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How To Hit Your Quarterly Sales Goal Early

Every new year brings with it a fresh round of resolutions— some involve getting healthier, others include starting every meeting on time. You've made it through the first month of 2021; how are those goals going? Have you slipped up once or twice - ate that second piece of cake, or started a meeting 5 minutes late? You may be feeling like you are behind, but we have some tips on how you can hit your quarterly sales goal early… or at least on time.

Set the Right Goal

According to Medium, "a mere 40 % of employees today fully understand their company's business goals and strategies and what's expected of them in order to help achieve company business goals." So, setting healthy goals is vital.

Setting an achievable sales goal for the year is challenging. Setting one for each quarter can be even harder. If you set the goal too high, you may run into cash flow problems. When that revenue does not come in and you have built expenses against that budget, then the expenses will overflow into the next quarter.

If you set the goal too low, you could run into resource or capacity problems because you didn't build enough budget to support more revenue. Try and get as accurate as possible. Be realistic based on the information you already have.

Trends are Your Friends

Look at trends from a macro level, to your industry, and compare to what you saw within your own company. Are your customers spending? Holding off? Are they slowing down or going faster? What is different from this quarter and last quarter? Then examine your competitors and analyze what they are doing and what you can learn from them. After you have gathered that information, you can start to see where you may land this quarter.

Meet With Your Salespeople

When meeting with your salespeople during your one-on-one, always have an agenda. The agenda may vary somewhat from person to person, but it is important to have a defined schedule of things to be covered.

For example:

  • Review of goals
  • Were the goals accomplished? Why and why not?
  • Did they have and wins or successes?
  • What got in the way?
  • What do they need from you?

This is when you meet with your salespeople and determine how they are doing and where they may need help. Listen, provide positive feedback, figure out how you can help each person hit their goals, and coach them if they need it. Keep these meetings consistent and give them clear direction on where they can improve.

Clear Direction and Expectations

What do you expect from your salespeople? In short, you want them to hit their numbers, correct? What other expectations do you have for them? Some examples are:

  • Putting all their notes in the CRM
  • Better forecasting
  • Turning in their expense reports on time

These are referred to as hidden expectations. They may not have been said or documented, but you want them done none the less. According to Inc., "a recent Interact/Harris Poll shows that 91% of the surveyed employees think that their leaders lack communication skills."

Clarify expectations with your team by having a discussion, or documenting them. Discussing your expectations can bring clarity, improve morale and lead to better sales.  

Keep Them on Track 

Once you've talked with your salespeople about how they are doing and your expectations, it's time to hold them accountable.

During pipeline reviews, you should be figuring out what accounts they need to close, deals they have to wrap up, opportunities they need to start, what decision-makers they need to get in contact with, etc. It is up to you to guide your team to success.

To hit your quarterly sales goal, start by getting specific commitments from them, and challenge them on when they can fulfill those commitments.

After you've both agreed on their commitments, you will need to inspect them and figure out why or they did or did not get them done.

If they did accomplish them, then reward their efforts - a simple "thank you" goes a long way. If they didn't make their commitments, why not? Do they need more coaching? Or information on a specific topic?

Make sure you are always checking:

  • If your direction was clear and concise
  • If the salesperson is capable of doing the job
  • Does the salesperson need more resources?
  • Is the salesperson motivated?

Holding your team accountable will help you hit your quarterly goal and validate how on track you are for the rest of the year.

Track Your Plan

Whether you track your plan on a spreadsheet, whiteboard, or CRM, make sure you take your plan out at least once a month to see if your team is executing on the things, they said they would do. If they are and it's working – fantastic. Are they not executing? Get them back on track. If they are executing and it's not working, change the plan. Use this as a tool to keep your team focused.

Suppose you set an attainable goal, you are regularly meeting with your salespeople to go over expectations, hold them accountable, and track your plan. In that case, you have a better chance of hitting your quarterly sales goal early.

About Gary Braun

Gary is a founder and co-owner of Pivotal Advisors. He has worked for 20+ years as a salesperson and sales leader. Gary has been a guest speaker for many groups such as Vistage, Allied Executives, CEO Roundtable, Sales Management Association, and more. If you want to find out more about Gary check out his profile here.
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