Do you have a sales goal? Most businesses have sales goals to motivate their sales team to work harder and provide enough income to pay everyone’s salary, along with making a profit. If your business is working without a sales goal, there’s a very high chance you won’t be making a profit.
Sales goals, also known as sales targets, share terminology with sports for good reason. If you are on a sports team and you need to score goals to win, by aiming for the goal you are more likely to score. If you don’t know what or where the goal is, you stand no chance of hitting it.
It’s just the same with targets – if you know where the target is, you can aim for it, and potentially hit the bulls eye. Otherwise, you’re shooting in the dark and have very little chance of getting anywhere near the target, let alone hitting the bulls eye.
What are sales goals?
Sales goals can be a monetary figure, or a number of sales, or even a quantity of sales of an individual product or service. Having a goal keeps the team on track and gives everyone something to work towards, just as in a soccer or hockey match.
In a company where the sales team is in diverse locations, it can be difficult to keep on top of exactly what is happening. In some cases, it can be just as bad if all the sales team are based in the same office! Again, it can be like a sports team that hasn’t had full training – they know how to kick the ball, but have no sense of direction.
And while they may be good at making sales, producing reports on time and giving updates to the right people is a skill that seems to elude some sales team members.
How to track sales goals
When something is sold there is a process that has to take place for the order to be fulfilled. Maybe it’s as simple as pressing a button or sending an email to the warehouse. Somewhere, somehow, that sale is recorded.
By moving to a centrally managed system like LeadSquared, you will make this a much more transparent process for all of those outside the sales team. You can record a sale on a customer database linking the sale to both the salesperson and the customer. This gives the chance to build a customer profile in greater detail than just recording facts and figures about the customer. The history of purchases will be useful in the future should the customer need a replacement, upgrade, repeat order or an addition to what they already have.
More importantly, this will allow a simple tracking of sales goals. It takes no effort at all to generate a report showing what has been sold, how much it sold for, and who sold it. If a manager needs to intervene with a salesperson who is under performing, having all the figures to hand at any time is valuable.
Comparing and contrasting sales goals and performance
Being able to run reports on every aspect of your sales team will quickly allow you to find out more about any under performance. It may not be that a salesperson is under performing, but rather that they work in a geographical area that limits their sales.
The sales goals can be adjusted to reflect this.
Perhaps they are selling products that don’t match the needs of customers, and they need to focus more on other products. The reporting functionality will be able to show you this, and you can make a fully informed decision on what the best action to take is.
Building sales goals on historical data
With historical data available, you can see how sales have been in previous periods for the same team member, geography, or product. Perhaps there are seasonal variations, or perhaps the team member is actually under performing.
When you’ve set realistic expectations for your sales goals, monitoring how each team member responds is vital to moving forward. However, if the historical data shows that certain things have never worked, you need to take action to resolve these problems – this might mean dropping a product, selling in a different area, or even losing a team member. When you have ALL the facts in hand you can make the decision that best serves your business.
How to achieve your sales goals
Quite simply, there are only two things you can do to achieve your sales goals if you are the manager of a sales team.
One – ensure the sales goals are set to a realistic and achievable level.
Two – monitor your team by using sales reports, and provide support and encouragement where needed.
It really is that simple. If a team member is failing to make the sales you expect of them, you either need to help them or replace them – but in a non-automated system, you may struggle to identify who is falling behind for several months.
When sales reports can be generated on-the-fly or automatically emailed to you every week, you stay on top of the process and can manage what is happening in real time, not on a 6-week delay.
Using Automation to Achieve Targets
It’s not just sales reports that can be automated, but segments of the sales process can be too. Emails can be sent to leads, sales team members can have calls and other tasks automatically added to their to-do lists, and you can even be notified if a team member reaches a meeting on time – or not. That saves you time having to chase them around to find out where they are, and helps them by not having to deal with queries on their location when they’ve already arrived.
It’s far easier for a sales team member to reach their sales goals when they can concentrate on the actual selling, rather than creating reports, checking in to locations, and so on.
Now is the right time to set your sales goals – but do you have the data to make them realistic, and can you be sure of what your sales team is doing right now?