Essentials of Target Setting in Sales


Target/Goal setting is an inevitable part of life, be it getting the desired percentage of marks at school or mastering the guitar  by the year end or becoming the General Manager by 2022. Most of us work with some or the other target in our mind, but sales is one such profession where the person is most directly related to the target achieving exercise.


Goal setting, especially in sales, gives the person a sense of direction. It helps the sales- person focus on things that he can influence directly rather than on things that he cannot control. Once he has the end in mind, it becomes easier to come up with actions required to achieve his goal and evolve suitable strategies that lead to goal achievement.

To take the steps in the right direction, it is essential to have a Goal that is Specific, Mea- surable Achievable, Realistic and time Bound (SMART ) . In some organisations, leaders ask sales people to set their own goals so as to bring in accountability and ownership. When faced with diflculty in fixing a target, sales- people can always reach out to their bosses/colleagues who understand better, the sales persons’ capability , the market or territory that he handles and the clients that he serves .



When he does it himself ,he should set his target only when he has analysed thoroughly all the data available with him and also seek out quantitative and qualitative data that can be sourced through colleagues ,boss ,market and his customers .Most times ,targets are set basis a perception of the sales person or his boss . Bias sets in .The sales person then works the market and is surprised to find that the pie is more than what he had originally thought. Hence a thorough analysis is essen- tial before setting targets.



While working in the market it is critical for the sales person to identify the right clients that he would like to focus on, basis market research on clients need before the meeting or past sales from the client or potential of the client, basis understanding of the clients need through face to face meetings. Many sales people spend an exorbitant amount of resources wasting their time and energy chasing the wrong deals, including them in their pipeline, convincing themselves that somehow the client will give him business. This robs him of precious face to face hours with other clients who could give him busi- ness. This becomes a norm for target setting for the years to come, where no one notices the correct potential of the market.


The role that Sales leaders play in guiding the sales person set the right target is critical for the organisations as well as the sales person career progression. During the weekly review he can take up the names of clients that have existed in the pipeline for a longer than required time and question the rational of the need of the client to be in the pipeline. This helps sales people narrow their focus on clients that matter, have more face to face meetings with clients that have been well researched thereby increasing the possibility of the sales person and the organisa- tion meet targets.


Doing sales is an art, and the first step in making successful sales is having a right target .