What are sales targets?

Are they numbers on the sales report?

A man citing math formulas

Or are they goals you set your eyes on?

A woman shooting an arrow into the bullseye

They're both!

Good sales targets will help your business clarify what to achieve and set up the milestones to guide the business towards development and growth.

By setting up realistic and achievable sales targets, you can:

  • plan and arrange cash flow management

  • improve management's credibility

  • strengthen sales motivation

Dream Big, But Be Realistic

A man saying 'Let Us Begin'

Some say sales targets should be ambitious. But it's important to be realistic!

Goals that are too big will lead to unnecessary frustration and wasted assets. Set up sales targets that can motivate your salespeople to fight for growth, yet never too unrealistic to accomplish.

Get Specific To Be Realistic

A dog jotting on a notepad

Put past, current, and forward-looking data into your targets:

  • Business situation

  • Economic factors

  • Revenue per sales represenative

  • Solicited feedback

Business Situation: Let Revenue Talk

An animated bar graph

Consider all factors that will affect future revenue.

  • What do the past and current revenue numbers tell you?

  • Do you think you're at a good starting point for growth?

  • Do you see high COGs (cost of goods sold) or high profit margins?

  • Do you have a strong recurring revenue stream?

Economic Factors: See Where The Wind Blows

an upward arrow

Predict upcoming market trends and determine your market potential.

  • What's happening in your industry and in the wider economy?

  • Do you think it's a booming business that will reap more opportunities in the future?

  • Are you in a highly competitive industry?

Revenue Per Representative: Can They Get More Sales?

A cat with a pink wig typing

Take a look at the revenue each of your sales representatives brings in.

  • Do you think some training can increase their sales numbers?

  • Do you think more hires can successfully increase your revenue?

Solicit Feedback: What Are Your Salespeople Saying?

An online feedback app showing thumbs up and star ratings

Before and during sales forecasting, talk to your frontline employees for opinions and feedback.

  • Do they have any objections to your targets?

  • Can they highlight variables that you haven't considered, like poor product value propositions or end-user feedback on the product line?

Quiz

Jenny would like to create realistic sales targets for her business. Which of the following might help? Select all that apply.

Ask sales team to provide a forecast

Check the stock price of the company

Study sale reports from the last 2 years

Check the company's Instagram followers

Forecasting

  • Look at your reports from the last few years or quarters, and make graphs for visual impact.

  • Look at your previous sales goals. Were you accurate in the past? Why or why not?

  • Create 3 targets:

    • 1) Safe: a target based on current projections

    • 2) Moderate: a target for increased but realistic growth

    • 3) Stretch: a target that requires investment in incentives, new software, or other options to increase sales

Here's an example:

Flaticon IconCompany: Boots Inc.

Information we have:

Over the last 5 years, we have had a 16% growth in sales with moderate investment in marketing or advertising.

The economy is in decline, with sales down 5% across the entire shoe industry.

Flaticon IconPossible Sales Targets

Safe: 11% accounting for the economic climate.

Moderate: 14% with a low-cost plan to increase targeted advertising.

Stretch: 22% with a large investment to shift to online sales and social media influencer marketing.

Take Action

Get ready for a fun ride through the past, present, and future of your business!

a woman cheering

Set your business navigation to realistic sales targets so that they can be challenging and inspiring, instead of discouraging and negative.

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This Byte has been authored by

FH

Fay Hsueh

Instructional Designer