Performance-​Based Goals vs. Getting-​Better Goals

BY Jill Konrath
Featured image for “Performance-​Based Goals vs. Getting-​Better Goals”

It‘s time for more straight talk today on goal setting. So let me ask you this: What IS your quota this year? How about your revenue goal? I‘ll bet it hasn‘t gone down.

Performance-​Based Goals

Can be motivating – if you have the skills to achieve them.

In sales we‘re usually dealing with performance-​based goals like, achieving 120% of quota or earning $200,000. Sometimes these types of goals can be extraordinarily motivating – especially if you‘re confident that you have the knowledge and skills to achieve them.

But what if you‘re doing something new? What if these goals were imposed on you from the outside – and you have no say in them? You‘re just expected to achieve them.

Or trigger fear and blame if you're struggling.

Unfortunately, as I talk about in my new book AGILE SELLING, when you start to realize how tough they‘re going to be to achieve, FEAR rears its ugly head.  It‘s true. We‘ve all felt it – and it can be crippling. Things get even worse if you don‘t understand your why or haven‘t put together a how plan like we talked about in earlier videos.

Let me tell you something else: Research shows that when performance-​based goals are your primary drivers – and it‘s clear you‘re falling behind – the natural reaction is to protect your ego. That‘s human. We all do it. After all, your self-​worth is tied up in achieving these goals. But blaming the price, stupid customers, bad marketing or lousy products/​services doesn‘t change anything, nor does failing to look at your own complicity in these results.

'Getting Better' Goals

Instead of performance goals, what you really need are getting better goals — those focused on learning new knowledge, acquiring new skills, mastering changing situations, and increasing your confidence.

Drive continual learning and improvement.

According to psychologist Don VandeWalle, salespeople with a getting better goal orientation actually set higher sales targets, worked harder, planned better and achieved a lot more. Isn‘t that interesting?

Shooting for some far off measure of success – a performance-​based goal – actually works against you. But the truth is, sales is an outcome. It happens because of what you do in every single client interaction and how you prepare for them.

So let me ask you this: What do you need to get better at? Think about it. By focusing on this, you‘ll have a much better chance of reaching your goals