffing fluctuations. If you have three salespeople in the fall, it may be difficult to achieve aggressive goals for Q4.
These employees may be trained by sales staff. Because you have planned for it, you can adjust your goals to push harder in Q3.
Example of a Monthly Goal: “Sell $100,000 worth of product by the first day of each month.”
Although it’s easy to understand the monthly goal for sales, it shouldn’t be difficult for your team. If you keep the same number each month, it’s easy for your overall revenue goals to fall behind. This number can be increased or decreased each month until your team meets it or exceeds it.
Always work backwards from the company’s annual revenue target. If there are any higher-ups who would like to have a say in the monthly sales figures that you’d like to see from sales staff, make sure to invite them.
2. Set waterfall goals.
A waterfall goal system is a method in which a team works in a straight line towards a goal. This approach is better for morale as it reduces fear and motivates. The waterfall approach results in better quality work and higher numbers.
You won’t cause burnout among your team members and will give them the time they need for quality improvement.
Waterfall Sales Goal Example: Add $3,000 Q2, $4,000 Q3, and $5,000 Q4.
Each rep should contribute $5,000 more each month than they currently do. You can do this by increasing your contributions over the course a calendar year. Waterfall goals are great for team morale, flexibility, and coordination.
If one rep falls behind, or if you have higher expectations, you can adjust the number of each rep.
3. Sequence goals.
This is another way of saying “prioritize your goals”. Your reps should determine which goals are most valuable and make sure they reach them first.
When setting goals for junior sales reps, it is important to set goals.
Sales reps’ goals are important for your company. They should be met, as well as their professional growth.
Sequence Sales Goal Example: “Set up X product demonstrations per week/day.”
If a rep is having difficulty with product demonstrations, you could set a goal to demonstrate to the team member once per day, then twice a week to improve your skills.
If a rep is having difficulty moving discovery conversations to the next level, set a goal of three demonstrations per week, then four, then one per day.
4. Set activity goals.
An activity goal is a salesperson’s behavioral objective. These activities can generate visibility or cash flow depending on the task assignment.
Example of an Activity Sales Goal: “Share one article per Week.”
Do you feel your rep should be more visible within your company? You could set a goal for your rep to share one article per month on the team’s Slack channel. Ask them to contribute one article per calendar month to the company blog.
5. Incentivize goal attainment.
Incentivizing goal achievement is a great way to motivate your team at every level of achievement. If they reach their quota, reps can receive bonuses, variable compensation, and even their jobs back.
Example of Incentivized Sales Goals: “Hit a retention ratio greater than X%.”
It is not good for your reps to close new business quickly but have the business still in trouble three months later. To motivate reps to close quality leads, you can set goals. A cash bonus might be offered to any rep that meets a certain percentage.
You don’t have enough money to offer a monetary reward. No problem. No problem.
6. Keep track of your progress towards your goals.
Goals that are not being measured and tracked are meaningless. You can track progress in your CRM using a dashboard, or have reps enter their weekly numbers into Excel spreadsheets. If your team members aren’t meeting their weekly goals, talk to them.
These small goals are well worth the extra effort and time required to monitor.
Example of a progressive sales goal: “Reduce time it takes for leads to be converted to customers.”
You will close more deals faster if you accelerate the sales process. This will enable the company to generate more revenue faster and will give the sales rep more time to work on prospecting and other deals. If you have a goal to reduce the time it takes to convert a lead to an opportunity or customer, your sales cycle will be quicker.
7. Set stretch goals.
A stretch goal is a goal that exceeds the primary goal. This can be very efficient. Remember the old saying, “Aim for moon.”
This is not the right thing to do for everyone. Stretch goals can only increase anxiety if a rep has difficulty meeting their monthly quota.
For high-performing reps, set realistic stretch goals that will motivate and challenge them.
Example of a Stretch Sales Goal: “Upsell 12X more customers than you did the previous month.”
Stretch goals encourage your best-performing team members, or at the very least your most successful rep, to reach a seemingly impossible goal. Stretch goals should not be suggested if your team is already exceeding expectations. You might suggest another goal to motivate them if they are still working towards your primary goals.
8. Suggest mentor goals.
Mentors are people who can help reps get up to speed or navigate through difficult periods. It happens to everyone. You can either give them a guideline or encourage them to create one with their mentor. They may need someone to confide in and support them.
Mentor Sales Goal Example: “Attend 1 professional development event per Month.”
For reps who aren’t attending, set a goal to attend at least one professional development event per month. This is a great way for sales leaders to mentor you.
9. Create a collective goal.
A collective goal is a specific objective co-created by a team to focus and achieve — like hitting X number of calls/meetings/emails, X amount of revenue, or X% client retention.
Example of a collective sales goal: “Book the most meetings of any rep on the team.”
Encourage friendly competition among your reps by challenging them each week to book the most meetings or demos. If you’re looking for some fun, you can create a leaderboard that highlights three or 10 top sales reps.
Let’s now look at how to set goals. Let’s take a look at some templates that will help you create them without needing to start from scratch.
1. Close Rate Calculator, and Sales Conversion
Are you looking to quickly get to the numbers fast? Our sales conversion calculator and close rate calculate will help you to outline your financial goals in one place. It will automatically generate your annual goals with the months broken down.
2. Sales plan Template
Our sales plan template will help you set both traditional and qualitative goals. Your goals can be written in numeric terms as well as in terms of the overall goals that you want your sales team to achieve. If you don’t want the details of your sales goals, this is a great place for you to start.
3. Sales Metrics Calculator
To set realistic sales goals, you need to first understand your sales performance. This sales metrics calculator will help you set better and more effective sales goals. This calculator will help you to become more familiar with sales metrics you may not have considered tracking in the past.
Setting OKR sales goals is another effective way to improve the performance of your team. This OKR template, similar to our sales plan template, will help you set general, qualitative goals. You don’t have to know exact numbers yet. You can refine your goals, adjust them as necessary, and track your key results.
This information can all be gathered in a sales dashboard, which allows you to track your progress towards your goals. You can set goals and track how you progress towards them.
If you are not in tech, you can change the names of the fields to make them more relevant for your business.
Once you are ready for sales goals to be set in an automated environment, upgrade your CRM.
Let’s talk about setting goals. These are some examples that you can use to help your staff.
Examples of sales goals
- Reduce customer churn.
- Increase average deal value.
- Increase customer lifetime value
- Improve average win rate.
- Acquisition at a low cost
- Invest in sales education.
- Shadow high-performing team members.
- More prospecting activities.
- Stay in touch with more prospects
Qualified sales conversations can be scheduled up to a set amount.
- You can schedule a number of discovery talks.
- Reduce the time it takes for leads to become customers.
- Increase the closing ratio
- Attain a substantial revenue figure
1. Reduce customer churn.
Your success in sales is your responsibility. Your primary goals should be to increase customer retention and decrease customer churn.
Customer churn is the rate at which customers stop using products or services from you. Your business’s ability to delight customers is dependent on how high your churn rate is. Managers have many options for helping you achieve this goal.
2. Increase average deal size.
If there’s one thing better than closing a deal, it’s closing one big. Managers who set goals for increasing the average deal size can position their sales team to develop profitable relationships with high-profile clients.
You can increase the size of a deal by bundling additional services or products into a contract, or rewarding customers with exclusive discounts.
3. Customer lifetime value should be increased
Customer lifetime value is a business measurement that measures the total revenue a customer can make over time.
This goal will allow managers to optimize their sales strategy and create long-lasting client relationships which will increase the business’ value to customers.
4. Improve average win rate.
The average win rate is the rate at which prospects reach the final stage and become customers. You need to develop a solid sales strategy and train your sales team on how to win more clients.
5. Customer acquisition at a lower cost
Managers want to keep costs down without compromising their team’s ability to succeed. Sales managers can work with reps to source qualified lead based on the types that have been most successful.
6. Invest in sales education.
One of the best ways to develop as an agent is to invest in your sales education. You can increase your product knowledge, negotiate skills, as well as business acumen.
7. Shadow high-performing team members.
Your sales manager can help you select the right person to work with. Your sales manager may be able to help you choose the right person.
8. Prospecting is an important activity.
Prospecting for new clients in target industries is a great way to expand your company’s reach into new markets. Your manager will be impressed with your efforts and you’ll feel satisfied and accomplished.
9. Stay in touch with more prospects
Some sales reps have difficulty staying in touch with customers. Maintain strong relationships by contacting each client at least once per month via email or phone.
10. You can schedule a set number of qualified sales conversations.
Are you fed up with wasting your time on prospects who aren’t interested? Set a goal to have qualified sales conversations with prospects who are more likely to be interested in your offer. You should give your time and effort to those who are actively looking for a solution.
11. You can schedule a number of discovery talks.
It is time to set a goal if you are having trouble finding prospects or scheduling discovery meetings. The more you practice matching client goals and needs to your offering, the more successful you will be.
12. Reduce the time it takes for leads to become customers.
Setting a goal to increase your conversion rate can help you save time and reduce your budget. This is also known to reduce your conversion cycle.
13. Increase the closing ratio
A sales rep might contact many leads, but not reach the end with many prospects. You will be able to identify the best sales team strategies if you monitor the closing rate. This number should be gradually increased.
You should receive additional training if you need it and be held accountable for your percentages.
14. Attain significant revenue
To encourage sales staff to work towards a higher goal, a revenue goal can be set on a monthly or quarterly basis. To increase motivation, incentives can be offered such as bonuses and extra PTO.
Let’s now take these business goals and align them with SMART.
Examples of SMART sales goals
- You can sell products worth $100,000 within the first month.
- Share one sales article per week.
- Reduce the time it takes for leads to become customers.
- Attend one professional development event each month.
- Increase your closing ratio by X% this quarter
- For enterprise-level prospects, schedule at least three demos.
- Schedule five discovery calls each month.
SMART goals are a proven method to get towards your desired goal. They can help you stay on the right track. “SMART” stands for:
All of these goals can be called SMART sales goals. Let’s take a closer look at some.
1. To reduce customer turnover by 20% I will train my sales staff to provide better customer support over the next six months.
- Specific:Tackling customer turnover rates.
- Measurable Customer Churn Rate can be measured.
- Attainable A 20% improvement is possible.
- Relevant Training sales staff can improve customer support. This can increase loyalty.
- Time-Bound This goal has a duration of six months.
2. Bundling multiple services together in a limited-time deal for the next three months can increase the average deal size.
- Specific: Our goal is to increase the average deal size.
- AverageDeal sizes can be calculated over a period of time.
- Attainable It’s possible to increase the average deal size in a scaling company.
- RelevantBundling is a way to increase sales, and is a primary goal for sales teams.
- Time-Bound The goal period is three months.
3. We will increase our customer’s lifetime value by 10% by offering more discounts in six months.
- Specific: Our goal is to increase customer lifetime value.
- Measurable Customer life Value is a metric that can be tracked and calculated.
- Attainable10% refers a realizable amount or change.
- Relevant:Discounted offers can have a significant impact on customer lifetime value.
- Time-Bound The goal period is six months.
4. I intend to increase the average win rate of 15% by improving our lead prospecting strategies.
- Specific: Our goal is to increase our average win rate.
- MeasurableAverage winrate can be used as a measurement formula.
- Attainable A 15% incremental change can be made.
- RelevantLead prospecting directly correlates to sales win rates
- Time-Bound This quarter’s goal duration.
5. I will reduce customer acquisition costs by 500 dollars in the next three-months by optimizing our paid searches to reach more buyers who match our buyer personas.
- Specific: Our goal is to lower customer acquisition costs.
- Measurable-Customer acquisition cost can be tracked and calculated.
- Attainable 500 is a reasonable amount for small businesses.
- Relevant Paying search to target buyers directly affects the acquisition cost.
- Time-Bound The goal duration for is three months.
6. I would like to be promoted to the position of sales manager within the next one year. This is possible by investing in continuing education for sales.
- Specific: The goal of the promotion is to become a sales manager.
- Measurable Although not numerical, the completion of continuing sales education classes and their weight-bearing may be documented.
- Attained Sales reps have the option to continue their education and improve their skills.
- Relevant Candidates who make investments in education are encouraged in a positive manner.
- Time-Bound The goal duration for is one year.
7. I will be shadowing high-performing team members this spring to learn more about customer interactions.
- Specific: Our goal is to build trust with customers.
- MeasurableBy studying the actions of high-performers, you can identify patterns that could be incorporated into a strategy by another person.
- Attainable It is possible to observe team members working with permission.
- Relevant Learn how to build trust with high-performing salespeople.
- Time-Bound This goal duration applies to the Spring season.
8. You should attend at most one professional development event per month to increase your prospecting activities.
- Specific: We aim to attend at most one professional event per month.
- Measurable You will be able to track the number and duration of events.
- Attainable You can make time for professional development and to look for events.
- Relevant Prospecting activities can be made easier by networking at professional development events.
- Time-Bound Although this goal is ongoing, it’s set for a monthly basis.
9. After our initial interaction, I will continue to follow-up with prospects. I will start automating emails in the next quarter.
- Specific: Our goal is to follow up with more prospects.
- Measurable Automated emails can be created and tracked within a CRM system.
- Attainable It is possible to reach prospects via email.
- Relevant Following up with prospects is a great way to do so.
- Time-Bound This goal duration will be the same as the next quarter.
10. Schedule at least three demos to enterprise-level prospects within the next three months.
- Specific: The goal of scheduling at least three demos for enterprise-level prospects is
- Measurable This goal can be quantified and tracked.
- Attainable This is for large businesses that sell at the enterprise level.
- RelevantDemos of high-profile prospects are relevant for the goals and objectives a sales team.
- Time-Bound The goal period is for three months.
11. In the next year, 25% less time will be required for a lead become a customer.
- Specific: This goal aims to accelerate lead conversions.
- Measurable This can tracked and calculated with a CRM system.
- Attainable25% represents a manageable amount.
- RelevantLead conversion time can have an effect on the productivity of a sales team.
- Time-Bound This goal duration will be for next year.
12. Schedule five more qualified sales conversations next year to improve your closing ratio.
- Specific: The goal of the program is to schedule five qualified sales calls.
- Measurable You can track the number of calls.
- Attainable This figure represents a potential increase in conversations.
- Qualified sales conversations may influence the closing ratio.
- Time-Bound This goal is ongoing, but it’s set for a monthly basis.
13. You can sell products worth $100,000 within the first month.
- Specific: Our goal is to sell 100,000 units.
- Measurable This measure can be tracked, calculated and displayed.
- Attainable This is for large businesses that sell at the enterprise-level.
- Relevant This goal can be directly tied to sales revenue, which is the primary metric in sales.
- Time-Bound This goal is ongoing but it’s set for a monthly basis.
Setting sales goals is an important part of any successful sales strategy. However, it can be hard to create goals that are both motivating and realistic. Ask your reps how they are feeling as you set new business goals and revisit old ones.
Be realistic about your goals and make sure they are achievable and challenging — but not impossible. This is the key to happy, successful reps.