Tracking goals can be a challenge.
You don't want to look back at the end of the year and discover that you missed your sales goal. If you don't check in regularly, though, it's easy to get off track. Miss a month and it's hard to make your quarter. Miss a quarter and your year might be out of reach.
As a leader, it's your responsibility to develop a process for regularly tracking goals, reporting on them, and holding the sales team and leaders accountable.
Here are three areas to look at – and one reminder.
3 Steps for Tracking Goals
Develop and Monitor Sales Dashboards
If you don't yet have a simple sales dashboard, you're missing out. A sales dashboard should give you the ability to see how the team is performing in a single screen.
It's important to make sure that each team member has a dashboard that's right for them. Salespeople should be able to see their own performance vs. goal, their top leads and opportunities, and their neglected leads and customers.
Sales managers, on the other hand, need to see performance information for their whole teams, as well as critical opportunities they may need to monitor closely. Managers should also see information about close ratios, product mix, campaign results, and other big-picture information.
Executives typically need to see less information-overall performance vs. goal, performance by region, and top upcoming opportunities might be enough.
When designing dashboards, make them as simple as possible, and make it easy for people to click through for more information. Invest some time in design, and it will pay off.
And don't forget to regularly monitor your dashboards! They're an easy way to start management meetings, sales meetings, and other key check-ins. Executives should set aside time for individual review of dashboards at least monthly, and managers should spend time at least weekly.
Provide Accountability Through Regular Check-Ins
Simple, casual check-ins are one of the easiest and most effective methods for tracking goals. Each sales rep should meet at least monthly with their sales manager one-on-one. Managers should be meeting with executives monthly as well.
In monthly meetings, remember to look back and look forward. When you're looking back, don't just look at numbers-spend some time evaluating what worked and what didn't. When you look forward, look for areas of opportunity as well as any potential pitfalls.
Managers should always work to validate sales reps' forecasts. Some salespeople may be overly optimistic about opportunities, while others may lack the ability to see which opportunities are nearing a close.
One-on-one meetings provide a great chance to see where managers or other internal resources can contribute to closing opportunities. An executive's presence in a meeting can sometimes be enough to help push an opportunity across the finish line.
When sales managers meet with executives, look at the bigger picture and see whether you're currently positioned to hit your sales goals. If you have any concerns, look for ways to resolve them. If you need more resources, see if you can get them.
Conduct Formal Reviews Regularly
Tracking goals and performance is a natural part of formal reviews. We often see that formal performance reviews happen rarely, usually once a year. Having formal reviews on a quarterly basis instead can help reduce the stress of reviews and provide an opportunity for earlier intervention if someone is off track.
A quarterly performance review doesn't need to be hugely in-depth. It's just an opportunity to take a deep dive into performance and evaluate what's working and where there's room for improvement.
Quarterly reviews can also be a good opportunity to raise an alert if a problem is coming. For example, if new product sales have been lower than expected, the review provides an opportunity for an evaluation. Your sales rep may know that customers aren't as excited as you'd expected about your new product's features. Alternately, you may discover that your sales rep doesn't have the training or resources he needs to effectively go to market.
Make sure you act on anything you discover in a quarterly performance review. Taking action quickly can prevent a missed goal later.
One Reminder – As You're Tracking Goals, Celebrate Successes!
When you're tracking goals, it's easy to focus on the end number and forget about the wins that happen every day. Make sure to celebrate those small wins!
Here are some small wins you might want to celebrate-add your own ideas to the list.
- A new hire got their first meeting scheduled.
- Someone got through to a difficult-to-reach prospect.
- You got a referral from a new source.
- You scheduled more prospecting meetings this month than last
- Inbound leads broke a record.
- Product/service sales met or beat expectations.
- You got great feedback from a new customer.
- Someone closed a deal.
- A customer renewed their contract.
- You got a referral from a happy client.
- The team generated a large number of opportunities.
- The pipeline reached a high value.
- Someone closed a high (or record-breaking!) deal.
- Teams (sales and marketing, or sales and operations) collaborated in a new way.
- You hit your monthly target.
Successes can be celebrated in many different ways. Make sure you celebrate publicly, in sales team meetings and group emails, as well as privately through one-on-one congratulations. Simple things like signs in the office sharing accomplishments, or group emails, can provide a lot of motivation.
I hope this post is helpful as you work on tracking your sales goals. If you are interested in learning more about setting and achieving sales goals, check out my latest eBook – The Ultimate Guide to Setting & Achieving Sales Goals.