Set Sales Goals AND the Actions to Reach Them

set sales

Most sellers are working to set sales goals for the upcoming year. But how many will actually set, and achieve, appropriate goals? Sometimes reps choose the wrong goals to target while others don’t ever take the right actions. And many others simply don’t even bother. 

Steps to set sales goals and make sure they’re accomplished

Don’t miss out on the opportunity of a fresh start in the new year. It’s a great time to focus on what will matter in the next 12 months and set up an appropriate, and do-​able, action plan to follow. You’ll be ahead of so many colleagues who simply stumble when it comes to their own annual goals. 

Writing for Entrepreneur, Terry Rice shares four steps that sellers should follow to identify, and then accomplish, goals. And that very first step is the most vital. Too often, sellers don’t set sales goals that would be the most impactful or meaningful for their business. Rice points out that choosing targets takes careful thought and consideration. He recommends that sellers ask themselves a “focusing question.” This kind of question is a simple yet impactful way to narrow down the most meaningful goal. Specifically, he suggests asking yourself, "What's the ONE THING I can do, such that by doing it, everything else will be easier or unnecessary?"

Whatever your answer is, it should make anything else you hope to accomplish that much easier once it’s completed. To take action, Rice tells sellers to write down that one thing, and he suggests considering a goal that can be tackled within 90 days.

Need some inspiration to kickstart your goal-​setting? Check out SalesFuel’s article on what challenges sellers should expect next year. 

Document your objectives and key results

Once you set sales goals, it’s time to set structure around them. This involves a specific framework of documenting objections and key results (OKRs). Rice explains the “anatomy” of this concept:

  • State and document your objectives, ie, the goals you’ve identified. To begin, use that “one thing” that you identified earlier. 
  • Note key results you expect. Ask yourself, “How do I know I’m getting there?” This helps pinpoint the steps that you will use to measure your progress. 
  • Identify the initiatives. As Price explains, these are “the tasks required to drive progress of key results.”

To take action and stay accountable, he recommends sellers plan OKRs for the first quarter. Then, share them with a friend, mentor or colleague. This will help keep you accountable for those set sales goals.

Determine needed resources

The third step is to think about which resources you will need to hit your targets. “Once you develop your OKRs, ask yourself a very important question, ‘What am I missing’?” he writes. “Based on what you need to accomplish, what's missing? Where are you stuck given your current tools, knowledge or time constraints?”

Think about what guidance and structure you need to make everything happen. Whether it’s a new discovery strategy or additional training, take notes. 

This leads to the final step: acquiring those resources. This will likely involve reaching out to others for assistance. Connect with your manager or team members to see if they can assist. If not, they may have someone in their network, or your own network could offer guidance as well. If you are still at a loss, Rice recommends asking on a social media post. You’ll not only expand your net for opportunities but also drive social engagement. 

Set sales goals that matter and can be achieved

This four-​step strategy can help you create quality, meaningful goals and take actionable steps to achieve them. To supplement this strategy, check out SalesFuel’s own goal-​setting tips, which cover monitoring progression and sequencing.

Photo by DS stories


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Jessica Helinski

Jessica Helinski

Jessica reports on sales tips and credibility for SalesFuel. She is a graduate of Ohio University.