The act of setting sales goals alone is not enough to help your organization achieve lasting success. In fact, setting goals without proper and a realistic context for what is possible can be more detrimental to your operations than not setting any goals at all. Here is some perspective on a commonly encountered error in the design and deployment of sales goals and what beverage sellers must do to ensure their goal setting strategy yields the desired results and avoids typical pitfalls associated with sales goal management.
At GreatVines, we’ve always believed that the key to producing more and better sales opportunities lies in well-developed plans for achieving strategically designed, appropriately targeted goals and a proven methodology for acting upon goals, seeing them through to fruition. Those “well-developed plans” and “appropriately targeted goals” are something that acclaimed beverage sales and distribution consultant, Ben Salisbury knows something about.
In a post at the Salisbury blog titled, “The High Cost of Unrealistic Sales Goals”, Ben explains how overly aggressive and unrealistic goals “put the targets out of the reach of even your best performers”. “Stretch goals are fine. Stretch goals are healthy” says Salisbury, “But there is a big difference between a stretch goal that offers a tantalizing challenge for your sales team and one that sucks the very life out of them.” Because sales tends to be a very competitive and aggressive line of work, it is not surprising that sales managers might, in their zeal to outperform the competition, set expectations too high and inadvertently damage morale among their sales forces. Ben’s post explains in detail how diminished morale can truly undermine sales efforts in the long-term.
Yet, even those sales leaders mindful of the balance between aspirational goals and what is plausible to achieve must have the ability to track, measure and assess the results of every goal and incentive. With proper visibility into each market, past sales volumes, marketing performance and a host of other relevant data points, sales leaders can better identify realistic sales and activity goals, formalizing them in a system that enables metrics for improvement over time.
Using a CRM-based tool like GreatVines in conjunction with industry data, a sales department is able to avoid pitfalls such as oversimplified goals focused on unsustainable, lagging indicators like depletions volume. The organizational benefits of housing all sales and activity data in a system for easy access helps protect against the enforcement of goals poorly aligned against strategically targeted accounts. Instead, sales management can employ more tailored goals in individual markets and avoid the rigid, one-size-fits-all goal strategy that lacks historical context.
It is for this reason that we’re confident Ben Salisbury would agree with us that it makes sound business sense to engage a tech platform like GreatVines to formalize and strengthen goal development and management, using the data visibility these systems deliver to focus intently on key indicators and eliminate poorly performing activities that detract from sales goals.
With aggressive yet attainable sales goals in place, sales teams are much more energized and the positive morale engendered forms an encouraging feedback loop driving sales performance higher over the long term.
Ben Salisbury is the Data and IT Keynote at this year’s Wine Industry Technology Symposium (WITS) on August 21, 2018 in Napa Valley. He will be presenting, “New Age Sales: Start Leveraging New Technology to Fuel Growth.”