3 years ago
January 7, 2015

How to Deal With Changing Sales Targets

If you are following the right tactics, you can be prepared when sales targets change and meet your organization’s goals.

Rhys Metler

Changing sales targets are a fact of business; targets may change due to new or updated products and services, the movements of competitors, or changes in the marketplace at large. Whatever the reason, sales people must be prepared for these shifts. Sales roles are high pressure and the pressure only builds when sales targets change; if you are following the right tactics, you can use this pressure as a motivation to constantly improve and meet your organization’s goals.

Dealing with Changing Sales Targets: Fall Back on Building Lead Quality

Your ability to hit changing sales targets depends first and foremost on the quality of your leads and how you handle them. Leads are the foundation of the sales process, and must be treated accordingly for you to meet your goals. In addition to using all of the lead generation techniques at your disposal, including asking for referrals, using CRM databases, and following up with leads from within your organization, make sure that you:

  • Look at the time of day you are making sales calls, and analyze whether this is the best time of day for the contacts that you hope to make.
  • Research your own past sales numbers to find out how many leads it takes you to acquire one sale to know how many quality leads you need to hit changing sales targets.
  • Focus your efforts on improving your conversion rates by overcoming objections, making better presentations, and improving wherever you must to make the most of the leads you have.

Dealing with Changing Sales Targets: Set Goals to Keep Up with Growth

If your organization expects your sales targets to increase by a set percentage each quarter, you won’t reach those targets by doing business as usual up until the final weeks. Your success rate will improve dramatically if you set incremental goals for yourself leading up to the changing sales targets your organization has announced; this is about working smarter, and not just harder, than anyone else on the team.

  • Calculate the average value of your closes over the past twelve months to form a realistic idea of how many deals you need to capture to meet changing sales targets.
  • Divide the number of deals you need to reach by the number of weeks until your next target to determine how frequently you must be closing.
  • Optimize your cold calling, presentation scheduling, and closing techniques to meet your incremental goals on your way to sales success.

Dealing with Changing Sales Targets: Accept Responsibility for Your Own Success

One of the worst mistakes a career sales person can make is to blame an inability to meet changing sales targets on the organization, the sales manager – anyone but him or herself. When you accept responsibility for your own results, you empower yourself to do better and put the focus back on what you can accomplish, rather than accepting the status quo and letting your sales numbers (and income) suffer.

Organizations set audacious goals to encourage sales teams to outperform, and if you want to be a top sales person, you need to be one of the outperformers reaching for changing sales targets. Remember that others may set goals for you, but the goals you are most likely to reach are those you set for yourself – especially if you aim to beat expectations.

However, if you have done all that you can to meet changing sales targets and find that although your sales numbers are above average for the industry you still cannot get where you need to be for your sales manager, it might be time to look for a new sales position. While changing sales targets are a reality in any organization, unrealistic expectations are not, and you may perform better in a new setting with what you have learned from this experience.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 11+ years of focused experience in the Digital Media, Mobile, Software, Technology and B2B verticals. He has a successful track record of headhunting top performing sales candidates for some of the most exciting brands in North America. He is a Certified Recruitment Specialist (CRS) and has expert experience in prospecting new business, client retention/renewals and managing top performing sales and recruitment teams. Rhys enjoys spending quality time with his wife, son, and two daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day, tropical vacations and cottaging.