Every sales professional who isn’t absolutely satisfied with how well he or she is doing now should be setting new performance improvement goals.
And since by nature sales professionals are never absolutely satisfied with anything, that means we should all be setting these goals all the time.
But setting effective goals isn’t something you can do in two minutes on a scratch pad. You have to be systematic. Here are eight questions that can help you set effective goals:
- What’s the final result I want to achieve? This may be a certain sales figure, number of new customers, etc.
- What are the obstacles to achieving this result?
- What would help me overcome these obstacles?
- What are the strengths and weaknesses of my sales territory? What goals would capitalize on the strengths and/or minimize the weaknesses?
- If I did nothing differently this quarter than I did the last, what impact would this have on my final result?
- Of the goals that I’ve accomplished during the last quarter, which ones are progressive – i.e., which ones build on a previous goal?
- How did I achieve this progress?
- Of the goals I failed to accomplish, what could I have done differently to meet them?
This kind of questioning and goal-setting system will help you focus on the future rather than solely on the immediate situation. Make this kind of goal setting a part of your quarterly planning process.
Adapted from “Building the High-Performance Sales Force,” by Joe Petrone (AMACOM. New York). Mr. Petrone is a sales trainer and author
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