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A Playbook for Daily Sales Goals

How to measure, set, refine and use daily sales goals to maximize your sales process and motivation.

Hot on the heels of our Hustler's Index to Daily Sales Goals, here are some of our favorite tactics for creating, codifying and optimizing daily sales goals. From the simple to the scientific to the unconventional.

Instituting daily sales goals creates a visceral impact on your sales team. Depending on the circumstances in your sales force, a great number of your sales reps most likely find your current sales benchmarks: 

  1. Threatening. 
  2. Aggravating. 
  3. Unreasonable. 
  4. Productivity-depleting.
  5. Disconnected from success. 

It's hard to tell which of these feelings a sales manager would least prefer. (Though the latter two are certainly a bad sign and warrant the need for a major process audit).

With that said, it's important (and easy) to set up daily sales goals in a way that proves helpful, rather than harmful, to your sales culture and team mentality.

The Daily Sales Goals Playbook

The following Daily Sales Goal Playbook has everything you need to know to about creating daily sales goals. 

We've broken the playbook into 10 parts. If executed properly, you stand to gain major benefits in sales process efficiency, sales productivity and sales team morale.

I. Choosing Sales Goals 

It goes without saying that this part of the process is by far the most involved, arduous and strategic on your end. Fortunately, there are plenty of resources out there that can help. Here on the Ambition Blog, we published a 6 Step Guide to Finding Your Moneyball Sales Metrics and a 4 Step Guide to Smarter Sales Metrics.

For our money, the best guides out there are Colleen Francis's article on sales goal setting fundamentals and Vantage Point Performance's authoritative treatise on all things sales goals. Look to them as your spirit guides for getting through this important initial step.

II. Tailoring By Role

The operative word here is synthesis. Ideally, daily sales goals should connect, synthesize and streamline the different parts of your pipeline. Keep that top of mind as you choose the key metrics and benchmarks to codify for each role.

A young software company, for example, may follow the classic SaaS sales team structure Tomasz Tunguz outlines. In this example, Tomasz cites a distinct key sales metric for each role. A set of daily sales goals for each position would include the key sales metric itself, plus the activities most critical to hitting the daily sales goal.

Example: Outreach's Sales Development team.

In your sales team, start with the top-priority sales metric of each role and work your way downward to include 3 or 4 activity metrics. Cover every role and voila, you're ready to start codifying daily sales goals.

III. Codifying Sales Goals

Proper sales goals codification is not merely telling everyone what the benchmarks are. Nor is it putting them in writing somewhere they'll never be seen.

Codification means putting the benchmarks -- all of them -- on prominent display. That's how you create an elite inside sales team. And that's the mentality any sales team worth its weight in salt will strive for.

IV. Visualizing Sales Goals

We tackled this topic extensively in two articles, Best Practices for Graphing Sales Metrics and The Hustler's Index of Daily Sales Goals.  Read the latter article for an in-depth look at the most powerful ways to visualize sales goals and compel sales motivation.

Adding powerful data visuals to daily sales goals unlocks new reservoirs of motivation. It perpetuates sales motivation on a day-to-day basis.

V. Recognition 

Timely, public and passionate recognition for meeting daily sales goals is the ultimate way to give reps a positive feedback loop associated with their goals.

In the alternative, sales managers should privately issue reprimands and conduct one-to-one discussion with those who consistently fall short of their daily sales goals.

Side note: Failure to hit daily sales goals should never be grounds for termination. Quota should still remain the judge, jury and executioner. 

The more powerful your positive recognition, the better you'll reinforce commitment to daily sales goals. By contrast, the best deterrent to team member apathy toward daily sales goals is the feeling of missing out. 

VI. Auditing Sales Goals

This is a great opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. You should make your audit a part of your sales team performance reviews.

In doing so, you'll be able to get honest, blunt feedback, which you can then weigh against the numbers to help make your ultimate assessment. Really, you should treat a benchmark audit as part of a greater audit over your entire sales process.

Case in point: A colleague of mine whose company conducted an audit and found that C-Level prospect outreach cut sales cycle time in half. Should a change to the codified outreach process - from Director-Level to the C-Level - have an impact on sales benchmarks?

Yes it should. It's much easier to get a Director-Level person on the phone, much less in a meeting, than a C-Level person. Reduce the daily sales goal for meetings set. This is how you use sales benchmarks to not only enforce your existing sales process, but augment the inevitable changes you end up making to it. 

VII. Revising Sales Goals

Getting people to buy into change once is tough enough. Well now, you're going to have to do it again. The easiest way to make revisions painless as possible is to do the work on the front-end to ensure it's an open, collaborative process. You want a smooth transition, not an abrupt change of pace the reps don't see coming.

Even if they disagree with the adjustments you end up making, the reps will respect the process (and you as a manager) more if you maintain a dialogue and let them know up front to expect adjustments.

Another key point -- think of sales goal setting as a science. There are no failures, only experiments. Don't be dogmatic and let your reps know that sales benchmarking is, like fitness, a journey. Perfection is an impossibility and the only thing determinant of success is the change in profits resulting from each experiment.

VIII. Granting Exceptions

Certain members of your team may be better off with a slight variation to your codified process.

Soliciting continuous feedback and opening your door to rep requests for variations to their daily sales goals is an important best practice for managers.

While you shouldn't always grant these requests, you should always listen.

Example: Performance data shows that a sales rep is far more effective in connecting with a prospect on LinkedIn than email, and has made a good faith effort to comply with the process. 

Assess the numbers, meet with that person and figure out whether to authorize or decline the variance.

IX. Add Fun Dynamics  

Daily sales goals may be sentinels of business success, but that doesn't mean you can't have fun with them. In fact, you should be. Daily sales goals are a great way to open rep networks in a large sales team. The more social you make the data visualization, the better.

X. Other Helpful Assets

Software solutions like Ambition can dramatically improve employee performance on key goals. Contact us to learn how Ambition's sales management platform can drive your most critical sales objectives, and make employee goal setting, tracking, and accountability easier and more effective.

Ambition Drives Sales Goals For Every Sales Rep

Ambition is a sales management platform that syncs every sales organization department, data source, and performance metric on one easy system.

Ambition clarifies and publicizes real-time performance analytics for your entire sales organization. Using a drag-and-drop interface, non-technical sales leaders can build custom scorecards, contests, reports, and TVs.

Ambition is endorsed by Harvard Business Review, AA-ISP (the Global Inside Sales Organization), and USA Today as a proven solution for managing millennial sales teams. Hear from our customers below.

Watch Testimonials:

  1. FiveStars: Adam Wall. Sr. Manager of Sales Operations . 
  2. Filemaker: Brad Freitag. Vice-President of Worldwide Sales.
  3. Outreach: Mark Kosoglow. Vice-President of Sales.
  4. Cell Marque: Lauren Hopson. Director of Sales & Marketing.
  5. Access America Transport: Ted Alling. Chief Executive Officer.

Watch Product Walkthroughs:

  • ChowNow. Led by Vice-President of Sales, Drew Woodcock.
  • Outreach. Led by Sales Development Manager, Alex Lynn.
  • AMX Logistics. Led by Executive Vice-President ,Jared Moore.

Read Case Studies:

  1. Clayton HomesHBR finds triple-digit growth in 3 sales efficiency metrics. 
  2. Coyote Logistics: Monthly revenue per broker grew $525 in 6 months.
  3. Peek: Monthly sales activity volume grew 142% in 6 months.
  4. Vorsight: Monthly sales conversations grew 300% in 6 months.

Contact us to learn how Ambition can impact your sales organization today.

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Sales Leaders, HR Professionals, and C-Level Executives use Ambition to recognize, motivate, and develop employees into more engaged and productive versions of themselves. Funded by Google, used by the Fortune 500, endorsed by the Harvard Business Review.

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