Three months ago, Jon set ambitious sales goals for his business. When he reviewed his progress recently, Jon was ahead of target – for the first time in two years. Jon is more than lucky or determined. What he realized this year is that setting a sales goal isn’t just getting the number right – it’s also committing to a routine of activities that produce results.
Get the Number Right
In many businesses, annual sales goals are based on a percentage increase over the previous year’s sales or on a business owner’s dream number. Whether you’re setting sales goals for yourself or for employees, it’s helpful to consider the following questions about the previous year:
- What conditions in the industry or with competitors influenced sales last year?
- What products or services accounted for the highest percentage of revenue on a month-by-month basis?
- What is the buyer profile?
- What was the average value of a sale for specific products or services?
- What was the close/conversion rate?
- Why was revenue lower for other products or services?
- What are the opportunities for increasing the revenue stream from these products or services?
In Jon’s case, exploring these questions allowed him to set an aggressive but doable sales goal, as well as identify opportunities for his team to achieve the goal.
Commit to a Routine
Jon’s next step is the reason he’s ahead of his target: he and his team committed to a routine of regular activities. In previous years, Jon set a goal and left it to each team member to figure out how to achieve it. This year, Jon and his team identified and committed to a personal routine of activities that generate results. For example, one of Jon’s team is a strong in-person networker, but often delays following up. This team member’s routine includes both a specific number of weekly in-person interactions and specific follow-up activity within 24 hours for each interaction.
Starting a routine for you and your team doesn’t have to be complicated. Jeffrey Fox, author of “How to Become a Rainmaker,” a classic must-read, suggests the simple, “Get Four Points” daily process: Allocate one point for getting a referral to a prospect; two points for setting a meeting with a prospect, three points for meeting with a prospect (whether that’s in person, over the phone or online), and four points for closing a sale or taking an action leading to a sale. If you consistently focus on getting at least four points a day, you’ll build positive micro-results, which can lead to bigger, positive outcomes.
Keep an Eye on Your Results
Jon meets every two weeks with his team to review progress toward the goal and the effectiveness of each team member’s activities. Keeping that appointment is critical to establishing a routine and to adjusting activities as conditions change.
Jon and his team still have nine months to achieve their annual goal. They also hold the real key to success: commitment to a routine.
Elizabeth Usovicz is principal of WhiteSpace Consulting®, specializing in top-line revenue strategies and business development for high-growth companies, new ventures and business units within established companies; keynote speaking and strategy session facilitation. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (913) 638-8693.