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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Secret Funnel Habit Number 2: Monthly Goals and Actions with Bi-Weekly Updates

Posted on January 12, 2011. Filed under: Funnel Audits, Pipeline Measurement, Sales, Sales forecasting, Sales Funnel, Sales Management, Sales pipeline | Tags: , , , , , |

Whoo boy there’s a sexy blog title!  Seriously, this week we are covering the Secrets to Success through good sales funnel habits.  Today’s post is Habit #2: Set Monthly Goals and Actions.  To read about Habit #1, click here.

The good funnel habit you need to get into and get religion about is setting monthly goals and actions and then reviewing your progress toward actions twice a month.  I’m not talking yet about just setting goals, but rather mastering the good funnel habit of setting goals and reviewing progress.

The 12 month year of selling is a grind.  I see it as an ultra -marathon.  I suggest you break it up into 4 smaller marathons – each quarter is like a normal marathon of 26 miles plus.  Develop a rhythm of setting funnel goals and reviewing progress toward funnel actions that remains constant throughout the year.

If you have other business processes that you want to work your funnel process into that’s fine.

Quarterly funnel goals should include Target TVR, sales, and activities.  If you need $500,000 in sales by June 30 you might set a goal of having $1M in TVR by March 31.  Then set goals for key selling activities like number of sales calls, hours per week of face to face and phone to phone selling, number of referrals you ask for and get, and more.

Set monthly goals and then review your progress every two weeks.   If you’re at plan for activities then relax.  Let the process work.  If you’re not at plan then review why not.  This every two week review helps you avoid getting behind too far and not having enough time to catch up.  A flow of events could look something like this:

–          One week before the quarter begins set your quarterly goals.

–          On day 1 of the first month do a funnel inspection (Funnel Audit).

–          On day 15 of the first month review progress toward the funnel actions you set at the beginning of the month.

–          One day 1 of the second month repeat the flow of tasks.

Consider going to your calendar right now and entering meeting notices for these tasks.

This goal setting and reviewing funnel actions regularly is supported by a funnel inspection process we call the Funnel Audit.  I’ll devote another blog entry this week to that.

A rhythm of setting funnel goals and reviewing progress toward actions is a good funnel habit that will never be so sexy as to turn heads but will be the key to having new leads and sales beat a consistent path to your door.

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