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Most sales managers face a constant dilemma: Do you set high sales goals at the risk of discouraging your sales team? Or set those goals at a level that motivates them to hit or surpass expectations.

It can be a fine balance, but the failure to set higher than average goals could be killing your results, according to research recently released by Heavy Hitter Sales and Velocify. Steve W. Martin, founder of Heavy Hitter Sales, says those types of goals can take guts but they can also pay off if you have a structured sales process.

So, what’s the formula?

According to the study, 75 percent of the top-performing sales teams raised quotas by at least 10 percent or more each year. Another 15 percent raised their quotes by 50 percent or more year over year. In contrast, 65 percent of organizations with low-performing teams kept the quotas the same each year, or even lowered them.

There’s one interesting thing to note. Managers of the high-performing teams did not expect everyone to meet quota. However, about 50 percent of them reported if 60 percent or fewer of their team members didn’t hit the quotas, they would consider the strategy less than ideal.

Here’s how setting aggressive targets can help you boost your sales outcomes.

  1. Boost morale. According to the survey, respondents from top-performing teams reported feeling positive about working with their teams. Even if all team members aren’t hitting goals, there was feedback that working among top performers was a motivating factor among those who weren’t quite at the same level.
  2. Increase collaboration. With clear leaders on the team hitting goals, you have the opportunity to identify clear paths for encouraging collaboration and team building. Perhaps, an underperforming sales rep or newbie can accompany a high performer on a sales call to learn techniques.
  3. Identify opportunities for downsizing. It’s not pleasant. However, if you have a team member who just isn’t able to cut it month after month, you clearly have a standard to determine whether it’s time to let him or her go. As respondents to the survey indicated, many high-performing teams would decide to let an underperformer go at a much faster rate than leaders on under-performing teams.

Ready to improve your sales team’s performance? Contact Fatstax for the solutions that can help you hit higher goals. Fatstax helps leading brands develop the ultimate mobile sales tool. Request a free demo to find out how.

About J. Rusty Bishop, PhD

I've spent the last 5 years helping great brands create amazing experiences for their sales teams during one on one sales interactions. Helping sales people do their job is my passion. When I'm not working, I am on the ocean fishing in San Diego, Ca.