Goals or Pipedreams? How Top Sales Leaders Set and Attain Aggressively Achievable Goals

“Woo hoo! Your team did it! Your team exceeded goal! You feel like a sales management rockstar!”


“Boo! Hiss! Your team failed. Your team finished miserably short of goal! You feel like a big, fat sales management loser.”

In either scenario, my questions for you are the same: “What happened? How did you end up where you landed? What were the specific decisions, behaviors and course of strategy that got you to the end result?”

When reflecting on your team’s performance in any given month, quarter or year, can you answer these questions in excruciating detail?

Understanding what got you where you finished means that you can trace back your path to either replicate your success or (equally as crucial!) unveil what went wrong and redirect going forward.

Setting An Aggressively Achievable Sales Goal

A goal is just a number unless it has meaning. A meaningful goal rolls in both market data and business strategy and takes into account systems, processes and your team’s selling ability.

When setting sales goals, strategic leaders often start with the end in mind then build the systems and team that will achieve the desired result.

This can be a highly effective approach, but here’s a warning – the danger comes when you set sales goals solely on a need to produce revenue with little to no attention given to the strategy around building the systems and acquiring the necessary people to get you there.

When goal setting, begin with the end in mind – then build the strategy to get you there!

Time to decide on a goal for your sales team? Ask yourself these three questions:

• If my sales team performs the right behaviors, is the goal achievable?

• Do I, as the sales manager, understand what are the “right” behaviors and do I coach, train and support the team to those behaviors?

• Are other parts of the company in strategic alignment with my sales team to achieve the goal?

Focus on What is Controllable

Ultimately, whether or not we achieve a sales goal is often out of our control (even if we don’t want to admit it).

There will always be forces beyond your control that impact the end result. But you can and should give all your time and energy to what is controllable.

The make-up of your sales team is controllable.

You decide who earns a spot on the team and who does not. Hiring and firing to achieve a strong, capable team is critical.

Behaviors are controllable – both your behaviors as a sales leader and the behaviors of our sales team.

Are your daily activities focused squarely on helping your team achieve goal or are other goal-diffusing activities sucking up your time?

Have you identified the behaviors you expect from your team if they are to achieve goal and are you following up and inspecting what you expect?

Eliminating barriers to goal achievement is controllable.

Find out what is getting in your team’s way. Pinpoint what is slowing them down. Bring to the surface the frustrations that are affecting their focus and eliminate the barriers! Remove the obstacles! Clear the path for sales success and goal achievement!

Get a good grasp on how to both set team goals and achieve team goals and you just might change the world.

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About the Author: Amy O'Connor

As one of the most in-demand sales training consultants in North America today, Amy O’Connor brings a decade’s worth of industry experience and knowledge, along with a fresh female perspective on leadership, to her impactful and enlightening seminars.