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Your 6-Step Guide to Setting and Achieving Sales Goals

blog author
Written by John Doerr
President, RAIN Group

Achieving your goals isn't a slam dunk. Can you do what it takes to meet them?

I recently started going to a personal trainer. At the beginning of our very first session, she asked, "So, what are you trying to accomplish?"

"To get in better shape?", I hesitantly answered.

"Well, without a clear goal, you will not be able to see your progress, you will lose momentum, and we won't be able to see if the training is paying off."

"In that case, to fit in my suits from last year and to grab rebounds in my basketball games without getting pushed around."

"Now, we are talking."

Over the years I've seen many salespeople (and sales managers and companies) get goal planning, action planning, and commitment right, and I've seen many fall short. Without a clear goal, they don't know where they're headed. Any path will get them there.

Free Download: Goal Setting Worksheet

In my experience, only two things set apart those who live by goals and those who don't. Salespeople who live by goals:

  1. Know where they're headed
  2. Commit to a goals routine

First, people who have goals know where they want to go. You might be thinking, "I wish it were that simple…I have no idea what I want to do when I grow up, and never have." It's not my purpose here in a short blog post to guide you in discovering your inner purpose, although mine is to work with a gentle breeze blowing across my keyboard as I gaze out at the shimmering waters of the Atlantic.

Read: 8 Tips for Beating Your Sales Goals this Year

If you're searching for your destination, contrary to what you might read in others' writings about goals, you don't have to sort out your entire life purpose in order to achieve in sales. All you need to do is set a target for yourself—that can be as simple as an annual sales target—and to have a good answer for the question, "Does my entire being scream with a desire to achieve this goal? Will I be in agony and turmoil until I do?"

If the answer is yes, then you're in great shape to get started. (Perhaps you don't need all the angst and agony, but salespeople who are not dissatisfied with where they are don't often make it to the next level.) Here are several goal setting examples. 

The second similarity is they commit to a goals routine.


6 Steps to Achieving Sales Goals

Here's a roadmap we suggest you follow:

Sometimes when we're working with salespeople to craft their goals and actions they get hung up on having "the right template" or detailed tracking mechanism, and since they don't have it, they don't even get started. Don't fret too much about the tracking sheet, but do concentrate on taking a step toward your goal every day. If you're looking for a template, you can download our Goal Setting Worksheet.

As I write this post, I still can't fit into those suits, but Dwight Howard has nothing on me under the boards.

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Download: Goal Setting Worksheet

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Topics: Sales Process

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