Does your sales team OWN their goals? Most likely your team falls under the 80/20 rule: 80% of the business comes from 20% of the sales people.
This is the time most of you are creating goals and objectives for nest year. It is the time you crunch numbers to decide your revenues for the upcoming year. Are you doing it right?
I had an in-depth conversation yesterday with a sales VP of an aeronautical products company. We were discussing how good he was at gathering the sales data on how many customers they gained, the percentage that each customer spent as to the overall budget, what the top products ere and so on. He then explained to me how he created the budgets for the next year for each of the salespeople. He said he had been creating salespeople’s budget this same way for several years
I asked a few questions here and got that look that you get when you speak to your dog and he obviously doesn’t understand you. My questions were:
- Have each of the salespeople made their budget numbers?
- Why or why not?
- How did you involve them in their sales budget decision?
I admire someone who has the ability to create spread sheets of probability when creating goals and budgets. The problem is there are actual people involved in making this happen and just because someone puts it on paper doesn’t make it so.
In a perfect world we can come up with a logical budget on paper based on statistics and data. Great. Then we have to actually get our salespeople responsible for making it happen, make it happen. There of course are several reasons why we often have a short fall here and this article isn’t long enough to list them all but one of the most important is to create ownership with each sales person and the goals you create.
We all know that when we are a part of a decision, when we have skin in the game when creating goals, we are much more likely to make them happen because they are ours.
This year whether you have come up with goals yet or not, lets get your salespeople to define what success is for them. What do they want and need to earn? Why? What will they have to sell and how much will they have to sell to reach that goal? What do they have to do, activity-wise to reach that number?
Having your salespeople each come up with their own “business plan” since it is really their business as well being that they have say in the economic outcome, will help create buy in and therefore ownership of their business.
Give them the basics of your data that you have for their territory. Give them everything but your budget numbers for them. Ask them to take a week or so, review all of the information and create a goal and a plan that they will follow for next year to reach the goal they have set. Have them present that to you and any other senior executives and tell them to be prepared for questions about their plan.
Typically you will find that they are harder on themselves they you would be and they often come up with a higher number for their goal they you will. If not, push them back on that and ask them why so low?
It is also important that their goals are attached to something that is meaningful to them so not to just put some pie in the shy number to impress you. If you would like a form to download to give to them that will help them figure out how much money they want and need to make here is a free one for you; www.StartwithGoals.com
Give your salespeople all of the tools to be successful but don’t expect them to follow your goals without involving them by making them theirs as well.