How to set the right sales goals?

Original author: Timo Rein
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Self-development books, motivational seminars, and sales training constantly emphasize the importance of goal setting. That's because solid focus increases the effectiveness of your actions. However, we will not convince you of the need to set sales goals. Instead, we’ll show you how to set the right goals — those that will help you reach double-digit sales growth figures.

Successful and unsuccessful goals

Setting the right goal is difficult. A recent study showed that focusing on a certain amount of sales makes achieving this goal nearly impossible . Indeed, if every sales manager could manage income, everyone would be bathed in money.

The truth is that we cannot control the result. We can only manage our own actions .

The good news is that you can achieve amazing sales results if you focus on certain actions . Carefully planned actions generate income that many times exceeds expectations. Moreover, it may be higher than the income that you would receive when setting a goal for a specific amount.

Action Orientation Example

Imagine a shoe wholesale manager whose goal is to sell goods worth 300,000 rubles a day. Suppose he had already spoken with ten retail representatives and was refused everywhere, and in the tenth case, he was especially sharp. How much enthusiasm did he have in order to continue to fulfill his plan?

Now imagine that the goal of this manager is to make calls and negotiations with 15 store representatives a day. After 10 negotiations, he knows for sure that there are five more left. Sudden failures in this case do not play a significant role, since the goal is different, and it is already close at hand.

When a goal moves from results to actions, the actions themselves become more effective.

You can draw an analogy with sports. When Michael Phelps, the 18-time Olympic champion, dives into the pool in the final, his goal is not a gold medal at the end of the track. Yes, the medal "looms" in the form of motivation, which day after day makes him give all his best in training. However, before jumping into the pool, he thinks about something else. He focuses on error-free movements - to repeat everything as he did a thousand times in training.

In competitions, the goal is error-free action, one after the other, without interruption. He understands that it is on this that the coveted first place depends.


You get the results you need when you focus on things you can control.

The simple truth is that not every approach ends in a sale. Therefore, you need to put a sufficient number of potential customers in the sales funnel to get the desired number of closed deals at the exit.

The point is not to not think about income at all. It is only necessary not to allow these thoughts to capture all your attention.

How to develop the habit of correctly setting goals?

Before moving on to setting ambitious goals, you need to work a bit with numbers. Most likely, you are familiar with these indicators, but just in case, it’s worth repeating.

  1. Calculate the sales conversion: divide the number of transactions by the number of attempts. For example, 50 calls led to the conclusion of two transactions. The conversion will be 4% (2/50 x 100).
  2. Calculate how many average meetings / letters / calls are needed to receive the planned number of sales per day. For example, in our case, 25 calls are required to conclude one transaction and 50 - for two.

In the process of computing, you may find a discrepancy with reality. The reason for the discrepancy may be an insufficient number of potential customers at the entrance to the sales funnel or too low conversion.

How to apply the received numbers?

Instead of worrying about the end result, set yourself the goal of conducting, for example, 25 negotiations every day. You do not know which of the attempts will lead to the conclusion of the transaction. However, you can be sure that you will get one sale if you do everything right.

Your task is to do everything in the best possible way during each conversation or presentation , and not worry about what will happen to the conversion.

Firm attitudes towards action give confidence and reduce bitterness in cases of failure. You focus on specific actions, not thoughts about how it will end.

Getting started

  1. Count the number of targeted activities per day . It can be meetings, calls, letters, etc. If we turn to our example, 25 actions lead to the conclusion of one transaction.
  2. Set daily and weekly goals that match your current results. If you want to conclude 5 transactions weekly, you will need to complete 125 (5 x 25) actions per week. Set yourself this goal and stop worrying about the results. They will definitely be.

Increasing the number of actions, even slightly, you will see how the results improve.

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