Tag Archives | forecasting

Seven tips to help you set next year’s sales goals

Achieving next year's sales goals

Achieving next year’s sales goals


It’s Q4 (where did the time go?) and whether you’re self-employed, a small business owner or a sales pro now is the time to be setting your sales goals for next year. Most customers are goal and budget setting as well, so it’s is an excellent time to sit down and set targets for the coming year. Here are some goal setting tips for you…

1. Top Down. If you have objectives set by your management they should, of course, be in there. If you have larger personal or life goals they should also feed into your 2010 sales goals.

2. SMART. Make your goals SMART ones…

  • S = Specific. What, why, and how?
  • M = Measurable. If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it
  • A = Attainable. You probably won’t really commit to a goal that’s out of reach. Too easy and you won’t get that sense of achievement when you get there.
  • R = Realistic. Is it something that is under your control? If not it’s a hope not a goal.
  • T = Timely. Set a timeframe. Include milestones along the way… don’t just set a year-end goal.

3. Make your goals tangible. What will it feel like to achieve those goals? Imagine what you will buy with the commission, what will you do on your President’s Club trip, how will it feel when you get presented with the Sales Person of the Year award at the next annual sales meeting? Use all of your senses here… imagine what that champagne will taste like!

4. Include professional goals as well as sales targets. What job do you want to be doing this time next year? Do you want to move to another company? Do you want to set up on your own as a rep? What new skills do you want to attain in the next year?

5. Learn from your mistakes. Take the opportunity to look back on the last year. What did you do well, what could you have improved upon and how? What will you do differently this year?

6. Reward yourself along the way. Regardless of what your company’s reward policy might be, give yourself some treats along the way for goals/milestones achieved.

7. Keep the number of goals manageable. Nobody was ever one-sixteenth committed to anything. Better to have two really crunchy, very specific, achievable goals than sixteen flaky goals including how often you should back-up your PC.

Good luck and good selling for the next year.

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Analysis Paralysis – Part II

Analysis Paralysis

Analysis Paralysis

You’ll remember that in Analysis Paralysis – Part I we talked about what happens when paperwork, reports and forecasts get out of hand. The process can be quite insidious with the request sneaking up on you disguised as “an information request” or a “quick summary”. We also gave some ideas on what sales managers can do to keep this under control.

Here are some more ideas for sales teams and sales managers on how to keep the reporting overhead to a minimum.

  • Try and get into a forecasting/reporting rhythm.
  • This should be “written in stone” so everyone knows what information is needed and when. They can their plan their sales activities around it.
  • If you batch your reporting, you minimise the time taken and the distraction. Otherwise you will have to continually stop and spend time to dig out the information you need, set up the spreadsheets, etc.
  • When a request comes in for a new, regular report or forecast push back a bit.
  • Often new Sales VPs don’t feel certain enough of their position to protect their teams time and will go along with almost any request from finance, marketing, ops…
  • How often will it be needed? Press for monthly rather than weekly, quarterly rather than monthly.
  • DON’T WHINGE. But sell your boss on why it’s not such a good idea, remind her of the opportunity cost and suggest an alternative.
  • Keep your records and those of your team up-to-date on an ongoing basis. If you do so then a lot of the information can be easily or automatically extracted from, for instance, your CRM system.

Finally remember, to run any business you need to know what’s happening, so reporting of some sort is inevitable. When you have to do that forecast don’t procrastinate, get on with it, do a good job, get it over with and get back you your selling.

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