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Sales targets are an essential aspect of any business. By setting goals and checkpoints, sales teams stay on course for lead generation and sales growth.
Targets keep people motivated and help salespeople manage time and priorities to turn a profit for their company. With careful strategizing, sales targets can be highly motivating and a positive tool to achieve success.
However, when salespeople fall behind and don’t meet sales targets, these objectives can have the opposite effect. They can be discouraging, demoralizing, and lead to feelings of failure and inadequacy. But a missed sales target doesn’t have to be detrimental. In fact, it can be a great opportunity to assess the goal setting process and find ways to improve sales techniques.
Salespeople who fall short of their goals shouldn’t feel defeated. With a positive approach and some extra support, sales teams can conquer their shortcomings and achieve great success for themselves, their team, and their organization.
There are multiple factors involved in setting and achieving sales goals. Some things are in your control, like how many calls you’re willing to make, and how much research you conduct to identify the right audience. However, many things are out of your control, like the state of the economy or a sudden global pandemic.
Sales teams commonly miss their targets because they:
All of these obstacles can be overcome with some in-depth assessment and careful strategy. Sales targets that are well-developed and carefully executed can help generate effective customer lifecycle marketing that drives sales and boosts revenue.
A missed target isn’t the end of the world, as long as salespeople learn from the experience and use it as a tool to improve. Here are five ways managers can help sales teams bounce back from missed goals and turn failure into success.
There can be numerous reasons why a sales goal was missed. Ensure the team member has the training and the tools needed to perform the task at hand. Check that they clearly understand each step of the sales process.
Look closely to determine whether there are issues in the pipeline. Maybe they’re not receiving sales qualified leads. Perhaps they don’t know enough about the benefits of the products they’re selling to develop a compelling sales pitch.
Whatever the reason, it’s important to get to the root of the problem to understand how it can be resolved.
Build a sales team founded on trust and openness where everyone feels encouraged and supported in their role. If someone isn’t meeting a goal, it’s important that they feel comfortable asking for help. Otherwise, in trying to dig themselves out of a hole to avoid being reprimanded, they may be worsening an already bad situation.
A salesperson should be able to seek support as soon as they realize they won’t meet their deadline. This allows another team member to lend a hand and keep the company from losing money. This kind of teamwork only occurs in an environment where everyone is encouraged to work together toward a common goal of benefiting the company.
Strategic planning is essential to setting and achieving sales goals. Forecasting enables salespeople to assess the pipeline and plan their approach accordingly.
It helps determine timelines, prioritize efforts, and allows you to plan the next move. If someone is struggling to meet their targets, a scattered approach and random check-ins won’t help their cause. They need focus, direction, and a clear path to set realistic goals, stay on track, and secure high conversion rates.
The market is constantly changing and the needs of your target audience should be re-evaluated periodically. Take a look at your sales targets to see what tactics are still in line with your prospects’ needs and behaviors. Find room for improvement and set new goals. This ensures you’re current with market demands and still relevant for your customers.
As you work toward long-term objectives, consider incorporating short-term goals to keep your team on track. Weekly meetings serve as checkpoints for self-analysis. Quarterly objectives are a natural timeline to assess progress. New goals help refresh a sales team and keep everyone motivated to strive for excellence.
Sometimes, a team can be too close to a problem to accurately provide a diagnosis. That’s when it’s helpful to bring in a third party for a fresh perspective.
A sales coach can investigate the problems you’re having, assess your processes, and help you identify possible solutions for your missed sales targets. They’ve seen a variety of problems and have helped others overcome similar obstacles. Use their expertise to help get your team back on track and working toward target success.
The key to meeting your sales targets is to set attainable goals, ensure you’re reaching the right people, and implement a system of checks and balances.
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