Top Goal Setting Tips for Unbeatable Sales Managers | sales hacker (2023)

Success begins with setting goals. Goalless, your team lacks the key elements it needs to win: a direction to go and the encouragement tostay motivated in sales.

Rather, goals bring clarity and purpose to your organization. They allow your team to track collective and individual performance. The objectives also help to evaluate the efficiency of the tools and methods and to formulate strategies to improve or grow.

Numbers agree in all human endeavors. A widely cited study published by theJournal of Applied Psychologyfound that the lack of clear objectives is one of the main causes of student desertion.

Setting specific goals and executing detailed strategies to achieve them resulted in an average improvement in academic performance of 30%. In the business environment,extensive researchshows that goal setting raises job performance by at least 10-25%.

Imagine similar spikes in your sales metrics, and you see the clear imperative to set goals. So yes, there are few things more important to you as a sales manager than setting goals. And do everything damn possible to achieve them.

Skip ahead to the 6 Steps to Influencing Results as a Sales Manager>>>

Having goals is NOT enough to make your way

Goals are not created equal. Poorly framed goals rarely translate into real growth or improvement. In fact, they often result in huge disappointment, and can even set your team back a step or two.

Just think of the many people who set ambitious weight loss goals and other resolutions every New Year. Less than 10% actually achieve them.

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Only targeted and specific goals using proven frameworks likeELEGANTyou can take your team where you want to be. Successful business leaders, including Tony Robbins, recommend the SMART criteria for goal setting.

Others, like venture capitalist John Doerr, advocate theDISTRICTstructure. Google co-founder Larry Page credits the latter for the search giant's phenomenal growth.

Sales Manager Goals: Setting Rolling Goals

While many sales leaders perform customer engagement, administrative, human resources, and other tasks, their primary role is developing sales strategies.

To do their jobs, sales managers delve into data, technology, metrics, and forecasts. They use these resources to drive sales growth, improve lead generation, extend customer retention rates, and increase after-sales business.

Sales managers primarily take ownership of their company's revenue goals. They play a major role in setting periodic goals and creating playbooks to achieve their goals.

Given the variety of tasks they perform on a daily basis, sales managers certainly seem to have plenty of resources in their toolbox. However, only a team of qualified sales reps can run your revenue-based playbooks.

The best sales managers focus on how to manage, coach, and motivate

That's why the smartest and most ambitious sales managers spend most of their time and energy managing, coaching, and motivating their people.

Whether through inspiration, coaching, training, technology, or incentives, sales managers must enable each team member to deliver high performance and achieve their individual goals.

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To successfully orchestrate the results you want as a sales leader, here are some common steps to consider.

6 Steps to Getting the Results You Want as a Sales Manager

  1. Align sales objectives with the general strategy of the company.
  2. Create specific, specific goals for the team.
  3. Be ambitious but reasonable when setting individual and team sales quotas.
  4. Integrate sales coaching, personal development, and sales training into your team goals
  5. don't forget the technology
  6. Monitor progress and give feedback

1) Align sales objectives with the general strategy of the company

Before making periodic plays for the sales team, review the company's overall strategy and align yoursales goalswith that.

Sales forecasting and planning should begin with data on current performance. Audit your:

  • Technology
  • Tools
  • Training currently available
  • Resource allocations (including budget)
  • technology purchases
  • Incentives (compensation, commission, benefits, perks)

Evaluate your target market and how the sales team can optimize youroutbound prospecting.

While sales managers certainly need to focus on generating revenue, they should also include plans to improve productivity and professionally develop each member. Think technical training/hard skills andemotional intelligenceand soft skills training.

2) Create Specific, Specific Goals for the Team

Your plan won't work if the goal sounds too general.

Only specific, goal-oriented plans that establishindividual responsibilityYou can drive and motivate people to succeed.

  • Assign overall team goals to individual activity andsales performance targets. Activity goals help people focus on doing things that really matter in the long run.
  • Integrate small goals (such as activity goals) that help build confidence, open up a path of incremental wins, and guide the entire team toward achieving bigger goals.
  • Break annual goals into shorter periods and assign daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly goals to each team member.
  • Include people skills training goals that correlate to overall performance and help you improve.
  • Foster collaboration by creating and incentivizing team goals. Reward the team only when each individual achieves their goals.

3) Be ambitious but reasonable when setting individual and team sales quotas

The trick is to find the sweet spot between the aspirations of the company and the current capabilities of the sales force.


Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Adopt a consistent and transparent method for establishing periodic fees. Set these quotas as a team to reinforce accountability.
  • Use the data to set and assign quotas. Strike a balance between realism and ambition.
  • Boost motivation and increaseimpact of your incentive programimplementing the right mix of base compensation, commission, and rewards.

4) Integrate sales coaching, personal development, and sales training into your team goals

The level of revenue you generate depends largely on the competence and skill of your sales team.

Therefore, leading all team members on a continuous journey of learning and self-improvement should be an integral part of your sales goals.

  • Checking individual performance metrics is the key to understanding howset goals for your sales reps.
  • Activities that correlate with productivity include those related to lead generation, qualification, and velocity of sales. Meanwhile, closing rates and average deal size directly impact revenue.
  • In many advanced organizations, dedicated teams tosales enablementosale operationshelp coordinate or directly own these issues.
  • In addition to on-the-job training/practice and internal learning management systems (LMS), knowledge and skills training can also be implemented.
  • Finally, sales managers should also consider themselves lifelong learners and include participation in relevant training as part of the team's sales goals. leadership, mentoring,stress management, strategic thinking and data analysis are some learning areas that can boost your performance as a sales manager.

5) Don't forget technology

Perhaps next to talent, technology is the resource that can take your sales performance to the next level.

If you don't believe it, consider how muchsales technology landscapeit has expanded over the years. For sellers, demand stimulates growth. But for sales teams using technology, the results dictate the demand.

That means compelling, measurable returns on technology investments are making the case for adding more advanced solutions to your technology stack.

In addition to sales training, you can rely on new technologies (automation, data analysis, visualizations, ML, conversational AI, etc.) to streamline processes.

Therefore, always include specific technology acquisition or training goals in your sales strategy.

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6) Monitor progress and give feedback

Schedule regular reviews to check if current efforts align and are on track with quarterly or annual goals. Take immediate corrective action when necessary.

Provide regular performance appraisals and accurate and honest feedback to each team member.

Incentivize outstanding performance and schedule training or in-service time for skills, competencies, and other areas that need improvement. Common areas that need retraining include relationship building, product knowledge, presentation skills,negotiationand closing skills.

Main KPIs to monitor:

  • calls made
  • emails sent
  • scheduled meetings
  • Population
  • Proposals sent
  • Deals in the pipeline
  • Average transaction size
  • sales velocity
  • Earnings rate, individual
  • Average win rate (team)
  • Opportunities/period
  • Total Closed Opportunities/Period
  • Channeling Value/Period
  • Total value of sales/period
  • market penetration
  • Employee engagement and satisfaction

Additional resources to get started

  1. TED Talk:Why the secret to success is setting the right goalsby john doer
  2. Article:The secret to setting successful goalsby Mike Brooks for the National Association of Sales Professionals (NASP)
  3. Article:Sales Goals: How to Set the Right Goals and Achieve Thempor LinkedIn Business
  4. Complete list:160+ Best Sales Tools: The Complete List (2018 Update)by Max Altschuler for Sales Hacker
  5. infographic:8 Tips to Exceed Your Sales Goalsfrom the RAIN group
  6. Complete list:by Max Altschuler for Sales Hacker
  7. Guide:Team Guide: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs)de atlassian
  8. Guide:OKR: objectives and key resultsby Weekdone
  9. Guide:SMART Goals: How to Make Your Goals Achievablede MindTools

The right sales goals go beyond the main numbers

Whether it's in sales, business, and personal life, setting the right goals gets us closer to the results we want.

For sales managers, goal setting makes it possible to drive and motivate their team in completing tasks and activities that affect revenue.

But the right sales targets go beyond the headline numbers. When set the right way, sales goals also help develop focus, build skills, shape personality, and reward committed effort. Goals not only help leaders design great results for the company, but they also transform people into better salespeople and human beings.

The secret is to set clear, specific, challenging, and achievable goals.

Do you have any special sauce to set goals? How does your organization set, monitor, and evaluate individual and team goals?

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What are good goals for a sales manager? ›

Sales Manager Goals Examples
  • Improve the sales process.
  • Create training and education opportunities.
  • Improve your communication skills.
  • Give constructive feedback.
  • Improve data collection and application.
  • Become a better mentor.
  • Identify future leaders.
  • Increase team motivation.
Jun 16, 2022

What are some smart goals for sales? ›

5 Examples of SMART Sales Goals
  • Increase revenue.
  • Reduce customer churn rate.
  • Increase number of qualified leads.
  • Reduce cycle time.
  • Increase customer lifetime value.

What should a new sales manager do in the first 90 days? ›

Your First 90 Days as a Sales Manager
  • Listen and Observe. The first few months as a sales manager are an ideal time to do a lot more listening than talking. ...
  • Set Realistic Goals. ...
  • Evaluate your Team. ...
  • Foster Team Spirit. ...
  • Assess Sales Techniques. ...
  • Identify Training Gaps. ...
  • Gather Necessary Tools. ...
  • Align with Marketing.

What three things does a sales manager need to look out for? ›

The 3 Most Important Things a Sales Manager Does
  • Coach Your Sales Team.
  • Pitch in and Help Where Needed.
  • Observe the Sales Team in Action and Adjust Sales Process in Response.
  • Still More to Do.
Aug 29, 2017

What are your top 3 career goals? ›

6 Common Career Goals + Examples
  • Advancing to a leadership position.
  • Becoming a thought leader.
  • Working toward professional development.
  • Shifting into a new career path.
  • Experiencing career stability.
  • Creating a career goal.
May 18, 2023

What are the performance goals of a manager? ›

Leadership Performance Goals
  • Focusing on open and honest communication to build trust with the team.
  • Using stretch goals to boost both motivation and performance.
  • Rewarding and celebrating successes while using mistakes as learning opportunities.
  • Effectively and clearly communicating goals and measures to team members.
Mar 5, 2023


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