Columns and Blogs

Small Business Financial Article
Rich Best has spent 28 years in the financial services industry, as an advisor, a managing partner, directors of training and marketing, and now as a consultant to the industry. Rich has written extensively on a broad range of personal finance topics and is published on several top financial sites. Recent books include The American Family Survival Bible and Annuity Facts Revealed: What You MUST Know Before You Invest.

Setting and Managing Goals is Key to High-Performance Sales Results

Setting and Managing Goals is Key to High-Performance Sales Results

To develop an effective sales person, you must constantly focus on the activity that produces enough results to reach and exceed their personal goals. If your primary objective is to build and develop a successful sales team, then both you and your sales people must have a clear picture of the goals you each want to achieve. In fact, your sales management begins with the goals you set together which will give you direction in your supervision and form the basis of how you and your sales team will measure their progress.

Because of that, goal-setting is one of the most important functions of sales management requiring adherence to the key principles that will make it effective:

  • Goal-setting should be a joint undertaking; and goals should be mutually agreed upon by both the sales associate and the manager.
  • Goals should be clear, concise and realistic.
  • Goals should be measurable.
  • Goals should be related to the income needs of the sales associate.
  • Goals should be ambitious enough to offer a challenge so there is a true sense of accomplishment when they are achieved.

What gets measured gets done

When done effectively, goal-setting provides real utility for both the manager and the sales associate in managing day-to-day activities. It’s vital that goals be converted into the measurable milestones and the activity that will be required to achieve them. Activities should be broken down to the smallest level, such as hourly or daily. Measuring activity based on monthly, quarterly or annual time frames, while also important, doesn’t help the sales associate manage the daily activities that will have a cumulative impact on longer-term measurements, and it makes it difficult to take corrective actions if they veer off course.

By comparing daily and weekly results with the goals set for each activity, you and your sales associates will see clearly the progress made and, more importantly, be able to determine what must be done each week during the balance of the month/ quarter/ year to reach all goals.

What gets recognized gets done even better

Goal setting will have little value unless you and your sales associates are able to keep your eye on the target and make the constant adjustments necessary to keep them on track. Goals should be reviewed on a monthly basis at a minimum,. However, a brief, 20 minute weekly review of their sales activities have a greater impact on their ability to stay on track. It also creates more opportunities to recognize accomplishments while coaching their performance.

Managing activity coupled with performance-based coaching will help you build a goal-oriented, high performance culture that will encourage your sales associates to reach higher and achieve breakthrough results. As their manager you’ll also benefit in three significant ways:

  • More focus, organization and discipline in your management efforts
  • Timely, reliable information enabling you to diagnose and prescribe before problems are serious
  • Increased value to your sales assoicates as a true coach

Read Other Small Business Financial Articles