Getting things done begins with setting goals.
Goals provide direction. They help everyone in an organization focus on things that are truly important. Without goals, people are more likely to waste time on random activities that are not worthwhile.
Goals should be ambitious but realistic. If you set goals too low, they will not inspire you to do your best. If you set them too high, you will probably not reach them, and you will end up just being discouraged.
Goals clarify everyone’s role and responsibilities. Each member of a team has individual goals that contribute to the team’s overall goals. Setting individual goals avoids duplication of efforts and makes people feel personally responsible for their work.
Goals can be motivational tools. It is difficult for people to feel inspired about their work if they feel they are just doing the same thing day in and day out, with no end in sight. Goals give people the feeling that their work is contributing to something larger, something worthwhile.
The benefits of goals are clear, then, and it is how you react to the presence of sales goals that will mark how well you do as a salesperson. The idea of having goals is that they should be something achievable while not being easy.
If you can attain your goals while working on auto-pilot, then the motivational impact of having them in the first place is somewhat lost. At the same time, if the goals set for you are too extensive, there will be at best a limited chance of you achieving them, and the overall effect will be a de-motivating one as nothing you do will be quite enough to see you attain them.
Goals also need to mean something. If your sole reward for attaining goals is simply knowing that you have achieved them, then it will have limited impact on your motivation. You probably already know that you could attain these goals, but if there is no material reward for so doing you may be left wondering why you actually bothered.
For this reason, most companies will have an incentives package which pays out when you meet your goals, and this will focus the minds of even the more cynical salespeople. The benefit of targets for salespeople is that they make a belt-and-braces approach – motivating those for whom achievement is its own reward, and those who expect more tangible, material rewards.
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