By Colleen Francis
In sales, we all have goals or quotas.
Some are set by our companies and some we set ourselves. For many sales reps, it wouldn't be January without either a new sales quota or a new personal objective for the year ahead. If I had to guess, I'd be willing to bet that we all want to achieve more this year, right? But how many of us have actually created a detailed plan that will help us realize our goals?
Despite the importance both we and the companies we work for place on achieving objectives, it never ceases to amaze me how many sales people fall short each year. As a result, I've decided to focus this month's Engaging Ideas on helping you develop the essential behaviors needed to achieve your goals not only this month or year, but consistently, and for the rest of your career.
Thanks for joining us, and I hope you find value and take action in these ideas.
Plan ahead to get ahead
Our research of sales teams has found that 100% of sales people understand why setting goals is important (focus, commitment, dedication, etc), and know what types of goals they should set (business, family, social, personal). We also discovered that 80% of sales people understand the proper way to structure a goal, such as by using the acronym SMART. But last year, approximately 60% of field sales people still failed to achieve their objectives.
In the overwhelming majority of cases, sales people fail to achieve their goals because they lack a detailed plan. In fact, very few of us understand what we need to do on a daily and weekly basis to achieve our goals.
So where do you begin? Below is a simple, 4-step planning tool you can use to build your career, by building a clearer path towards achieving your goals every month, quarter or year:
1. Define your objective and make this definition quantifiable. What, specifically, are your sales and production goals for this year? FOR EXAMPLE - "I want to close $1,000,000 in new business and $1,000,000 in existing client repeat business this year."
2. Plan to succeed. How do your goals break down into quarterly, monthly, weekly and daily goals? Here's an example of a sales quota, and how an average sales person can expect to perform:
Based on average sales statistics (or, even better, using your own), this means that, to accomplish your goals for the year, you can assume the following:
If this sounds like a frightening number, remember that 3600 attempts over the course of a year really only translates into:
Now that's what I call an easy plan to follow!
3. Execute your plan. To give you a baseline on the amount of time it takes to make these daily calls, I make 25 attempts per day, which takes me 2-3 hours to complete. As Zig Ziglar says, "Daily objectives are the best indicators of character." Here are some tips to help you complete your daily sales goals:
4. Reinforce your goals to stay motivated.
What conclusion can we draw from all this?
The difference between top sales performers and the rest of the field is clear. Top performers have a plan to achieve their goals, and they act on that plan every day. This year, commit yourself to being a top performer. Design a daily and/or weekly plan, act on it consistently and monitor your results.
It's been said that most people aim at nothing and hit it with surprising accuracy. We all have a goal in mind. Whether you hit it or not will depend on your ability to define and focus on the tasks that lead to your goal consistently.
"One person with a commitment is worth a hundred who only have an interest" - Mary Crowley. Make this the year in which you become that one.
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Colleen Francis, Sales Expert, is Founder and President of Engage Selling Solutions (www.EngageSelling.com). Armed with skills developed from years of experience, Colleen helps clients realize immediate results, achieve lasting success and permanently raise their bottom line.
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