Subscribe
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our 4x a week insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.

Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Read the Guide Subscribe
Join 40,000+ sales and marketing pros who receive our 4x a week insights, tips, and best practices.
Thank you! You have been subscribed.
Learning Center
Learning Center
Close
The IMPACT Learning Center

Free resources to help you master inbound marketing and They Ask, You Answer

Access the Learning Center

Access the Learning Center

Access the Learning Center
learning_center_grey__What is They Ask, You Answer-v2-black

What is They Ask, You Answer?

What is <span>They Ask, You Answer?</span>
Articles, Podcasts, & Updates

Articles, Podcasts, & Updates

Articles, Podcasts, <span>& Updates</span>
learning_center_grey__Free Courses and Certifications.svg

Free Courses & Certifications

Free Courses & <span>Certifications</span>
On-Demand Keynotes & Sessions

On-Demand Keynotes & Sessions

On-Demand <span>Keynotes & Sessions</span>
Events
Events
Close
IMPACT+ Membership
IMPACT+ Membership
Close
Services
Services
Close
Navigation_8_2021_taya

They Ask, You Answer Coaching & Training

They Ask, You Answer Coaching & Training
They Ask, You Answer Workshop

They Ask, You Answer Workshop

They Ask, You Answer Workshop
Navigation_8_2021_workshop

Inbound Marketing Services

Inbound Marketing Services
Navigation_8_2021_website design - monitor

Website Design & Development

Website Design & Development
Navigation_8_2021_hubspot implementation

HubSpot Training & Implementation

HubSpot Training & Implementation
Navigation_8_2021_virtual selling

Virtual Sales
Training

Virtual Sales <br>Training
Navigation_8_2021_swell - paid ads

Paid Search & Social Services

Paid Search & Social Services
Become a Certified Coach
Become a Certified Coach
Close
... Inbound Marketing Marketing Strategy
Close
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
Read the Guide
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
Free Inbound Marketing Playbook
View The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

How to set effective sales goals with your team [Interview]

By John Becker

John Becker also recommends this free guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022.

How to set effective sales goals with your team [Interview] Blog Feature

We all know how important goal-setting is when planning ahead. For businesses that depend on their sales teams to bring in the cash they need to operate, accurate goals are crucial.

IMPACT's VP of Revenue Melanie Collins explains how proper goal-setting works.

Free Guide: The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Setting effective sales goals

John: First of all, why is effective goal setting such an important message for sales teams?

Mel: First off, effective has to be the operative word here. You have to set goals that your team will respond to positively, so effective goals are super important. I've seen both de-motivating and unrealistic sales goals over the course of my career, but I've also seen realistic and motivating goals.

In order for a company to have success, they will need their sales team to understand the goals and feel financially motivated by them

John: How do you make a goal that's ambitious but still realistic? 

Mel: Here at IMPACT, we just went through this exercise, and it was a lot of fun to get to see how it was all created. We took our company budget for the year and then we looked at each revenue stream that we have. 

So here at IMPACT, we have services revenue, we have commission from vendors, we have our conference sponsorships, other things like that. And then we added some cushion to that number to hit our profitability threshold. 

From there, we broke the goals into the need-to-have number and the stretch number. 

We label these numbers internally. The must-achieve number is “green,” and the stretch number is “super green.” 

What this gives us is visibility. It gives the team and everybody on the team an understanding of, "Okay, I'll be considered a success if I'm within this range, and how far I want to push and overachieve is up to me." 

Our goals are completely based in reality. It's not a pipe dream. And there's a specific reason why the goal is the goal.

Team goals and individual goals

John: Can you talk about the balance between individual goals and team goals or company goals?

Mel: Most businesses will have individual goals, and these should roll up to the team. We have a group of four sales team members, and they roll up to a team goal. They're all incentivized to achieve their green goal, and then they get incentivized even more if they get to their super green goal.

At most organizations, management is typically incentivized on the team goal. So once the team gets to the revenue goal or just above the “green” number, that manager gets a bonus.

In addition to that, here at IMPACT, we have what we call “mini-games” where a team can receive an extra reward for achieving a goal other than a revenue number.

The idea of mini-games comes from The Great Game of Business. They are short-term challenges designed to improve a weakness within an organization, and can also be great culture-building exercises and can quickly promote positive changes and improvements in organizations.

The reward of the game can be simply winning, it doesn't necessarily have to be monetary. It could be a cool prize or a special gift from the organization.

John: How are individual team members involved in the goal-setting process?

Mel: They control the how.  That is, how they will achieve the goal. The company controls what the goal is and helps them understand why the goal is what it is. 

IMPACT has a certain revenue goal because we have a certain amount of expenses. The company needs this amount of profit in order to be able to grow and expand, and so this is the revenue goal. It's up to sales reps to determine what their strategy is to get them to their goal, what their plan is.

John: What happens when personnel changes — if someone leaves, comes on board, or gets promoted?

Mel: You should always have a backup plan for employee turnover. Maybe you have a salesperson in training or a junior level salesperson who could step in for somebody if you lose one of your big players.

Most organizations will have a couple of different sales teams. They might have a whole floor full of salespeople and BDRs who they can promote to backfill other positions. If you don’t have internal candidates that you can promote, then you’ll want to have a bench of candidates at the ready.

The best way to do that is to conduct rolling-interviews so that you’ll always have an A-player ready to step in.

You definitely want to make sure that you're planning ahead in case someone unexpectedly is out sick for a period of time, or they quit. So you should definitely have a backup plan so that you don't have this gaping revenue hole.

The logistics of goal setting

John: Can you talk about your suggestions for goal timeline?

Mel: Again, every company will do this differently. I think that it comes down to what kind of cash runway does an organization have?

Do they need to set a goal that's monthly because they are in dire need of a certain amount of monthly cash to be able to pay their bills? Or can they survive for a quarter, and they set a quarterly goal?

Or maybe a company is so cash-strong, they simply just hand a sales rep an annual number and say, "get there by December 31st." It is all highly dependent upon the cash strength of the organization.

But whatever goal is set, you certainly want to make sure that you have check-in points to keep people on pace toward their goal. 

John: What happens when a salesperson doesn’t reach their goal?

Mel: A manager should always be able to identify underperformance in advance. A manager should be able to look at a salesperson's pipeline and know if they're going to get to where they need to get to or not, and I think being able to identify it early is key. 

If I have a team member that's falling down in a certain area of the sales process, but we're working together, I'm coaching that person on it and I see improvement, then it's okay. 

But ultimately there might just come a time where you have to have a chat. Maybe a different role in the organization would be a better fit. Sales isn't for everybody, and businesses rely on cash, so there's very little room for underperformance.

John: To you, what are the most important metrics to watch?

Mel: Knowing your average deal size, knowing your close rate, and having the activity to keep up with the number of opportunities you need in order to narrow your gap is what will always be important.

I think as markets get more competitive, it's becoming more and more crucial to fill your pipeline with prospects who are bought into the compelling value that you're selling.

If you're competing on price, it's going to be really hard for you to fill up a meaningful pipeline. But if you're offering a compelling value, you're doing something that's truly differentiated within the marketplace, and your prospects have a need for that, then you'll win more. You'll start to build a really great pipeline. 

The trick is communicating that effectively and finding the needles in the haystack.

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022
The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Free Guide:

The Ultimate Inbound Marketing Strategy Playbook 2022

Take your inbound strategy to the next level

  • Master the 7 principles of highly effective inbound marketing
  • Dramatically improve your inbound sales
  • Get more buy-in at your company

Topics:

Interviews
Marketing Strategy
Inbound Sales
Published on February 13, 2020

Recent Articles

Inbound Marketing Success: A How-To Guide to Conducting Content Interviews
September 15, 2021 • 4 min read
Yes, HubSpot can change your business — but it’s not a marketing strategy
February 24, 2021 • 10 min read
Is your marketing still relevant in 2021?
February 11, 2021 • 6 min read
Sure, They Ask, You Answer Works in Other Industries — But Will It Work in Mine?
February 10, 2021 • 7 min read
How to best use your 2021 marketing budget so your company rebounds
February 8, 2021 • 4 min read
Virtual sales training with IMPACT: Will it really help my team?
January 18, 2021 • 5 min read
How did small businesses respond to pandemic challenges? [New research]
December 18, 2020 • 6 min read
What does a virtual event consultant actually do?
November 17, 2020 • 6 min read
Virtual event technology: What does the future hold for marketers?
November 5, 2020 • 15 min read
Should you hire a paid media agency for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns?
September 18, 2020 • 6 min read
How PosterMyWall used COVID-19 to really listen to its customers [Interview]
September 17, 2020 • 6 min read
I’ve read They Ask, You Answer, why do I need your help to build my strategy? [Interview]
September 3, 2020 • 6 min read
We're not new to paid ads; what can we expect in our first 6 months with IMPACT? [Interview]
September 3, 2020 • 8 min read
2 things sales teams need to be focused on going into the end of 2020 [Interview]
August 24, 2020 • 6 min read
How to turn strangers into customers (and friends) with Facebook Ads [AdvertiseMint CEO Brian Meert Interview]
August 19, 2020 • 5 min read
How to make your company rebrand go smoothly, according to a graphic designer [Interview]
August 5, 2020 • 7 min read
How to use LinkedIn as a powerful B2B lead generating tool [Interview]
July 21, 2020 • 7 min read
How to leave feedback about your IMPACT experience (and why you should)
July 17, 2020 • 9 min read
How to succeed with introverted leadership [Interview]
July 14, 2020 • 6 min read
How agencies can better use data to prep for post-COVID success [Interview]
July 10, 2020 • 11 min read
How artificial intelligence is already influencing the digital sales process [Interview]
July 1, 2020 • 8 min read
Why growing as a specialist often doesn't mean scaling the ladder [Interview]
July 1, 2020 • 6 min read
How much does the HubSpot CMS cost — and is it worth it?
June 30, 2020 • 5 min read
Should I hire an agency or hire internal digital marketers? [Interview]
June 17, 2020 • 6 min read
How should you be spending your website redesign budget? [Interview]
June 5, 2020 • 7 min read