The Seller’s DNA: Goal-Setting Machine

Posted on January 19, 2011. Filed under: Lead Generation, Sales, Sales forecasting, Sales Funnel, Sales Goals, Sales Management, Sales Metrics, Sales pipeline, Sales Quota, Sales Velocity | Tags: , , , , , , |

Last week’s blog was devoted to developing good funnel habits as your new year’s resolution.  Once you have a plan for that then you can set goals.

You know what they say about goals.  If you don’t know where you want to go, you’re sure to get there.

Goal setting is the essence of the sales professional.  Where some people shy away from setting goals, we embrace them.   Where some people would never share their goals with others, we’d put ours on a billboard in Times Square.  We don’t care what others think.  We know what we want to achieve and we go after it.  This doesn’t make us better, it just make us us.

If you’re not tracking with me, let me give you an incentive – nine times more money.

This is what you’d earn in a lifetime simply by writing down your goals, according to Dave Kohl, a professor at Virginia Tech, a  college in the US.

So a million dollar career could become nine million dollars?  I’m just doing the math.

But here’s the astonishing news – Kohl says 80% of people say they don’t have goals.  16% percent say they have goals but don’t write them down.  4% have goals and write them down.

You can take this concept one step further by ‘going public’ with your goals.  Telling others your goals puts an added pressure on you to produce results.  Salespeople like pressure.

Several years ago w(hen I didn’t know better) I ran a marathon.  26.2 miles.  About 42 kilometers.  I told everyone I would beat three hours and 30 minutes.  That’s just about 8 minutes per mile.  I wasn’t bragging.  Rather,  I knew that it was a more likely outcome if I shared it with others.  I finished in three hours and 26 minutes.  When the pain was like a knife stabbing my thighs I kept telling myself, “Sellers, you fool don’t you dare slow down or give up!”

I suggest you break up your annual sales goal, quota, into quarterly goals.  The whole year is so long it’s like a marathon of selling.  Four quarterly marathons might be less overwhelming and easier to track.

I suggest you define some activity goals.  The splits in a marathon tell you if you’re losing ground or keeping pace.  Similarly, activity goals serve as splits to let you know if you’re keeping up the pace of funnel related activity.  One activity goal could be number of sales appointments you make in a week.  Another one could be the number of sales calls you have in a week.  If you hold lunch and learns, or do webinars, or attend lead generating shows, you could set a goal for the number of those events you hold.

As long as you’ve got your strategy defined first, you can set goals and watch with delight as you knock them off one by one.

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