Goals And Objectives In Sales
Sales is all about how the product or service finds its way to the paying customer. Even the most innovative products will not find buyers if nobody knows them and they are not offered to anyone. It is crucial to find the right target group and get in touch with them. Sales work requires clear objectives so that a clear course is set and the question of “how?” is answered as early as possible.
Clear, Understandable, And To The Point: Objectives
A goal that is to be achieved at some point must not only appear dimly on the horizon. Instead, a clear definition is required with as little room for interpretation as possible, which could lead to incorrect interpretations and thus to misconduct. In short: clear words for clear goals.
A target that is too diffuse should be avoided. Although “15 percent more sales than in the previous year” leave little room for interpretation, a way to achieve the goal is not outlined here. It is better to give the objectives more precise outlines utilizing concrete activities. Activities or their results can be individualized, checked, measured, and, if necessary, better optimized in this way. In this way, the individual strengths of each employee can be determined and used more efficiently. An employee who likes the New customer acquisition gets along better; another is better at devoting himself to regular customers.
Furthermore, targets should not simply be prescribed from above. In this case, “simple” means: without prior discussion with the employee who has to achieve the goal or implement the necessary measures. Instead, the purpose should be conveyed in the context of a debate or an employee appraisal, allowing both queries and suggestions for improvement. Goals can then also be recorded using suitable software, and the employee should agree to this.
Finally, the most critical question: is the goal set realistically at all? What to do if not? What other alternatives or measures are available?
The remuneration in many sales departments is based on key figures such as the increase in sales per quarter. The targets must be defined accordingly. Several typical metrics can represent quantitative goals in sales. Here are some examples:
- Sales volume
- Contribution margin
- Number of customer contacts gained
- Customer visits
Important factors must be taken into account when planning goals and evaluating the achievement of goals later on, for which the use of resources, skills, and values are of particular importance. The use of funds can, for example, be the budget for a marketing campaign include. Competencies relate more to the individual employees and answer, for example, the question of which concessions may be made to the customer concerning the conditions. The “how” is clearly in the foreground when it comes to values. Do the actions match the corporate image? Is it compatible with corporate behavior?
In addition to the quantitative goals, there are also the qualitative goals, which are primarily aimed at the company’s long-term success and less at the individual measures. Here are a few more examples:
- Organization of a seminar for further training of employees
- Carrying out a customer survey
- Establish the use of specific media
- Training of a new employee in sales
Such goals are harder to formulate and also not easy to measure. Therefore, the formulation of plans should accompany the characteristics used to determine success.