5 Things To Consider When Setting Sales Targets
It’s widely accepted in sales that having sales targets is a good thing and works well when motivating staff. But what is the best figure to set? And how do you get to it?
In this blog post, we look at 5 things worth considering when it comes to setting sales targets for your sales team.
1. In what units will you measure your sales?
Before setting a figure and expecting your team to reach that goal, you need to know what you want to be measuring. Is it going to be total revenue? Will you measure the number of clients sold to, no matter how much each client buys? Or will you simply the number of sales made?
These are important points and for different business models, different things are worth measuring. It’s worth thinking about this now, though, rather than later when you’re telling an employee off for only having sold to one client in a week, even if that employee has sold their one client £1 billion worth of your product.
2. How often will you measure your sales?
This is another important point. What time-frame will you give with your sales targets? Will you give a target per day, per week, per month or maybe even per year?
A daily target should see your staff motivated each and every day, but we all have off-days or days where no luck comes our way. That means you could have staff feeling upset at missing their sales targets even when it hasn’t been their fault. By giving a slightly longer time-frame like a week, staff will always have the chance to make up for the inevitable off-day.
3. What’s the minimum amount you need to sell?
You should work out your point of breaking even when setting a sales target and keep that in mind. It may sound obvious, but some business owners don’t work out what they actually have to sell to survive and set a sales target that’s too low. They and their staff are excited when they meet that sales target, but the smile is quickly wiped from their face when they realise that they are making negative profits.
4. Should you set a sales target that is far beyond expectations?
Some sales leaders like to set a sales target that they know their sales staff will never meet. The theory is that the team will feel under greater pressure to work hard to reach and then, even though they may fall short, the figure actually achieved is still mightily impressive.
This sales tactic could work well, or it could fail spectacularly.
If salespeople notice that they are well behind their target then they may become discouraged and almost give up. This helps nobody and perhaps a more realistic target would work better as the member of the team can become encouraged when nearing the goal and work even harder to meet it. Ultimately, you’ll know your team better than anyone and know what motivates then best. It’s worth bearing in mind though, that you want a target that doesn’t discourage them too much.
5. What is the reward going to be for meeting a sales target?
This is perhaps the most important thing to consider. What’s in it for them?
As a leader, there is obviously a lot at stake for you to have your team selling a lot, but why should they care about meeting their sales targets, If they meet them then do they get a reward? If they don’t do they get a punishment?
A little of both seems a common sense approach. It benefits nobody if you fire every member of your sales team who occasionally misses a target, but it should also not just go unnoticed or else there is no real threat. On the other hand, if staff see that they get no reward for consistently meeting their targets then they’ll lose the motivation to do so. Offer some rewards, therefore, which can act as an incentive and help your sales team succeed!
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