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Setting Realistic Sales Goals

setting sales goals, charts

What are your goals for sales prospecting? Are you fixated on closing the deal with every interaction, or are you looking for quick wins along the way that will help you ultimately make the sale?

Having the right goals can make or break any sales process. No matter how much you try to qualify your leads ahead of time, the chances of you being able to secure a signed proposal for something big and expensive from one cold call, email, or initial conversation at a networking event are slim at best.

Don’t mistake activity for outcomes. 

Making hundreds of phone calls and sending hundreds of emails isn’t what’s important. It’s easy to check that box and feel like you’re making progress, but none of it matters if that activity isn’t helping you gain a better understanding of your prospects.  

For that to happen, you need to set smaller, incremental targets. Making the sale might be your main goal, but it can’t be your only goal.

Think about every touch point you have with a prospective client.

What are you trying to accomplish? Why are you reaching out? Beyond the obvious goal of making the sale, what are you hoping to accomplish with the email? The phone call? The initial conversation?

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You need to find a way to get your foot in the door. To build rapport. To start a dialogue that will help you learn more about your potential customer and their needs—information you can then use to target your sales pitch.

Let's take a look at some smart goals (and quick wins) for your sales prospecting. 

Email: Immediate goal is for the prospect to actually open and read it AND either schedule a call or in-person meeting.

Phone: Immediate goal is to establish quick rapport and schedule an appointment.

Appointment: Immediate goal is to learn more about their business and their needs and use that information to tailor your pitch and your proposal. This could also require additional meetings—which can also be goals.

It’s okay to swing for the fences and try to close the deal right out of the gate, but you also have to look for opportunities to hit some singles.

Small intermediate goals can help with morale by giving you and your team a chance to develop some quick wins (like getting someone to schedule an appointment). They also create opportunities for prospective customers to learn more about your business and build rapport with your sales team—something that’s virtually impossible to do during a cold call or introductory email.

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Think about your sales process. What are you trying to accomplish with each touch point? Identify 3-5 manageable goals and then track your outreach against your outcomes.


[Image: Flickr user Matt Cornock]

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