Dec 21, 2020 • Podcast

How should I set sales objectives for my team?

Paul shares some tactical tips on establishing objectives for your sales team.

Show Notes

Don’t forget your daily and weekly targets.

“___________ is not the most important motivator.”

What’s getting in the way? Identify the barriers to their achievement.

“When you involve them [your sales team] in the process…they’re going to feel a stronger sense of ownership towards that goal.”

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How should I set sales objectives for my team?

(Transcribed from podcast)

On today’s episode, the 101st episode, we are going to talk about setting sales objectives. Recently, I was talking to a sales leader and he said, “Hey, with 2021 rolling around, what are some tips you have for setting some sales objectives?” So, that’s what we’re going to talk about today. What are those tips for setting sales objectives for next year? Now, on one of our previous episodes, 99 I believe, we talked about tips for setting goals for 2021. We’re going to get a little more tactical on this episode.

Before we get into the question, a quick shout-out to Andrea over at The Creative Impostor Studios. If you’re thinking of starting a podcast, the new year is a great time to get that going. Podcasting is a great way to connect with your audience, building an audience, reinforce a brand, build a brand, whatever you’re trying to do to connect deeper with your audience, podcasting can help. So, if you have any questions, if you’re thinking of starting a podcast, if you need some help, some guidance, reach out to Andrea and her team. We’re going to have a link to her website on this episode’s webpage. So, check it out.

Also, reminder just to grab your fourth edition of Value-Added Selling. If you want to make 2021 your best sales year, you’ve got to get started the right way. And, in Value-Added Selling, we’re going to give you your soup-to-nuts approach to selling. I mean, everything from finding prospects, to bringing those prospects in, to growing those prospects once they become customers. So, pick up your copy at Amazon or wherever you get your books.

Let’s get back to that question: What are your tips for setting sales objectives for this year? The first tip is looking at the time horizon when setting your goals. It’s critical that we have both long-term and short-term goals when you’re setting your sales objectives for this year. So obviously, you’re going to have a yearly target, but it’s important that you have some short-term goals along the way that will keep you on track to that target.

So, when you’re working with your sales team, you want to discuss what their yearly number’s going to look like, whatever it might be. But it’s important that we shrink that number down to its lowest common denominator. And here’s what I mean: instead of talking about your yearly target, don’t even talk about quarterly or monthly, focus on weekly and daily sales targets. It’s important that salespeople have short-term goals that will keep them on track. For example, if you are going on a road trip, your yearly target is that end destination—where you want to be. Now, along the way, you’re going to, you’re going to have several pitstops. And those pitstops are kind of like your daily and weekly sales targets.

I remember, many of the organizations that I’ve sold for over the years, they would send out a daily sales report so that you could see, every single day, how you were doing relative to your weekly and your monthly target, which ultimately could lead you to where you need to be at the end of the year. So, keep in mind that when you’re setting your sales objectives, you’ve got to have those short-term and those long-term goals.

Tip number two: you need to have a variety of reinforcers to keep your team motivated. You know, money is not the most important motivator. Money is not the one thing that gets people up every single day. There are a multiple variety of reinforcers. Like Zig Ziglar famously said (paraphrased), money isn’t the most important thing, but it is up there with the whole breathing thing. So, money is important, yes, but you’ve got to have a variety of reinforcements. And that includes praise, it includes recognition, it includes awards.

I’ll give you an example of this. There’s a sales team I’m currently working with right now, that every time, I guess, when you’re the salesperson of the month—when you meet a variety of factors—you’re given a belt. And it’s like a heavyweight belt, you know, that you get in boxing or WWF or whatever it is. I guarantee you that having that belt and being able to showcase that to your team— In fact, the guy that’s been winning it a couple of months in a row, he wears it on every single monthly zoom call that we have. And I guarantee you that that motivates people. People want to get that belt. So that praise, that recognition, all of those things matter.

You can’t just expect money to be that motivator when you’re setting your objective. There’s got to be some praise, recognition, and awards to go with it. You’ve got to have a combination of both though. You can’t just praise and recognize them without giving them the money, either. Keep that in mind.

Tip number three: conduct a barrier analysis with your salespeople. So, this is, again, for sales leaders, sales managers, business owners, whoever, when you’re setting your team’s sales objectives this year—right now, you’re probably looking at what their yearly quota is going to be, whatever it might be—it’s important that you sit down with them and conduct a barrier analysis. Once you have the number, once you have the target, the key is figuring out, “Okay, what’s getting in the way of you achieving that target?”

And they might say, “Well, you know, I just don’t have enough time to go out and prospect.”

Okay. Let’s talk about time. What’s getting in the way of finding that time? Are they too burdened with other non-sales related activities that you can help remove? The key is, whatever barrier they mentioned, you have to figure out a way to help them remove it.

Maybe they’ll tell you, “Hey, look. I just don’t have that many prospects in my territory that will help me achieve that target.”  Now you can talk about that. That’s something to discuss. You can determine whether that’s valid and true, or whether it’s not. And if it’s not true, you better be able to show them where the prospects are, where the opportunities are. The key is, by identifying these barriers ahead of time, you’re able to remove them with the salesperson.

People are highly motivated if they believe that what they do will lead to their success. And if you can remove those barriers along the way, you’re going to help them become more successful. You’re going to set goals that motivate them.

And this is the final tip on how to set sales objectives with your team. You’ve got to involve your salespeople. Make them part of the process. Too often, sales leaders, organizations, they will dictate, “Hey, here’s what you’re going to sell this year.” And I get it. I mean, I’ve been in these conversations before. You know what happens? You give them a number, salesperson spends more time selling you on how they can’t hit that number versus going out there and actually trying to sell. So, this process of dictating what the number’s going to be doesn’t work. And the reason that doesn’t work is we’re not tapping into one of the most powerful motivators in psychology, and that is the endowment effect.

The endowment effect is actually a bias that people place a higher value on the things that they own versus the things that they don’t. But you can utilize this bias to help motivate your team. When you involve them in the process and you get their feedback and they create their goal, they’re going to feel a stronger sense of ownership towards that goal. They’re going to be more open to working harder to achieve that goal, because it’s a goal that they created for themselves that they own, not something that they have been given. So, include your team in the process. Make them part of it; get their feedback and they should help you set that target.

That is the tips for today. Again, four tips as a sales manage-sales leader, to help you set your objectives this year for your sales team.

The first one, make sure your time horizon is accurate. You want to make sure you have a long-term goal and short-term goals that go along with it. Again, it’s like that road trip—your ultimate destination—that’s the long-term goal. The short-term goals, those are the pitstops along the way.

Use a variety of reinforcers. It’s not just about the money. Money is part of it. It’s up there with breathing just like Ziglar said, but it’s not the most important thing. Think about how you can offer praise and recognition to go along with it.

Number three: conduct a barrier analysis with your team. Figure out what’s going to get in the way of them achieving their goal. Then, focus your time and energy on removing that.

And then fourth, involve your salespeople. Make them part of the process that taps into that endowment effect. They’re going to own the goal; they’re going to be more likely to go after it.

Make it a big day.

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