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Brian Kavicky | Mon, Sep 25, 2017

5 Goals That Don't Measure Your Sales Effectiveness


It’s good to set sales goals. They help to motivate salespeople to achieve more, and they establish expectations and define success. But in order for them to be effective, the right goals have to be the focus. When a company decides to track their strategy in order to measure their sales effectiveness, they often choose the wrong things to measure success. Here are some examples:

  • They track how many proposals get submitted. This is like a doctor tracking how many times they diagnose a patient without running any tests or diagnostics. Who would do that? A doctor’s goal is to heal, not to hand out diagnoses – and yours should be the same. The goal is to win proposals, so you should only be sending them to people who are likely to accept them. You should only be sending them to qualified prospects who will make good partners.

  • They track sales numbers, but only compare it to the last period or last year. This is similar to tracking how much time you spent skiing last year while ignoring things like snowfall and weather. Companies need to track how much of their sales come from new clients compared to existing clients. They need to track the types of clients they get and track who is buying what. Having that knowledge tells them how effective their sales plan is.

  • They track prospecting and sales activities (calls, meetings, and emails) but not their outcomes. If I make 200 calls in a week, but none progress past a first call, am I doing a good job? If I send 1,000 emails but never make calls because “email works better,” shouldn’t a company know about it?

  • They ignore margins or diminish the need to uphold them to grow sales. They focus compensation plans on increased revenue but take the focus off margins. If I have to outbid everyone else to meet my sales goals, how good am I? And am I really helping the company grow?

  • They assume that everything is going to be perfect, so they allow too much time to pass before tweaking the plan. This is like getting on the football field, losing the first half 52-0, and then deciding to change the game plan. You knew long before that that something must be changed. Why wait until the locker room talk to change it?

A business and its sales team need to have their priorities straight. Tracking metrics and setting goals are both noble pursuits, but they’re useless if you concentrate on meaningless things. So make sure you don’t waste time and effort on poor measures, and instead track the things that will really lead to success.

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Categories: Goals, Business