When you first started your own business, you set goals for each segment of your strategy. How you approach sales should be no different.
Having all the tools, knowledge and teams in place is a great start to building a robust sales strategy for next year. But you still have to be realistic with your data and expectations to stay on track with your growth and vision. Today, we’ll show you what you need to do to develop a reasonable and attainable sales goal plan for 2022.
Sales is not a static process, isolated from other aspects of your business. Therefore, sales goals can’t be created in a silo, independent of the other goals you have in place. Instead, make sure your sales, marketing and branding all align with each other along with your WHY and vision in a realistic way.
During this sales alignment period, revenue objectives for the next year are determined for go-to-market categories and route-to-market channels. These targets are shared throughout the revenue teams so that everyone understands what needs to be accomplished in the following year.
A go-to-market strategy, also known as a go-to-market plan or go-to-market approach, is an organization’s strategy for utilizing its external resources (such as sales force and distributors) to sell its unique value proposition to clients and achieve a competitive advantage. These goals will relate to what you aim to achieve with these outside resources.
The route to market is a plan that determines how you’ll distribute your product to your specific target consumers. It’s a technique used by businesses who want to achieve a certain commercial goal or improve their market share. These are the channels in which you intend to achieve goals or the “vehicles” to help you reach your datapoint objectives.
Aligning your sales with every other pillar of your business will provide an overall payoff. Forester shared data that suggests those companies with strong alignment across every engagement and revenue engine grow an estimated 19% faster than competitors and earn 15% more in profit margins.
How can you tell if your sales goals are realistic? After all, you can put imaginary numbers or wishful thinking objectives on pretty much anything. It certainly doesn’t guarantee you’ll get there. Before setting those sales conversion quotas or dollar amount goals, start with other areas of improvement that can support closing more deals instead.
What is realistic for your business when it comes to sales goals? One way of judging this is by seeing if the goal is attainable. This usually means that it aligns with the company objectives. A realistic goal would be able to be reached without compromising what matters most in the business.
For example, if you are a small family-owned restaurant, your goal shouldn’t involve expanding to 10 more locations in 10 different states in 10 years. This would hurt your smaller business by forcing you to allocate resources and hire more people every year – even if the new locations are not profitable. Instead, a more realistic goal might be finding one location for expansion next year.
Evaluating your market potential is important when setting sales goals for your business. It helps you gauge how well your company is doing within the industry. For example, if the company’s share of the market has dropped in the last decade, it may be time to reevaluate what should be done. If other companies are doing better than yours, maybe it’s time to look for competitive advantages to leverage in 2022.
It also helps you think about what you should be aiming for in five years or ten years. If your estimates are low, then that means that there is room for your business to grow and improve. You can set achievable yet challenging goals that will give you room to grow without putting yourself at risk of failing.
The first step in analyzing the bench strength of your sales team is to ask yourself what you want to accomplish with the analysis. The objectives may vary depending on the need you are trying to satisfy. One purpose might be to identify weaknesses in your sales team, or maybe you are looking for ways to improve productivity. Three primary types of metrics can be used in order to evaluate bench strength: lead-to-close ratios, forecasting accuracy, and reps’ quotas attainment rates.
Here are a few really great improvements you can consider including in your sales goals for 2022:
- Get Better at Virtual Selling
- Improve Methods for Meeting-less Sales Altogether
- Begin Prospect Negotiation Sooner in the Sales Process
- Add Value to Your Customer Communication Strategy
- Ask More or Better Probing Questions
- Look for Ways to Improve Team Productivity
- Look for New Methods of Maximizing Existing Online Platforms
- Identify New Sales Tactics to Implement
- Remove Any Outdated or Unproven Methods from the Arsenal Altogether
You might be keen to plan for 2022, but sales goals should be projected for tomorrow, next quarter and for the new year. Start by setting those long-term objectives first. This is your vision for where you hope to be by this time next year. You can then work backward, setting realistic benchmarks for achieving over the next six months that will help you achieve those long-term goals. Remember, the mid-term goals are going to provide the direction or outline the path to get to those future successes. Lastly, you can break down what you and your sales teams need to be doing every month, every week or every day to reach those mid-term benchmarks. The immediate goals you set will keep everyone on track and moving in the right direction.
Meet Frank: Frank is ironing out the plan for next year’s growth strategy. He wants to grow quickly, but he also knows he needs to be realistic about the goals he sets for himself, his company trajectory and his sales team. He decides to break his goals into short, mid and long-term categories. And he starts by defining success at each level of business in terms of weekly sales funnel objectives, monthly sales metrics and annual revenue goals.
When you’re ready to sit down with the metrics and the data, you can create sales and revenue goals that align with your other objectives. Here are a few areas to consider as you plan your best 2022:
- Increasing Your Monthly or Annual Revenue.
- Reducing Customer Churn.
- Increase Units Sold and Boost Profit Margins.
- Boost Customer Lifetime Value.
- Increase Number of Leads Qualified.
- Increase Win Rates.
- Lower Customer Acquisition Costs.
- Adopting a hybrid or fully remote sales model.
- Sales reps need to start personalizing and understanding their customer.
- Social selling while avoiding spam and shortcuts.
Your sales goals for 2022 should also include great ways to show your sales teams some love. It’s been a tough couple of years for everyone, especially those trying to sell. So be liberal with your methods of showing appreciation and look for new ways to build your team’s confidence.
While we’re on the subject, let’s talk about motivation. Today’s sales leaders are self-motivated, driven by a vision of success. That doesn’t mean company leaders should abandon reward and consequences models. You can develop sales goals that instinctively inspire reps to continue learning, growing and succeeding. But consequential guidelines will help you quickly identify where reps are going wrong, as well. It’s perfectly acceptable to reward those who are performing exceptionally and establish dealbreakers for non-performers. Make sure your expectations are reasonable, though.
Meet Abby: Abby knows that selling corporate lunches isn’t really rocket science. She also knows that to keep her sales reps motivated, she needs to incorporate incentives and provide dealbreaker guidelines to keep them on track. She doesn’t want to punish anyone for not closing deals. Instead, she’s laying out goals for 2022 that offer consequences for those who deviate from her established sales funnel and plan. And to balance it out, she also develops a robust reward platform of bonuses.
Be realistic with your goals and expectations by aligning next year’s goals with the data you have today. Identify trends. Look for new emerging markets. Develop support for your sales teams’ weakest points.
A sales performance analysis that details present-year sales performance as well as expectations for the rest of the year. The report should show essential trends and performance highs and lows broken down by dimensions such as geography and sector.
This is especially beneficial for businesses with limited resources who need to know the optimal number of employees. The product planning was rebuilt using estimated and actual headcount, allowing you to look at how this affects productivity. Start by modifying a model from last year’s planning cycle, then adjust it with any new assumptions about headcount and productivity changes. Here is a roster of questions to ask yourself. The answers can guide your efforts to implement the most realistic goals for growth.
Setting Goals for Performance – Questions to ask yourself:
- Will you measure performance differently in 2022?
- How are you dealing in facts, with precise forecast accuracy and realistic demand?
- Are you sales planning with a 12-month forecast, quarterly targets or annual goals?
- Are you calculating goals for new business as well as repeat business?
- What leading sales metrics are you relying on to establish goals in 2022?
- Are you making adjustments to your goals in preparation for ongoing pandemic effects on the economy?
Goals for Allocating Resources & Sales Budgets – Questions to ask yourself:
- Has your sales strategy changed this year because of the pandemic? Will you maintain the current trajectory or plan to return to pre-COVID methods?
- Are you anticipating any major changes to your financial resource allocation? Will your sales-related expenses be higher, lower, or the same as a percentage of revenues in the past?
- Will you be modifying or introducing any new sales software, systems or best practices?
- What sales expenses can you reduce or eliminate from the budgets?
- Are there going to be changes to your sales team’s activities like travel, trade shows or conferences?
- Are there any pandemic-related shifts to your labor model or sales deployment?
- Do you plan to outsource any segment of your company operations that might affect sales?
Sales Goals & Incentives – Questions to ask yourself:
- Are there any changes to sales incentive plans you plan to adopt?
- Are you incorporating both individual and team incentives?
- Are you factoring in qualitative in addition to quantitative goals?
- Will you introduce new benchmarks or gatekeepers on incentive payout?
We all want to reach our predetermined goals, but it doesn’t always happen. In fact, the more ambitious you set your aims, the more likely you are to face difficulties. It’s important to understand that meeting your goal will take a lot of effort and you have to be realistic. Think about both the benefits and disadvantages of your potential outcomes.
When it comes to setting a goal for yourself, there are a few things you need to consider:
Your current situation: Are you confident in being able to reach this goal? Do you have all the resources that you need? How much time do you have? Are you capable of doing what needs to be done?
The risks: What is at stake if this doesn’t work? What happens if something goes wrong? Is it worth the risk you are willing to take?
Reaching this goal: Although it may seem like simple math, setting a goal and working towards it, is often more of a challenge than anticipated. It’s easy to get discouraged when obstacles get in the way. Once you’ve met the criteria that you set out for yourself, then you can reassess your next step. Just remember that having your eye on only one target isn’t enough; sometimes, we need to adjust our aim.
Just keep in mind that many people and companies experience setbacks and failure before they find success – and reaching your goals will require hard work,
If you still need help developing your sales goals or funnels and strategies, for that matter, let us help! Next month, we’ll offer everything you need to know about putting these sales tactics and best practices to good use, in conjunction with all the marketing and branding work you’ve put into your business. Big things are coming, and if you keep following, we’ll help you set your vision up for success!