How to Set Sales Goals: 4 Tips to Drive You Forward (+ Bonus)

Shawn Casemore • No Comment
Posted: October 31, 2022

Are you on track with your sales goals?

Do you even have sales goals?

This post will walk you through the best way to set sales goals that you can actually achieve, and motivate you to sell more.

Whether you’re new to sales or maybe you’re a top performing sales professional already and just trying to keep your game at the top level, you need to have sales goals.

Why Set Sales Goals?

Goals are what drive you forward. They keep you growing and progressing towards the level that you want to achieve. Whether that’s number of units sold, salesman of the year, or saleswoman of the month.

Whatever the case might be, whatever you want to achieve, setting measurable goals are what will get you there. 

Here’s the thing:

There’s a methodology in which you can set goals to make sure you achieve them.

4 Tips to Setting Sales Goals

how-to-set-sales-goalsThere’s a key to setting sales goals, and it’s not about writing them down all the time.

Let’s walk through the practices I use with my coaching clients and the groups that I train.

Here’s how to set sales goals that’ll actually drive you forward, that you can achieve, but that will help you keep progressing in your sales game.

Let’s get into it.

Tip # 1: Create a Goal Range (Sales Goal “Bookends”)

set sales goals - bookends
When it comes to setting sales goals, you need to have what I call bookends. This concept is based on the fact that a goal needs a range.

When we make a goal, black or white, yes or no, it can become very difficult. What often happens is that we get very, very close, we work hard, but we have trouble meeting specific sales goals: 

  • We don’t get to celebrate success.
  • We don’t get to celebrate a win. 

So for that reason, I suggest that everybody that I work with in sales, when they set their goals, set a sales target range.

  • What’s the minimum goal? 
  • What’s the maximum goal?

If we achieve the minimum, we achieved our sales target, but we still have room to grow. We still have room to go towards an even better goal and an even higher sales target objective, which is our maximum.

Now, if we achieve that, we need to move those bookends over, but chances are you’re going to meet sales goals somewhere between bookend on the left and bookend on the right: That minimum versus maximum.

You still then have something you can celebrate, and most importantly, you have a goal that you can achieve, but something that’ll keep you progressing towards a higher level.

Make sure you set bookends for every single goal, so that there’s a range you can play with that will help you strive for more.

Now, before I jump into number two, there’s something else to mention on having that goal range. You see, sometimes the unexpected happens.

There are things that we can’t predict.

So when we set this goal range, we account for the unpredictable, we account for other things happening, but still have a good chance of hitting that minimum, hitting that left book end. 

Tip # 2: Remind Yourself of Your Goals

Now, the second thing I want to share with you, when it comes to setting goals that are effective that you can achieve, that will help you move forward in sales.

remind yourself of your goals
You want to think about reminding yourself constantly of your goals. Constantly being reminded of your goals, regardless of where you’re at.

So what does that look like?

Well, yes, you do have to write down your goals.

But I’m not a fan of writing them down multiple times a day. Why? Because I’m writing the same thing and after a while I get bored!  (Let’s be honest, okay?) 

  • Write them down once, and write them down very clearly. For example: “I want to achieve X by (date).”  (I’ll talk about a format in a second here.)
  • Next, put them everywhere you can so that they become subconsciously absorbed. 

Here’s an example of what I mean:

If you carry a planner of some kind, maybe print them, stick them in that cover. Every time you go past, you open your book and go past them. There they are.

Put them in a sticky note next to your computer. Put them in a sticky note or a piece of paper above your computer on the wall, or next to your computer.

I’ve seen people laminate them, and put them right on their desktop.

Anywhere you spend time, make sure your goals are there in written form for you to reference.

Why? Because subconsciously, our mind is always working.

Our subconscious works more than our conscious mind. As a result of that, if we start to place these goals in the various places that we are present, we absorb these goals whether or not we’re thinking about them in the moment or not.

Make sure you place your goals everywhere you get your subconscious mind involved and engaged in your goal setting.

Tip # 3: Use the W3 Format to Clearly State Your Goals

Let’s talk about the format of your goals.

As I’ve mentioned in past videos, I’m a fan of what I call the W3 approach to sales goal setting.

set sales goals with structureThe W3 approach describes sales goals with: 

  • What
  • by Who
  • by When.

Let’s say I want to sell a million dollars worth of widgets by the end of the year. This sales goal example in the W3 format is “I’m going to sell $1 million worth of widgets by December 31st of the current year.”

To break that down,
“I’m (the who) going to sell a million dollars worth of widgets (the what) by such-and-such a date (the when).”

Very simple.

W3 is the best method to set goals because they’re stated clearly and remain clear.

If you want to make sure your goals are clear, do this: Give them to somebody who doesn’t know you very well, have them read it and ask them if it makes sense.

If you’re writing a paragraph or if you’re writing half a page of goals, that’s a problem. Your goals should be very succinct, and very clear.

The W3 format will allow you to stay clear in your goals and to ensure you progress, and measure your success towards them.

Tip # 4: Share Your Goals With Others

You’ve heard me say in other videos, I’m not a big fan of standing in front of the mirror and, and trying to motivate myself in that manner.

But, what I am a fan of doing is talking to other people.

share goals with othersSo, if you set a goal, you need to share your personal sales goals with people. The more people you share it with, the more accountability to yourself you create.

So you can share it with:

  • your spouse, 
  • your partner, 
  • your friends, 
  • your coworkers, and
  • your boss

Heck, you can share with your customers if it makes sense.

But if you write your sales goals and then you keep them hidden, or maybe you put them around your computer in your book, but you don’t tell anybody about it, there is no accountability.

It’s pretty easy to take a marker through a written goal or  just rip that piece of paper and throw it in the garbage. But as soon as you tell somebody periodically about your goals, and the more people you tell periodically, somebody’s going to say, Hey, how are you doing towards those goals? How are those goals coming along? That’s what I want.

Even if I’m not progressing as much as I’d like, it keeps me accountable and it keeps me focused.

When it comes to being successful, setting goals in sales that you can succeed at, make sure you share them openly.

However, if your goals are sensitive in nature, meaning there’s some confidential information in there, you shouldn’t share them with your customer.

But, share them with peers. Share ’em with your boss, share ’em with coworkers, share ’em with your partner, your spouse, your friends, whoever you can.

The more people you share with, the more accountability you’ll have to yourself to pursue those goals with as much rigor as you possibly can. 

Bonus Tip: Celebrate Your Achievements

Here’s a little bit of a bonus for you, and I think this is critically important.

In the coaching work I do, I find a lot of people don’t really celebrate when they achieve their goals.

They set a goal range, which accounts for variations, things that you didn’t expect. And, they hit the goal, and go on to the next thing. They just keep going without recognizing their achievement.

And I’ll give you an example of this: I had a very bad habit in goal setting and probably still have it to this day:

I tend to move the goal.

That’s where I come up with this idea of these bookends. I would set a goal of A, and as I got close to A, I’d say, Well, that’s probably not enough, A hard enough goal or, or, you know, difficult enough for me to achieve, and I’d set B.

And so I’d surpass A, never celebrate anything, keep working towards B, then I’d move C, and I’d just keep going.

And guess what happens? Eventually, I never achieve any goals. And then at the end of it, I’d say,  that this goal-setting sucks! Doesn’t work for me.

Well, it’s because I was moving the goal! You can’t move the goal post. They’re in concrete, they’re stuck.

There’s another way to think about this.

When it comes to setting goals, set them in max, set the goal posts, if you will. Those book ends, and then stick with them. Don’t change them.

As you achieve success towards your goals, celebrate them.

Stop, and recognize that, “Hey, I did this!”

It’s the rewards and celebrations that are going to keep us motivated and keep us progressing and moving forward in our goals.

Make sure you stop and celebrate your success as you move forward in your goals. 

Set & Track Your Goals with My Sales Planner

If you want to be successful in sales, you’ll need a way to set and track your goals.

I created my 30-Day Sales Action Planner, which I offer at no cost to you. I created it as a way to help my coaching clients and those like you in order to keep on track with your goals and all the activities behind them to achieve them.

So make sure you click the link, and grab your copy. There’s no obligation – no cost at all.

It’s my way to help you become a top-performing sales professional.

Thursday Thrive Opt-In

© Shawn Casemore 2022. All Rights Reserved.


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