Home > Management, Sales, Sales leaders > Sales Leadership: Why Setting Clear Sales Goals and Expectations for Your Team Is the Key to Getting It Done

Sales Leadership: Why Setting Clear Sales Goals and Expectations for Your Team Is the Key to Getting It Done

The focus of this blog post will be on sales management key number three…Setting Clear Goals and Expectations.

So why should people set goals? Because goals keep people focused; helps them concentrate their time and effort; provides motivation/direction and helps set priorities.  Traditional goal setting wisdom has taught us that goals must be:

  • Written down
  • Challenging
  • Believable
  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • With a deadline

It’s important that you inspect what you expect because frankly what gets measured gets done!  In addition, if you don’t hold your team accountable (including setting a time table for them to achieve their goals) there’s no urgency for them to take action now and that means there is a high likelihood that their goals won’t be achieved and your business will suffer!

Our research shows that the six reasons that people don’t set goals are:

  1. They don’t know how
  2. They don’t want to
  3. They’ve never done it before
  4. They are too busy/disorganized
  5. Fear of being held accountable
  6. They’re overwhelmed

As a sales leader or business executive I suggest that you revisit the concept of setting SMART goals with your sales team.  SMART is an acronym that stands for specific, measurable, attainable, rewarding and timely.  Here’s a great example of smart goal for anyone that is in sales or business development:

“I will increase the number of qualified prospects in my pipeline by 20% in the next 90 days!”

In addition to setting goals it’s important as a leader to establish clear expectations for your team.  Expectations guide behavior and establish a benchmark for success.  Here are some specific examples:

  • Establish sales metrics and sales management key performance indicators (KPIs)
    • Monthly quotas
    • Average order size
    • Close rate
    • Sales cycle
    • Margin/Gross profit
    • Market share
    • Establish recommended activity levels
      • Make sure you include minimum requirements, on target requirements and describe what overachievement looks like
      • Make sure all tasks are clear and understood
      • Create and “on boarding” roadmap for a new employee’s first 30 days on the job
      • At the beginning of each year establish individual performance appraisal criteria
      • Create smaller, achievable, incremental goals that are measured on a monthly or quarterly basis
      • Create individual development action plans (DAPs)

Write it down! Organize your thoughts and use this article as your roadmap to create your action plan. Remember that timing is critical so include a timeline for completion for these action items.  When you lead with clear goals and expectations your team can accomplish their goals- both personal and professional.

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