Goal setting for top-producing salespeople in the New Year

Happy New Year! Here’s to a healthy, prosperous and productive 2024 for you, your family and your team.

If you’re reading this article, chances are you’re already a successful business owner, entrepreneur, manager or salesperson. Perhaps you’re coming off a great year and are determined to maintain that momentum. Or you’re establishing/revising your game plan to attain new revenue or income heights.

Top producers know the importance of developing a strategic, purposeful approach to growing their business. They know it involves more than just meeting sales quotas. They have a plan to identify new opportunities, develop trust with decision-makers and craft solutions that will result in long-term relationships with clients and customers. If you haven’t yet devised your plan to emulate those top producers, here’s where to start: 

Set Clear and Measurable Sales Targets

The most basic element to success, in sales, is having definable and trackable goals. Whether it’s a specific revenue figure, the number of new clients/customers closed or market share in a particular product/service segment, having well-defined, and measurable, goals is absolutely critical. Your goals should be measured, and tracked, according to month, quarter or billing period to allow for course correction, or alteration to your strategy and approach.

Client Development and Retention

Top-producing sellers, in addition to setting goals for new clients and revenue production, also focus on nurturing and expanding, client relationships. This might involve increasing customer satisfaction scores, obtaining client testimonials or identifying opportunities for upselling and cross-selling. They also set goals for referrals, and introductions, received from their best clients and customers – and certainly make it a priority to ask.

Continuous Learning and Skill Development

Top producers rarely rest on their laurels. They are keenly aware of the need to continuously sharpen their skills and stay ahead of industry trends – and the competition. (That’s why professional athletes constantly work at their craft. Over the course of his career, who do you think has spent more time on the driving range: Tiger Woods or the weekend hacker?) Do you need to master new sales techniques?  Attend industry-specific training programs? Learn more about emerging technologies (AI, CRM, database mining, automating everyday tasks, etc.)?  

Prospecting and Lead Generation

Do you have a “cookbook” to track your prospecting and lead-generation activities? What behaviors do you need to perform on a daily/weekly basis to get in front of more prospects and close more deals? What is your “prospecting mix?” Whether it’s social media, targeted marketing campaigns, networking, trade associations or generating referrals, take a close look at your pipeline and determine if/how to get more opportunities into the top of your sales funnel.

Time Management and Efficiency

Top producers know that time is a precious, and finite, commodity. They understand, and know, the difference between “pay-time” activities (those that are designed and intended get in front of prospects and close more deals) and “no-pay-time” activities (tasks that can be “time-shifted” to off-hours, such as market research, completing reports, doing proposals and – yes – checking email and entering data into your CRM).

As you begin, and progress into, your business journey in 2024, goal setting can help guide you through challenges, and opportunities, that lie ahead. Clear, and measurable, sales targets, client relationship development goals, continuous learning, advanced technology adoption, prospecting benchmarks and time management objectives form the foundation of your success strategy. By adapting and embracing these goals, you can position yourself not just as a high achiever and top performer but as an architect of your own success. 

Jim Marshall is owner, and president, of Sandler Training of Tampa Bay, which provides sales, corporate and management training to high-achieving companies and individuals. Contact him at 813.287.1500 or [email protected].

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