SalesHood - Sales Enablement Platform

As sellers we aim to exceed our hopes and dreams and make each year the best year ever in our careers.

 

How are your sales goals for 2020 working out so far?

 

What about for next year – do you have clarity on 2021 sales goals? Are you focused?

 

The SalesHood community is full of motivated sales professionals determined to crush their numbers and make 2021 the best year of their sales careers. Inside The Hood our community collaborates and gets dialogue going about our goals and the most effective ways to reach them.

 

Below is a curated list of sales goals crowdsourced from the SalesHood community.

 

These are all areas that our community of highly skilled, motivated professionals focused on hitting their sales goals have been talking about for 2021.

 

Why You Need to Set Sales Goals

 

All the sales goals you set as an enterprise will be the backbone for strategic marketing, team, sales decisions and in turn lead sales growth. Having clear sales goals will boost your sales department’s success because:

 

  1. Accountability – Defined sales goals keeps everyone on your sales team accountable.
  2. Visualization – Targeted visualization is a powerful tool for humans to achieve their goals.
  3. Motivation – Setting sales goals motivates and gamifies sales reps daily tasks.
  4. Performance Measurement – Sales goals are a straightforward way to measure your success quantitatively

 

When setting sales goals for your sales department, make sure to set lofty sales goals. If a goal is too conservative – is it really a goal? 

 

What’s your current goal? What’s that number you are thinking? 

 

Got it? Good. Now double or triple that. 

 

Now that you have some real, challenging goals set – it’s critical to break these goals down into strategic sales goals and sales action plans that will help you improve sales KPIs. Breaking sales goals down into tasks focused on how to achieve them is critical. 

 

Strategic Sales Goals for 2021

 

Strategic sales goals are smaller goals that you set for your sales team that align with your overarching business goals and help you achieve your top sales goals.

 

Identifying your strategic sales goals early helps put marketing options into perspective and determines the purpose of every business decision, breaking down huge general sales goals into smaller more achievable goals.

 

Sip some coffee, read on and learn more about some tips to achieve your sales goals for 2021.

 

 

1) Maximize Your Use of LinkedIn

LinkedIn is a social network for professionals – employers, employees, buyers, consumers, etc. It is the best place to meet prospective business partners or customers quickly. As a salesperson, you can use Linkedin to connect the dots with influencers, stakeholders, and decision-makers pre and post meetings.
Some of the reasons you need LinkedIn as a salesperson are:

  • Customer Research
  • Customer Outreach
  • Customer Connections
  • Warming Up Potential Customers & More

LinkedIn Sales Navigator is an invaluable tool that allows you to research company size, revenue, team and get to know a company and their personnel before ever sending an email, making it super easy to find and qualify potential leads, in addition to building a casual relationship over time. LinkedIn! LinkedIn! LinkedIn

 

2) Have a Thoughtful POV with Business Prospects

Thoughtfulness is not a trend or gimmick. It makes the business more meaningful. As much as you can, treat everyone—from researching buyers, companies, employees, and competitors carefully and share prospecting insights respectfully. A thoughtful approach to marketing and sales makes customers feel more like people and less like prospective money bags.

 

3) Ask Open-ended Question Comfortably

Open-ended questions are a part of active listening – when you ask questions that require more than a yes or no answer to get more information from a client it gives customers room to share their concerns about their challenges, your products, and it also creates an opportunity to pitch since it sets a conversational tone.

 

Most salespeople ask yes or no questions to avoid the inconvenience of ambiguous answers.

 

Become more comfortable asking open-ended questions by writing down your discovery strategy, soliciting feedback from peers, and most importantly – practicing.

 

4) Be an Active Listener and Aim for Problem Solving

Active listening skills are a pivotal part of problem-solving. If your sales team or customer service executives do not take part in active listening, most of your customers will not have a reason to return. One benefit of active listening is that you can generate new ideas for products by listening to your customers. Some practical listening tips are:

 

  • Avoid interrupting at all costs
  • Listen to and observe their body language (if possible)
  • Summarize or paraphrase what the person said and retell them for assurance and possible correction
  • While the person is talking, use brief verbal affirmations like “I understand” or yes, and also use nonverbal cues like nodding and eye contact
  • Wait for the person to pause or stop talking before you give any type of verbal response
  • Reassure the person of your understanding with a similar experience or a relevant question
  • Frame every response in accordance with their challenges

 

Most of these listening skills coincide with appropriate customer service etiquette, but are also cues of a caring, problem-solver – it makes a salesperson better and, in turn, can help lead to the achievement of your sales goals for 2020

 

Be an active listener and curious problem solver by uncovering, validating, and quantifying business issues and customer-compelling events.

 

5) Improve Value Communication

Irrespective of your product or service, value communication is challenging. An example is when you are selling a product that needs a bit of explaining to understand its uniqueness (for example, sales enablement software). Your sales goal in value communication needs to revolve around illustrating the unique properties of the software concisely.

 

If your sales staff are already practicing proper value communication, then kudos. Otherwise, you will need a corrective plan like implementing a sales enablement software.

 

6) Sales Managers & Sales Coaching Need to Be More Effective

If sales managers and coaches are effective, they can get better results from their team. If coaches can understand their team, coordinate the team, get collaboration and feedback going, share from their experience – the sales team will thrive under them. Feedback, huddles and consistent communication as a team will exponentially increase revenue outcomes.

 

Coaches should challenge sales executives to think differently and more significant about their businesses by providing value-adding insights and proof points.

 

Like salespeople, a good coach should take the same approach for their team to listen, make diagnoses, and solve problems with proper actions. Implementing sales enablement software will help the entire sales process from A to Z – from onboarding, to pitch practice to sales huddles and win stories – and have the whole team working together off of one master, high performing set of product information. 

 

7) Try More Efficient Sales Processes

Not all sales processes are efficient or effective, so as a sales manager, you need to develop techniques that work for your team. You being the sales leader in charge of most of the strategic planning, can spend more time developing and doing things that lead to a maximum impact for your team on the long term. The time you spend creating ideas that cause the most results will give your team material to carry out efficient sales processes.

 

8) Solve Problems—Avoid Pitching Products 

As a sales department with a deadline to meet, the temptation to continually pitch products to customers never fades. However, helpful, problem solving content and conversations will always improve the possibility for sales. Instead of often giving product pitches during emails and other communication media, engage prospects to try and solve their problems.

 

9) Improve Sales Team Productivity

As sales leaders, we always worry our team isn’t doing enough to hit the sales target. “Not doing enough” falls directly on your – the sales team leaders – shoulders. “Not doing enough” however frequently isn’t a lack of effort or lack of talent. Lack of productivity can often be blamed on a few things: 

 

  • Lack of communication between sales and marketing
  • Lack of clarity on how to sell your products
  • Inefficient onboarding process hindering new hires time to first sale
  • Lack of communication between sales team on what’s working and what’s not

 

One of the best solutions to implement in improving team wide productivity is implementing a Sales Enablement program. 

 

Sales enablement aligns people, processes, and priorities, while strengthening team communication via frequent sales huddle meetings and helps inexperienced and less skilled sellers learn from the best sellers on the team. Empower your team with the information they need to sell effectively. 

 

10) Identify Your Unique Selling Position (USP)

An important attribute that makes an excellent sales person is the ability to identify assets and exploit them maximally, applying them to your customers needs.

 

Your Unique Selling Position (USP) is what makes your business different from your competitors. A part of your sales productivity timeline targeting should be identifying your USP in clear terms and creating a sales process that allows you to highlight your Unique Selling Position to potential customers.  .

 

If you cannot give a clear, concise, and compelling answer to the question “what’s your Unique Selling Position?” then you haven’t figured it out yet. 

 

If you figure out your USP, you can emphasize it in your marketing and selling your product and telling buyers why your product is what they need. Even if you have the same product or service as another company, you can have different USPs and attract customers better fit for each USP.

 

11) Start Your Negotiation and Validate Deals Early-on

Make sure to Validate Deals and have mutually agreed with customer success plans, aka close plans, written in customer’s language, validated early and often. 

 

Don’t wait to go too far into a business commitment before validating deals. Also, ensure that everyone clearly states their expectations, prices and budgets.

 

Avoid negotiating late in the sales process and also avoid negotiating with the wrong people. Early negotiation will help avoid becoming entangled in the project without a way out or with a costly way out. Initial talks will go a long way in helping you save money and achieve your set market goals.

 

12) Aim to Win More Market Share

When you start applying proper means to target sales, there is no doubt that you will begin to win more of the market share. The tide of sales will shift from your competitors and give you a larger market share and more room for sales. To achieve more shares in the market, you will need to stretch the goals you set and go beyond them per day.

 

13) Add Value To Account Management

Meticulous account management is an example of a way to increase customer retention and maintain or increase total revenue. With account management, the success equation is quite simple: stay top of mind,  stay asking questions, stay reporting wins, stay solving problems.  Keep your current customers happy and willing to spend, satisfied customers make great references, and are a pipeline to new business.

 

14) Be More Intentional Communicating Agendas and Expected Outcomes with Clear, Actionable Takeaways

Some sales team leaders and sales reps often forget to communicate details of a meeting and the purpose of the meeting. Send meeting-agenda confirmations and start customer meetings with a clear purpose and expected outcomes and roles. Make sure that every meeting has clear, actionable takeaways. It does a lot.

 

15) Follow Up Meetings Immediately

Following up meetings immediately with customer’s notes, assignments, and plan of actions conveys that the customer’s needs are top of the seller’s priority. If you discussed an action plan, follow up on it and send updates to your customer. Afterward, create a sense of urgency with each detail.

 

16) Create Urgency 

Sending out customer meeting summary notes immediately, validating what you heard and qualifying the next steps serve as a reminder to the customers of what was discussed during each meeting, action plan, and the reminders for idea implementations make the actionables clear and adds a level of urgency. Customers love to know you are working for them and most importantly – are clear about their needs. 

 

17) Focus on Your Current Customers

The time it takes each deal to go from initial contact to final closing varies and depends on your pipeline, sales cycle, deal value, and other factors. If you want a better chance of hitting your sales targets, pay attention to the customers you already have – nurture them, make them feel valued. Upsells and cross sells across departments add up in B2B Sales. 

 

New sales are sexy. However spending too much time on hypothetical potential customers that are yet to commit, and neglecting your long-standing customers is a common hiccup sales people make. You need to create new avenues for sales, but don’t neglect your existing customers. Remain top of mind.  

 

18) Make Customers Your Prime Priority Irrespective of Deadlines

Uncover and validate customer-compelling events with power before forecasting deals as committed. Focus on the customer’s timeline rather than yours. When dealing with customers, set your goal aside and focus on theirs to help them achieve their solution.

 

19) Avoid Defensive Tones

Don’t get defensive when customers object. Learn more by replying with thought-provoking and curious “why” questions. Defensive tones have never helped any sales team win deals. 

 

20) Customer References Should Be Hyper Relevant

Make customer stories and references shared with customers relevant, emotional, and quantifiable. One way people that don’t know you judge your business is through your customer references and reviews. An excellent review with details similar to a prospects needs helps a prospective buyer become a customer.

 

21) Don’t Bash the Competition

Don’t beat your competition—plant traps as questions mapping competitive weaknesses to customer’s stated business priorities and needs. When you aim to be better, trampling on others makes you appear weak, so do not go for the more vulnerable standpoint. To get the upper hand in marketing, you can spend time researching you and your competitor’s product to ask questions that lead toward the benefits your software has over theirs.

 

22) Be Classy and Express Gratitude

Close with class. Send handwritten “thank you” cards to customers. Gratitude is a trait everyone appreciates. Making it more personal with a written note makes your appreciation more sincere and appreciated. Most people just send out emails and ask for reviews, but you can be different and send a card. The post office is still functional – use it!

 

Setting Revenue Goals

Revenue goals are targets that lead to performance and strategies that improve the gross profit of a company. As your enterprise grows, revenue targets will grow. Revenue targets need to have its center in areas of business growth. For example, your revenue target has to orbit around sales that will boost your business growth.

 

You need to consider your sales profit margins and support your targets by marketing plan information. Lastly, you should keep all your business costs in mind since they affect your final revenue. Here are four steps to setting and achieving your revenue goal:

 

  • Set goals monthly rather than annually. When you set goals per month, you have a better chance to improve each month and observe places than need change and fine-tuning. If your goal is $10 million annually, you should be making approximately $835,000 monthly.
  • Define your current state and where you want to be. You need to make sure that goals set have a timeline to make things interesting, avoid procrastination.
  • What is your expected growth rate? For example, with our expected annual growth of $10 million, you have to make about 9% or more of it monthly, and if you aim for a stretch goal, you can try for a 15% growth rate, which is almost half of your initial value.
  • After setting monthly sales goals and objectives, set a realistic target, and make plans with your team to meet them.

 

Weekly Goals 

Weekly goals are a bunch of targets you can set as a team leader per week to meet their annual goals at the end of the year. A week has seven days, so setting sales targets per week will give your team ample room to make daily changes that affect the overall long term result you get.

 

After setting annual goals, it is easy to get sidetracked when you do not break down these goals into attainable smaller ones.

 

Quarterly goals

For a team to be successful, the team leader sets goals quarterly or monthly, and each member contributes to the success. Quarterly goals are the perfect way for any sales manager and team member to review their team sales calls and rates in line with the team goals. By analyzing sales revenue every quarter, a team leader can raise awareness in their team. Quarterly goals give the team leader a criterion or pedestal to monitor efficiency every quarter.

 

How to Set SMART Sales Goals

SMART sales goals are Specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely. To know how to set SMART goals, you have to understand how they work by observing examples. Some examples of SMART sales goals are:

 

  • Specific Objective: To increase buyout customer conversation rates by five each day
  • Measurable: to attain 30% more sales by the next quarter
  • Attainable: 200 article clicks a day is more feasible than 1000 clicks for a startup
  • Relevant: If you are a business consultant, your sales goal does not involve goods since it is a service.
  • Time-related: to get a daily profit of $200,000 before 14th October 2020

 

Setting Activity Goals 

Activity goals or sales activities measure the activity of each sales rep. It is entirely up to each representative to meet the metrics. When a sales manager sets activity goals, it puts the representatives on the right track to achieving quarterly goals, monthly goals, weekly goals, daily goals, and annual goals. On a manager’s side, they can implement activity goals with consistent huddles (daily or weekly) to track progress.

 

  • Organizing huddles, especially in the mornings, boost the team’s morale and helps them share their challenges. 
  • It is a great way to track activity goals and watch for improvements or setbacks.
  • Also, with huddles, your sales team will be driven toward public accountability
  • Group huddles let your team voice out their daily goals and expectations to see if they are SMART activity goals.

 

Annual Revenue 

Annual revenue indicates the total money made from all of the sales from the previous year before taking out expenses and costs. The sales targets for annual revenue is to aim for specific improved numbers from the last fiscal year by following some of these plans:

 

  • Raising your prices
  • Increasing transaction frequencies
  • Increasing your customer strength
  • Increasing your average transaction size

 

Create Your Sales Action Plan

The bottom line is that every aspect of life – you need to set goals. Setting goals and breaking them down into smaller goals ensures success, and your business is not an exemption. 

 

Here are five helpful steps on how to come up with your Sales Action Plan:

 

  1. Write out your goals, and you can use pages like these as a reference to set SMART sales goals.
  2. Write out all the things you need to achieve your goal, the factors that have significant roles in your goals’ success.
  3. Establish a benchmark to measure your success. Take note of factors and determinants that prove your work to be a success.
  4. Create a time frame for each step and observe discipline to avoid mediocrity
  5. Organize your resources and the individuals that are necessary to your progress, like consistent huddles, sales enforcement software, deal, pipeline, and goals review.

 

Achieve your Sales Goals by Focusing on the Fundamentals: Problem Solving & Communication Skills

The overriding theme for 2020 seems to be a “back to basics” approach in sales. 

 

It’s time to solve big problems for our customers. It’s time to make sure every communication is purposeful and prosperous with insights. It’s time to make sure curiosity is reborn as a core sales skill and a sales process driver. It’s time to focus on purpose, curiosity, and insights. It’s time to bring even more value to every customer conversation, and to turn our sales profession into a sales practice with daily exercises, connections, and mindfulness.

 

What are your 2021 sales goals? 

 

Are you clear yet? 

 

Work with your team, let us create an even better one together.

 

Now for a little meditation – please close your eyes, get in a mindful state and then go over the twenty-three sales goals above patiently and with purpose. Give your all to achieving your sales goals each year. Visualize their execution. Feel the feeling of accomplishment of your goals. 

 

Let’s make 2021 the year we sharpen and refresh our skills. Let’s make 2021 the year we connect with our buyers and our teams to achieve greatness. Let’s make 2021 the year we are mindful of our sales legacy.

 

Cheers and have a fantastic sales experience this year and in 2021.

 

 

About the Author
Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen

Elay Cohen is the author of SalesHood: How Winning Sales Managers Inspire Sales Teams to Succeed and the co-founder of SalesHood, a SaaS sales enablement platform and community for sales professionals. Elay is the former Senior Vice President of Sales Productivity at Salesforce. Recognized as the company's "2011 Top Executive", and credited for creating and executing all of Salesforce's sales productivity programs that accelerated its growth from $300M to $3B+ in revenue. The sales training and sales support innovations delivered over these years by Elay and his team to thousands of sales reps resulted in unprecedented hypergrowth. He also created the Partner Relationship Management (PRM) category.

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