8 years ago
April 13, 2016

How Top Sales People Use Goal Setting to Achieve Greatness

Goal setting is integral to success in sales. Learn from these tips how to follow the goal setting habits of top sales people.

Rhys Metler

Goal setting is integral to success in sales. Top sales people take goal setting to a higher level; instead of relying on the goals set by management and the organization, top sales people will strive to exceed base targets and engage in personal goal setting to get there. This allows top sales people to consistently achieve greatness and maintain a clear direction for their sales careers. Learn from these tips how to follow the goal setting habits of top sales people.

Goals Should Be Challenging, But Achievable

Setting goals that are easily achieved can defeat the purpose of goal setting. The desire to do better should be behind any goals that are set. Top sales people use goal setting to outline challenges for themselves that encourage them towards making a stronger sales impact. Challenging goals should:

  • Present a challenge while still being achievable; unachievable goals can be discouraging rather than encouraging, and don’t provide the same benefits that realistic goal setting can.
  • Be aligned with your personal and professional desires; the more involved you are with the goals you set, the more likely you are to achieve them.
  • Reflect the core priorities of your organization; in this way your goal setting can benefit you and your employer and lead to recognition and other career benefits.

Goal Setting Should Be As Specific As Possible

Goals that are intangible or unclear are difficult to achieve because even if the goal is reached, there is no way to identify the achievement. Instead, top sales people are specific about their target goals so that it is possible to track progress and notch a win when those goals are reached. Specific goals include:

  • Goals to reach percentages above previous milestones. For example, setting goals to make 10% more sales in the third quarter than are recorded in the fourth.
  • Goals to achieve a specific outcome within a set amount of time. Setting goals to reach 90% of the annual sales target by a given month would be a good example.
  • Goals to hit highly specific numbers. Setting a goal to reach “more” leads is not specific enough; setting goals with specific numbers would mean setting a goal to reach 50 new leads each week.

This specificity also helps top sales people describe their contributions to the organization and personal sales growth in clear terms, which can have benefits for career advancement.

Goals Should Always Include the Steps to Achievement

People commonly fall short of the goals that they set for themselves because the goals they set did not include an outline of how the target outcomes would be reached. Setting goals without including steps to achievement is like trying to drive to an unfamiliar address without directions. To support success in reaching their goals, top sales people always create a map of incremental steps describing how the goals will be reached. For example, if the goal is to hit a certain sales number, top sales people will break down that sales number into milestones to be achieved week by week and month by month, building to the overall goal. This incremental goal building also helps top sales people ensure that they follow through on their goals.

Goal Setting Should Be a Constant Process

Goal setting is all about growth, whether that growth is in sales numbers, career achievement, or personal fulfillment. To support that growth, goal setting should be a constant process. Top sales people may allow themselves time to celebrate a win, but you will always find a top sales person setting a new goal once a previous goal is reached. This ensures that goal setting supports constant advancement for top sales people. Wherever you are in your sales career, you can follow the example of how top sales people use goal setting to achieve their success to find the same success in your own career.

Rhys Metler

Rhys is a tenacious, top performing Senior Sales Recruiter with 15+ 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 daughters, BBQing on a hot summer day and tropical vacations.