A sales target refers to a certain amount of sales the sales manager decides and the team should achieve within a particular period. In simpler terms, sales targets define how much revenue your business will be making from the set monthly, quarterly, or annual sales.
It is essential for the sales manager to define sales targets to ensure the team is generating the right amount of revenue required to meet the sales budget of the business. In addition to sales targets enabling your company to stay in business, they also provide a certain level of direction to your sales team as they will be aware of how close or how far they are to meet their monthly or yearly sales objectives.
According to a study conducted by Harvard University, setting specific goals or targets increases employee motivation. Further, the study reported that the performance of students that stuck to goal-oriented plans was 30% better than those who did not.
Sales targets of any business grow with time. Setting sales targets in areas that will enhance the business growth is a good practice. As a sales manager, sales targets will assist you in keeping track of your sales reps’ progress and assessing whether they will be able or not to achieve their goals before the deadline.
In this article, we will discuss the importance of sales targets for a given organization, and how to set sales targets and achieve them conveniently.
How to Set Targets for Sales Teams?
Is your sales team not meeting its sales objectives? It could be that you are not setting the right targets. Although there are no specific rules when it comes to setting sales targets for any business, it is still recommended that you should go through a step-by-step process.
Before diving into the 10 steps to setting achievable sales targets, you might want to consider the following few factors while setting sales goals:
- Sales events that occur throughout the year
- The overall capacity of your sales team
- Employee input
- Historical sales data
Once you are done considering the above factors, it is recommended that you carefully go through the following 10 steps, which are guaranteed to assist you in setting accurate sales targets and achieving them.
1. Create tough but achievable sales goals
Setting sales targets can be a daunting task. For instance, you need to set achievable but challenging sales goals. You should avoid setting targets that are either too easy or too hard to achieve.
In that case, how do you achieve the correct balance? The author of Graff Retail, Kevin Graff, suggests applying the 70% rule to your sales targets. According to him, the set sales goals should be achieved or achievable at least 70% of the time. If you are unable to achieve your set goals at least 70% of the time, it is an indication your goals are too high or can result in employee demotivation. On the other hand, if the set goals are achieved 90% of the time or more, they are surely too low and are not challenging your sales team.
2. Manage the sales quota frequency and timeframes properly
When you are in the process of setting your sales targets, you will most likely begin with your annual revenue goals, and then further break it down into quarterly and monthly targets. But when you are setting sales goals for your sales team, you might want to set targets for shorter timeframes, say weekly or even daily.
These more frequent sales quotas are expected to motivate your sales reps continuously. According to the Harvard Business Review, sales reps who started off the month poorly are expected to become less motivated under a monthly plan, after realizing they won’t be able to achieve their quota for that specific month. In such cases, weekly or daily quotas will assist in preventing poor employee morale.
3. Mention your goals throughout the period
Keep talking about your set sales goals. Don’t just mention the sales targets at the beginning of the quarter, week, or day and then ask your salespeople about their sales when you’re just closing. Talk about your performance and set sales targets throughout the period to well keep them on the top of mind.
It is better to spend some time talking with your team about sales targets and how they are performing at the start of each shift. This practice will keep your team motivated and accountable, which will eventually urge them to invest their efforts in achieving the required sales goals.
4. Make your sales goals visible
The next step to setting achievable sales targets is making them visible. Display your achievements and sales goals in the back room. Consider putting up a dedicated sales board and updating it with the latest targets and accomplishments per sales staff.
Whenever your sales reps notice the board, they will understand the current overall progress of the team. Minor achievements updated regularly on the board will motivate them further to keep working until they achieve the total sales targets.
Employee motivation is a very crucial aspect that directly affects the overall performance of the sales team. Therefore, keep your employees motivated and updated in the best way you can.
5. Get your sales team to share the store’s sale goals
Awarding staff bonuses and commissions is a common and recommended motivation tactic for your sales reps. However, sometimes, some commission structures can cause unwanted competition, where employees become more concerned about achieving monetary rewards instead of assisting the business to grow.
To avoid such situations, you can offer rewards to the sales reps who hit their sales goals in a given quota. However, your sales reps deserving the reward will not be allowed to unlock their incentive, unless the sales team hits the set goals. Therefore, even if one employee achieves its sales goal, no one will earn bonuses if the sales targets of the whole team are not achieved. This practice can encourage team work and improved business performance.
6. Run some contests to gamify the whole process
Games are also a useful tool for motivating your sales reps because running contests will encourage healthy competition, prompting your employees to work harder. Give out gift cards to your sales reps on achieving certain milestones.
You can also create custom games or contests for your sales reps to boost their performance and keep them fresh. The winner will be offered a certain reward to motivate them. This strategy will urge the sales reps to put in their best efforts to stay at the top and qualify for incentives.
7. Give your employees proper training
If your employees are still unable to achieve their sales targets despite continuous motivation and reminders, then perhaps you might have to invest a bit more in training. Educate your staff well on what to sell and how to sell it.
Sales tactics can seem pretty obvious, but a majority of retailers fail to give proper training to their employees to equip them with customer engagement, relationship building, follow-ups, and lead closure strategies.
Never deploy your fresh employees to the field with limited knowledge about sales and expect outstanding results. Invest your time, money, and effort to train well your employees before expecting them to meet sales targets.
8. Ensure the employees have sound knowledge regarding the store’s products
Sales and product management are broad topics with an extensive range of concepts and aspects. First, you need to teach your sales reps the details of what they are selling. Make sure to talk to them about each of your products. Once they understand the benefits and key features of the product or service offering, it will become easier for them to convince prospective customers to buy.
If you are a retailer with frequent product innovation, spend some time to conduct an unboxing session of the latest products your employees are unfamiliar with. A well-informed sales team will be able to answer all the product-related queries appearing in the mind of their future customers.
9. Implement strategies to drive traffic towards your business
It’s going to be a daunting task to fulfill your sales target if you do not have any customers to sell your products or services to. Ensure your business is engaging in a steady flow of traffic that your sales staff can convert.
You can divert traffic towards your business using window displays, organizing networking events, running promotions and ad campaigns, etc. You should also invest in advertisements, either traditional (newspapers, direct mail, cold calls, billboards, etc.) or digital marketing (Google, Facebook ads, etc.).
10. Diversify your product and service offering
Even the best sales reps will not be able to perform efficiently if they are continuously struggling to sell something that does not resonate with the customers. Therefore, it is important to properly understand what customers require and are expected to buy to meet their needs or solve their problems.
Talking to your customers and getting their feedback on what they might want to see in your store is a great idea. Pay attention to the rising trends among the general public and introduce a variety of products and services accordingly.
If you are updating your services and products according to the upcoming trends, ensure to advertise them properly to divert more traffic to your store. Upselling and cross-selling can also improve the variety of products and services customers can choose from, enabling your sales staff to meet their sales targets.
How to Set Targets for Performance Measures?
With the help of performance measurement systems, you can set targets for implementing specific growth strategies. Update your business with the latest tactics each time when you set new sales targets and introduce the recent developments you have noted.
You can use KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) to measure the success of your business compared to the competition. Focus on measurable and specific factors. This strategy will allow you to gain a good idea of the overall performance of your business and the sales team.
Your KPIs should be linked to the top-level (corporate and business-level) goals of your organization. They should also relate to the aspects of your business environment over which you have certain levels of control.
For instance, for a business using loan capital, loan interest rates may count as a crucial determinant of performance. But, you can not rely on the base lending rates as a KPI because you have no authority or power to change them. Instead, focus on internal strengths and weaknesses to improve operational efficiencies – streamline your processes and leverage technology to develop new, differentiating products and promote them accordingly.
You can use your key performance indicators to spot opportunities or potential problems as they indicate trends in the overall performance of your business. For instance, if you notice your sales falling, it could mean there are problems you need to address in your market entry or sales staff training. Similarly, if trends seem to be moving in the right direction consistently, now you know it is time to focus your efforts on a growth scope.
Sample Sales Target Reminder Letter for Sales Team
A great motivational letter to your sales team can make a noticeable difference in the business performance. You can remind your team verbally that certain targets are still pending for them to work on or you can simply encourage and motivate them with a good choice of words crafted in letter form.
Motivation is needed to get your sales reps working tirelessly to achieve the periodic sales quotas. Keeping your employees posted and reminding them about the need to meet the remaining targets will enable them to manage their time and schedule accordingly.
The following is a sample sales target reminder letter for your sales team, which you can modify according to your needs.
Following a proper set of steps will enable your business to set the right sales targets that are neither too hard nor too easy to achieve. The ability to achieve sales goals will improve your business performance relative to the competition and uplift the overall reputation of your organization among existing and prospective customers.
As you set the sales targets, remember employee motivation is a crucial factor to consider because demotivated employees will most likely end up with unachieved sales targets at the end of the month, quarter, or year. Training your sales reps will enable them to get a better grip on their daily tasks, product knowledge, and sales tactics, leading to better performance.
From time to time, try motivating your sales reps by sending them motivational letters or displaying them on the performance board. If you are worried the team will not be able to make their monthly or quarterly sales targets, consider reminding them about the team’s collective progress frequently and encourage them to work harder.
To begin with, consider using Grabb AI, an artificial intelligence system that allows you and your team to set achievable sales targets based on various organizational- and market-specific aspects and data analytics.
Want to learn more? Let us know so we can answer all your queries and provide you with our artificially intelligent solutions, enabling you to boost your current sales, and business performance and reputation.