Setting Sales Goals

Setting Sales Goals, Ideals, And The Power Of Make-Believe

Success begins with setting goals. Without goals, your team lacks the key elements it needs to win — a direction to follow and the encouragement to stay motivated in Sales.

When it comes to goal setting in selling, there is a right way and a wrong way to do it.

Setting goals that are actually achievable and measurable is vital, not only to our success but to our confidence. And it all starts with what we base our goals on.

Moreover, goals lend clarity and purpose to your organization. They enable your team to track collective and individual performance. Goals also help assess the efficiency of tools and methods, and formulate strategies for improvement or growth.

Ideals guide us but aren’t achievable.

For many technoprenuers, coming up with big ideas is our bread and butter. In our imaginations, the sky’s the limit, and we can envision a future that might seem impossible in the present.

Having big dreams is part of what’s made you as successful as you are. While others might dismiss big dreams as “make-believe,” for you, it’s what keeps you fascinated and motivated and always growing. Having ideals helps you to envision your bigger future. But when you’re goal setting, it’s important to be able to distinguish make-believe from reality.

Our ideals are crucial. They help us look ahead and keep us inspired. Goal setting, however, requires that we extract achievable, measurable goals out of the abstract ideal. Ideals themselves are not achievable. But concrete goals are.

Measurement vs. make-believe.

The goals we set, based on our ideal vision of the breakthrough we want to achieve, must be measurable. They must be based on a specific number or specific event. An example of a measurable goal is “multiplying my revenue by 10x over the next five years” or “winning 15 new accounts by Q2.”

If your goal is too abstract (“improve my business,” “increase revenue”), it exists only in the realm of the ideal and will remain forever out of reach. When setting goals, remember—if it’s not measurable, it’s make-believe. Setting a non-specific goal means that you’ll never know for sure whether you’ve achieved it. If it’s too general, you’ll have no way of determining if you’re there yet or how far you have left to go.

Setting specific goals and executing detailed strategies for achieving them resulted to an average academic performance improvement of 30%.

Setting Needle-Moving Targets in Selling

While many technoprenuers perform customer engagement, administrative, HR, and other tasks, their core function is to develop sales (revenue) strategies.

Here are a few steps your sales organisation should take to set revenue goals in your company.

1) Align sales goals with the overall strategy of the company

Before formalising periodic game-plays for the sales team, revisit the company’s overall strategy and align your sales goals with that.

Sales forecasting and planning should begin with data on current performance. Audit your:

  • Tools
  • Training currently available
  • Resource allocations (including budget)
  • Incentives (compensation, commission, benefits)

Evaluate your addressable market and how the sales team can optimise their prospecting efforts.

While you need to focus on revenue generation, you should also include plans to improve selling productivity.

2) Create specific, targeted goals for the team

Your plan won’t fly if the goal sounds too general.

Only specific, goal-oriented plans that establish individual accountability can drive and motivate people to succeed.

  • Map overall team goals to individual activity and sales performance goals. Activity goals help individuals focus on performing tasks that really matter in the long run.
  • Integrate small goals (such as activity targets) that help build confidence, blaze a trail of incremental wins, and lead the entire team towards achieving bigger goals.
  • Break annual goals into shorter periods and assign daily, weekly, monthly, and quarterly targets to each member of the team.
  • Include skills training goals for individuals, which correlate with and help improve overall performance.

3) Be ambitious but reasonable when setting team and individual sales quotas

The trick is to find the sweet spot between the company’s aspirations and the sales force’s current capabilities

Here are some tips to consider:

  • Adopt a consistent and transparent method for establishing periodic quotas. Set these quotas as a team to reinforce accountability.
  • Use data in setting and assigning quotas. Strike a balance between realism and ambition.
  • Drive motivation and increase the impact of your incentives program by implementing the right mix of base compensation, commission, and rewards.

4) Integrate sales coaching, personal development, and sales training into your team goals

The level of revenue you generate greatly depends on the competency and skill of your sales team.

Hence, guiding everyone on the team on a continuing journey of learning and self-improvement should be integral to your sales goals.

  • Checking individual performance metrics hold the key to understanding how to set goals for individual sellers.
  • Activities that correlate with productivity include those on lead generation, qualification, and sales velocity. Meanwhile, close rates and average deal size directly impact revenues.
  • Goals for learning new skills can be incorporated to every individual.

5) Monitor progress and give feedback

Schedule regular reviews to verify whether current efforts align with and are in pace with quarterly or annual targets. Take prompt remedial actions when necessary.

Conduct periodic performance assessments and accurate and honest feedback to each member of the team.

Incentivise outstanding performance and schedule coaching or training time for skills, competencies, and other areas that need improving. Common areas that need re-training include rapport building, product knowledge, presentation skills, negotiation and closing skills.

 

The Right Sales Goals Go Beyond Topline Figures

Whether in sales, business, and personal lives, setting the right goals takes us closer to the outcomes we want.

For sales managers, goal setting makes it possible to drive and motivate their team in performing the tasks and activities that affect revenue.

But the right sales goals go beyond top line figures. When set the right way, sales goals also help develop focus, build skills, shape personality, and reward committed effort. Goals not only help leaders engineer great outcomes for the company, they also transform people into better sellers and human beings.

 

Be conscious and deliberate about always measuring your progress and achievements backward against your starting point in order to stay in The Positive Zone where even your wildest imaginations can be transformed into achievable goals.

Revenue Strategy

How can technoprenuers connect revenue strategy to execution plan?

With a new year starting the timing is right to shift the focus to executing your revenue strategy with precision and achieving the planned outcomes. We have clearly see that technoprenuers who spend quality time in putting together a focussed revenue strategy and execution plan are far more successful that those that simply wing it.

It does not matter if you are a 20 person or 200 person tech shop. Having a plan and focussing your activities in the right direction will yield results.

Here is a sample revenue strategy and execution we put together for one of the mid sized tech firms that wanted to 2X revenue within next 12 months. We simply chopped off a geography and 2 products from the basket!

 

The tolerance for under performance is diminishing each year as technoprenuers understand that revenue growth (and sales) is a science not an art form and good planning and implementation methodologies do deliver results.

If you cannot plan and see how to make the money at the start of the year
the results are most unlikely to be there at the end of the year.

Technoprenuers spend considerable amount of time and effort in running their business but spend very little time in planning and translating that plan to quarterly action plans.

Often they find it cumbersome and tedious. Sometimes they simply do not know how to put this together and translate it into an execution plan.

For those who are struggling to put together a plan, here are some outline that can help you along the way.

In Agility Nexus revenue planning process, we focus on 4 areas – core strategy (where to focus to achieve our numbers), product/ solution portfolio, sales and marketing.

1) Core Strategy – In developing our core strategy we look at our desired revenue numbers, share holder expectations, how fast we want to achieve it and what resources we have to get there. We also look at markets, competition, product/solution lifecycles, our position and a future paced outlook to achieve our results.

 

2) Revenue Planning – We then move onto a detail plan that goes one step down into mix of segments, product/ solution portfolio, existing customers, new customer acquisition, products, territories and revenue opportunities.

 

3) Breaking down the revenue plan – this leads us to objectives of the revenue plan (includes both marketing and sales) and what are the requirements (and needs) to get them delivered. We use a 4 quarter, 90D sprint planning process to plan and execute the micro detail of what is required to be completed each day, week, month and quarter. The activities with the customers which steers the direction from where the sales revenue will be derived.

 

4) Sales Funnel and Process – We then develop (tweak) the sales process and funnel, by applying AICP framework (Attract, Interest, Convert and Propagate) that incorporates customer buying journey, acquisition channels, attraction and conversion tools that brings in paying customers. This also boils down to detailed weekly execution plan.

 

5) Weekly/Daily Progress Tracking – when you understand the activity requirement for the business, you can then monitor to ensure the activity, and the right activity is occurring. This is the engine behind any revenue results being achieved. We monitor the following key areas with well defined KPIs.

  • Demand Generation activities
  • Sales funnel activities,
  • Client conversations and conversions.

 

6) Monthly Review & Meetings – Technoprenuers should also review progress, on a monthly basis, with individual team members to the plan, realign them where necessary and remove barriers that will stop them achieving. You should keep the team focused on the right activities and allow them to demonstrate how they are managing prospects and customer base.

 

7) Quarterly Business Review – keeping the revenue plan active with a runway of one or two full quarters ahead, at any time of the year is a must. Ensuring the activities are feeding the short and medium term objectives of the company.

 

With the focus on performance, effectiveness and results maintained through quality dashboards, the team will understand how to manage and deliver the planned results. The most important contribution of all is frontline coaching and reinforcement of the activities that deliver success.

If you don’t have one, get started with your strategy and execution plans. It will clearly differentiate you from your competitors and focusses your efforts to achieve maximum results.

 

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.   Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.   Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3.    Join our Techcelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.

6 Steps Mid Size Tech Companies Can Take to 2X Revenues Within 12 Months

Over past 3 months, we studied 78 small and mid sized tech companies in South East Asia and and this is what we found out.

 

P.S. Whenever you’re ready… here are 3 ways I can help you grow your tech business :

1.   Grab a free copy of useful stuff that can help you grow your tech business. More in our blog.

4 Ways to Position Your Tech Business to Attract More Clients Click here.

3 Mistakes to Avoid In Your Tech Business To Grow Revenue Click here.

2.   Schedule a 15 Minute assessment call with us – Click here.

We have worked with a bunch of tech companies and have offered them systems, strategies and coaching to attract and convert clients. We help you install sales and marketing systems that automate stuff and help flood leads and drive higher revenues and margins. Talk to us.

3.    Join our Techcelerate Implementation Program and be a Case Study

I’m putting together a new coaching case study group at Techcelerate this month… stay tuned for details. If you’d like to work with us on your client-getting and scale plans… just reply to this message and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

Life is short. Take action now and grow. Best Wishes.

Branding your tech

Why You Should Brand Your Tech Business?

Most technopreneurs generally start out by focusing on what they’re good at and what they can sell. This is good and a must. Without an MVP you are not going anywhere.

But once your business gets to a $500K or even better $1M per annum mark, you will need a good brand strategy.

If you don’t have a brand, then you just have a service or product without a real vision or identity. It is often commoditised in a noisy marketplace. Unless you are an AirBnB or an Uber!

You’re pretty much just selling stuff. (And you feel like your services are more than just stuff, right?) Without creating a brand strategy, your business has nothing to guide it on a path towards long-term impact and success.

So what exactly is a brand strategy?

A brand strategy encompasses the characteristics, attributes, personality, and core essence of a business. It’s what helps your business make an impact and build a culture and following beyond your services.

You might be asking, do I need a brand for a $1M business?

Not everyone thinks of starting with a brand strategy when they first launch into business, but having the right strategy in place will make building your business, attracting clients, and positioning your services so much easier.

A brand strategy consists of a number of elements such as your voice, style, promise, message, story, values, vision, identity, and target audience.

Most technopreneurs tend to skip over everything and jump straight to their identity and target audience. However, the other, sometimes-less-tangible elements of your brand play a large part in shaping how your target audience perceives you, connects with you, and feels about becoming your potential client. As all of these emotions are crucial when it comes to building a brand, don’t overlook these other important branding elements.

An effective brand strategy is essentially your guide to influencing your target audience’s opinion of who you are, what you’re about, why they should care, and how you can help them.

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