Make Sure Your Sales Goals Aren’t Unrealistic
When a majority of salespeople miss a goal, it’s often because the management team set the goal too high. Unrealistic goals not only dampen sales but also cause top-performing salespeople to get frustrated and leave. Here’s how to assess whether your sales goals are stretching into the impossible:
- Track historic goal achievement outcomes. Set a benchmark for the percent of salespeople that should make their goals (typically 60%–75%). If the percentage is consistently below the benchmark, then your goals likely are too high.
- Prevent padding. Don’t allow senior leaders to pad national or regional goals before handing them down. Determine whether padding is occurring, to what extent, and at what organizational level — so you can stop it.
- Use diagnostics. Classify salespeople into high-, average-, and low-performance segments, and track and compare voluntary attrition rates across the segments. Excessive attrition of high performers coupled with low goal achievement may mean your goals are overstretched.