Sales can be a tricky thing to navigate as a team. You want to work towards company goals together, but there is a level of competition among those working in the department together. It is common to see a leaderboard up in the break room or conference room so everyone can easily track who has the most sales so far in the month. While this seems like it would be a good way to motivate each person to try harder, it is not the best way to improve sales as a team. If you are ready to improve your business as a whole, make these changes in your sales team:
Set SMART goals
Goal setting needs to happen at three different levels within a sales team.
- From the top – The first goal that needs to be established is from the very top of the company, the business owner or CEO. There should be big picture goals that the company is working towards.
- At the department level – Once the sales team knows what the goal is of the business they need to establish goals as a team that will help the company work towards their big picture goal.
- Individually – Once the sales department knows what the goals of for their department each person is able to set their own individual goals that will help the team reach their goal together.
However, goal setting will get you nowhere if you are setting the wrong goals. In order for your goals to work they need to be SMART. That means they need to be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. Here is the difference:
Example of setting a goal that is not SMART – I want to increase sales
Example of turning this into a SMART goal – I want to increase my rate of closing sales by 10% by the end of the 4th quarter.
If you set the first example as your goal you have no way of holding yourself accountable for the goal. There is no deadline and there is no real way to measure if you are getting where you want to be because there is no specific number you are trying to reach.
Make a plan
Once your sales team has their goals in place it is time to make a plan to reach them. This won’t surprise you, but the majority of people either don’t set goals or they do not achieve the goals they set. That is because they don’t make a plan. Life is busy and happens quickly. If you don’t make a plan each day is going to continue to go by. You will be working hard to keep up with the items that you need to do for the day, but you will not be getting ahead. You will make no progress towards your goal, and if you do it will be by accident.
Break your SMART goal down into actionable steps. If you take the example of the SMART goal above here are some steps you could put into place:
- Make 15 calls each day before doing any other task
- Follow up with each customer within two business days of the first conversation
- Attend a weekly networking event to make new connections and spend 90% of the time talking with people I have never met before
These are just a few examples to get you started. When your goals is in place you need to look at it and think about what steps you need to do in order to realistically accomplish your goal by the deadline.
Don’t let failure stop you – learn from it instead
It takes special people to work in sales. It is the one department in business that has to deal with constant rejection (OK, any maybe the customer service department). That can be difficult to deal with and bounce back from. One of the main reasons that people do not set SMART goals is because they are afraid of failing by not accomplishing the goal they set for themselves. However, not reaching a goal is not something to be afraid of. It is something to learn from.
Sales teams would find far greater success if they started sharing failures with each other in order to learn from them as a team. If a lead on sale fails to convert or the team as a whole fails to meet their monthly goal, what happens? It’s a failure, so what does that mean? It should mean that you know have new information to evaluate in order to keep working towards your goal. Use this new information to determine what changes you need to make in order to hit your goal the next time.
Be strategic as a team
The main things that hurt a sales team is the fact that they never work as a team. Each sales person is working to accomplish the same goal. When the members of the team come together and are strategically working towards the same goal, a shift will begin to happen in their minds. This is when a sales team really starts to win.