How To Incorporate Motivation When Setting Sales Goals

BY Kathy Crosett
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Achieving sales goals is never easy. Setting sales goals can be even more challenging. But managers must do this part of their job well to ensure their company’s success.

How To Incorporate Motivation When Setting Sales Goals

In Korn Ferry’s recent Sales Maturity survey, researchers checked in with sales organizations about the challenges they are currently facing. The results are not surprising.

Nearly half, 43%, of sales groups understand that they need to address the current talent gaps on their teams. And regardless of whether they have a solid team in place, 31% of organizations struggle to find good leads.

These data points also underscore an additional challenge faced by most sales organizations: staff motivation.

Why Motivation Matters

Organizational goals this year include increasing business from existing accounts (53%) and improving the competency of the sales team (39%). Business owners are wise to focus on upskilling the members of their sales teams. In our research, 28% of sales professionals noted the need for co-​workers who are more proficient at their jobs.

This detail suggests that your sales professionals want to work with competent peers. It’s not a stretch of imagination to believe that this aspect of employment will boost motivation. Keep this fact in mind when setting sales goals.

Our research on organizations reveals a strong association between a supervisor’s credibility and employee's motivation to do their best work. Simply put, when employees trust their supervisor, they believe that individual will help them achieve their professional goals. In return, employees will work hard – an outcome that benefits them and the organization.

The Importance of Personalizing Sales Goals

The Korn Ferry data indicates that sales leaders spend $2,889 hiring and training every new sales pro. Once hired, these new staff members receive formal, dynamic and informal coaching. Training and coaching definitely improve sales skills.

This investment in human capital likely also improves the soft skills of team members. But it may do little to increase motivation. Since motivation is a key driver of overall work effort, it’s worth digging into this aspect of work behavior.

The Korn Ferry report notes that holding people accountable for their performance leads to a culture where top-​performing teams thrive. In addition, researchers link regular performance reviews to better organizational outcomes.

A strong financial compensation package will undoubtedly attract candidates to your organization. The ability to earn more money as more contracts come in can improve motivation.

But not every sales professional is solely motivated by financial reward. And focusing on accountability and performance reviews doesn’t get to the core of motivation.

When setting sales goals, keep true motivational aspects in mind. For example, sales pros told us what they want from their current position:

  • To be creative 53%
  • To learn new things 49%
  • To win/​make money 47%

Based on that information, sales managers should look for opportunities to let their sales professionals spread their wings. Assigning them to creative projects or sending them to conferences to improve their skills can pay big dividends.

Using Psychometric Assessment Data

When setting sales goals, managers should take psychometric assessment data into account. Some of your employees will be driven by a big financial reward. But other employees will appreciate the opportunity to sell to key accounts.

Tapping into the Four FitsTM data provided by TeamTrait helps managers assess if employees are in the right job. Beyond that, the tool shows the kind of customers that will be the best match with employees.

If an underperforming employee would be better matched with a different manager, prioritize their success over your ego. Make the necessary adjustments and move on.

Keeping all these data points in mind when setting sales goals can help you optimize outcomes for the year.

Photo by Yan Krukau on Pexels.