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How to Set Your Sales Goals

Sales goals are the foundation of any successful business. By setting clear and measurable objectives, businesses can track their progress and make informed decisions to drive growth. 

In today’s competitive market, it’s more important than ever for business owners to set effective sales goals that align with their overall strategy. 

In this article, we’ll provide a step-by-step guide to setting sales goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Whether you’re a startup or an established company, this guide will help you with your goal-setting and path to success.

Understanding the concept of sales goals

Sales goals are specific targets that a business sets for its sales team to achieve. Essentially, these sales goals provide a roadmap for growth and progress.

Setting sales goals will allow you to plan your resources, allocate budgets, and make informed decisions about your sales strategy. 

Now, there are actually two main types of sales goals: short-term and long-term. 

  • Short-term goals are all about achieving quick wins, like closing a certain number of deals in a month or increasing sales by a specific percentage.
  • Long-term goals are more strategic and take several months or even years to achieve. They are often focused on larger business objectives, such as entering a new market or launching a new product.

To set effective sales goals, start by identifying your overall business objectives and then break them down into smaller, more manageable goals. By setting specific and measurable targets, businesses can track their progress and make adjustments to their strategy as needed. 

Quick guide: How to create sales goals

We’re sure you’ve heard the term SMART goals before—and there’s a good reason why. Setting SMART sales goals is a critical step in driving growth for your business. SMART stands for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound:

  1. Specific: Your sales goals should be clear and specific. For example, instead of setting a goal to “increase sales,” your goal should be “increase appointments booked per week by 10% in the next quarter.” 
  2. Measurable: Your sales goals should be measurable so you can track your progress. For example, if your goal is to increase SQLS per week, then you should measure the actual number of SQLs, not MQLs, booked appointments, etc.
  3. Achievable: Your sales goals should be realistic and achievable. Consider your current resources, market conditions, and competition when setting your goals.
  4. Relevant: Your sales goals should be relevant to your overall business objectives. For example, if your objective is to increase revenue, then setting a goal to increase website traffic may not be directly relevant to achieving that objective. 
  5. Time-bound: Your sales goals should have a specific timeline for completion. That way, you can better monitor if you’re on track or if you’ll need to adjust For example, set a goal to increase SQLs by 10% in the next quarter, rather than setting a goal to increase SQLs with no specific time frame.

Here are some examples of specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound sales goals:

  • Increase the number of qualified leads generated by 20% in the next month by improving the targeting of our outbound email campaigns.
  • Increase the number of demos booked by 15% in the next quarter by expanding our marketing channels.
  • Increase sales of our premium service by 25% in the next six months by expanding our reach to a new geographic market.

Key takeaway: Setting SMART sales goals helps businesses drill down on what to focus on.

Key metrics to track to measure progress

Since SMART goals are measurable, you need to know which metrics to track. Tracking the right sales metrics is critical to measuring success. By measuring the right numbers, you’ll be able to gain insight into how their sales team is performing and make data-driven decisions to improve their strategy. 

Here are some key metrics that sales teams and business owners should track:

  1. Sales revenue: the total revenue generated by your sales team over a specific period. Tracking this metric helps businesses understand their overall sales performance over specific periods and identify areas for improvement.
  1. Conversion rate: the percentage of leads that convert into paying customers. When you track this metric, you can assess if your sales process is working. It can also help you identify any bottlenecks.
  1. Average deal size: the average size of a sale or the average amount of revenue generated per sale. Tracking average deal size will help you see if it’s increasing or not and you can identify opportunities to increase revenue.
  1. Sales pipeline: the total value of all deals in your sales pipeline. Keeping an eye on your sales pipeline helps businesses to understand their future revenue potential and identify any potential issues with their sales process. 
  1. Sales cycle length: the amount of time it takes to close a deal from the initial contact to the final sale. Tracking your sales cycle length helps identify where you could speed up, and what can be streamlined to close deals more quickly.

What’s next? Create an action plan to meet your goals

Now that you’ve crafted your sales goals, the next step is creating an action plan to ensure that you meet the goals you’ve set. An action plan also outlines what needs to be done so the whole business can be responsible for making them happen. 

While every action plan varies depending on the company and culture, here’s a generic sample:

  1. Break down your sales goals.
    Define the specific tasks that need to be accomplished to meet your sales goals. This will help you to focus on what needs to be done so you can make progress towards your larger goals.
  2. Prioritize tasks.
    Identify the tasks that need to be done first. Be realistic and do not tag everything as urgent. This will help you to stay on track and make the most efficient use of your time.
  3. Assign responsibilities.
    Who will be responsible for each task? Who is in charge of tracking the progress of each sales goal? This will ensure that everyone knows what they need to do and who is responsible and accountable for completing each task. Remember, no task should be left unassigned.
  4. Set deadlines.
    Set realistic deadlines for each task. It’s important for everyone to work towards the same timeline so you can stay on track to achieve your sales goals.
  5. Monitor progress.
    Regularly track your team’s progress toward your sales goals. This will help you to identify any issues early on and make adjustments as needed.
  6. Adjust goals as needed.
    If you find that you’re not making progress toward your sales goals, don’t be afraid to adjust them. Be flexible and willing to adapt your goals and action plan based on your performance.

Work your way to success with the right set of sales goals

Setting sales goals is an important part of any business strategy. By following the steps outlined in this article, businesses can set SMART sales goals, track key metrics to measure progress and create an action plan to achieve those goals. 

By staying focused, motivated, and continuously working towards their sales goals, businesses can generate more leads, increase revenue, and achieve long-term growth. Start setting and achieving your sales goals today. 

If you’re still unsure of how to meet your sales goals, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Regina is a freelance content writer for B2B, tech, and SaaS companies. She is passionate about creating content that provides value and impacts businesses. You can read more of her work at reginaongkiko.com. She loves getting her inspiration and ideas from the great outdoors.

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