Why Goal Setting is Important, especially in Sales

In India, we follow a April to March financial year and invariably, most companies go through a budgeting exercise during Jan-March time frame, where they define the goals that they are going to chase for the next financial year. The Revenue goals also in turn define the cost budgets that will be needed to support them. In this post we talk about 4 ideas to set smarter sales goals. You may also want to read Budgets time- How do you go about planning your marketing budgets?

I have personally gone through this exercise for several companies and through my discussions, several common points emerge. I just thought of writing about some best practices that will help you set manageable goals that the sales as well as the operations organization will buy into

1) Be Rational

I know everyone wants to grow at a rapid pace. If you have a number in mind, can you find a logical path to reach that number, based on where you are. What is going to change that is going to help you achieve the goals that you have set. Are you planning inorganic growth, or do you foresee some amazing partnership materializing? [irp]

2) Make sure that you have a buy-in

It is important that sales has a buy-in to the numbers that are set for them. The way to do that is split the revenue target into i) existing customers-existing business(T1) ii) existing customers-new business (T2)and iii) new customers-new business (T3). The T3 can at best be about 30-40% of the whole target with T1 comprising of about 30-40% as well. It is also important to break the target down by quarters and by month to demonstrate how it is going to be easy to achieve the target. This breakdown will in turn also help in monitoring and reviewing sales activity at a later stage

3) Operations readiness

You realize revenues when you can deliver on the business that you win. So if you have mega plans to sign up new clients, make sure that your operations team is also gearing up for it. Without operational readiness, several deals will choke at the operations stage and there will be no fun playing the blame game.

4) Offerings readiness & promotions

What is going to fetch you the revenues. If you need to reach a larger set of prospects, then make sure that you simplify the message and can appeal to your target market. Apart from collateral, make sure that you invest in other content channels like videos, blogs, PR, articles so that there are more ways for your prospects to find you than just your sales folks sequentially reaching out to them.

These are just 4 ideas to set smarter sales goals. Any ideas/thoughts you have – look forward to your comments and feedback. As you create your marketing plan, you might also want to look at How do you create the best marketing plan


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