Your Guide to Setting and Achieving Sales Goals 

Let’s face it, it’s tough to hit sales goals right now. It doesn’t matter if you are an SDR team working to build top-of-funnel pipeline, an AE team working to book net-new revenue, or customer success teams fighting to keep and grow your current customer base—we are all working extra hard in a tough economic environment. 

What is your best bet at setting and achieving sales goals? First, it is important to build goals leveraging the SMART framework. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time bound. With these components, you can set clear expectations with your team and build reporting that shows you whether your team is on track. 

Ultimately, every organization is working to achieve a revenue target. Sometimes this goal can feel huge and out of reach, so in my experience, it’s best to take your big revenue goal and break it down into metrics you can directly control. First, look at your historical performance and figure out which activities lead to revenue and based on your conversion rates, how many of those activities are needed each day/week/month in order to achieve your revenue goal. Examples could be number of emails/phone calls/touches, number of new sequences started in your sales engagement tool, number of new meetings set, number of demos performed, number of proposals sent, number of new logos won, number of accounts renewed, etc.

Activity scorecard in Ambition

Once you know your team is driving the right number of activities, you must start to look at the quality of those activities. Examples could be: conversion rates by activity and deal stage, average deal size, and churn rate. It is important to note that if you are not achieving the quality metric goals then you will need to drive more activity to make up the difference. 

Finding the balance between quantity and quality of activities is the key to success. Ensure you are consistently measuring both components in your goal setting process. 

6 Components of an Effective Enablement Training Program that Will Help You Hit Your Sales Goals 

So what if you get behind? One of the best avenues to increase performance is to drive an effective sales enablement training program

First, it is important to understand what behavior you need to improve. Consistently analyzing performance vs. goals and proactively developing programs to close the gap requires tight alignment between the sales leadership team and enablement. Training alone will not fix the problem. Training with consistent follow-up and coaching by sales managers produces the best results.

How do you build and structure an effective enablement training program? 

  1. Identify the performance gaps by regularly reviewing sales team KPI performance.
  2. Once gaps are identified, identify the root cause behavior that needs to change. 
  3. Sales leaders should collaborate with the enablement team to build a training program
  4. After the training is completed, sales leaders should incorporate follow-up in team meetings and 1x1s to reinforce the implementation of concepts with customers and prospects. 
  5. Check knowledge retention and behavior change through a certification program.
  6. Measure the results of the program. Gamifying results is a great way to drive visibility to program activity and achievement. 

Revenue Club Accolade in Ambition

7 Gaps That Could be Causing a Revenue Miss and Training Program Ideas to Combat Them

  1. Not enough qualified leads
    • Potential behavior problem causing the miss: discovery skills
    • Program idea: 3-Step Series on Discovery Skills 
      • Review ideal customer profile
      • Effective questioning skills
      • Active listening
  2. Total pipeline below goal
    • Potential behavior problem causing the miss: low prospecting activity
    • Program idea: Book Club 
      • Pick out a book about prospecting best practices
      • Challenge team to implement concepts from the book
      • Submit call recording examples and share in team meetings
      • Build a competition around activity metrics and new meetings set for reinforcement
  3. Conversion rates are too low
    • Potential behavior problem causing the miss: overcoming objection skills
    • Program idea: Introduce Framework and Live Role-Play 
      • Have the team submit common objections they struggle to overcome
      • Introduce an objection resolution framework 
      • Have the team crowd-source objection/resolution answers using the framework
      • Practice with live role-plays where one person acts the like prospect/customer and the other acts as the sales representative
  4. Average deal sizes are too small
    • Potential behavior problem causing the miss: Poor negotiation skills
    • Program idea: Training on negotiation levers
      • Review deal financial levers 
      • Provide real deal examples and ask reps to role-play a negotiation using the deal financial levers 
      • Certification: submit a negotiation call leveraging new skills
  5. Deal cycles are too long
    • Potential behavior problem causing the miss: Inability to get to the decision-maker in the deal
    • Program idea: Mapping the buying process and building a MAP (mutual action plan)
      • Conduct a training session on how to map the buying process and build a mutual action plan with the deal champion
      • Ask reps to build a MAP for their top 10 deals and review in 1x1s
  6. Customers are churning 
    • Potential behavior problem causing the miss: Inability to show ROI 
    • Program idea: Effective Quarterly Business Reviews
      • Roll out a new Quarterly Business Review format focused on ROI
      • Train the customer success team how to demonstrate customer ROI by leveraging platform data
      • Have reps practice delivering the new format by conducting live role-play certifications in 1x1s with their leader or small peer groups
  7. Customers are not expanding
    • Potential behavior problem causing the miss: Not positioning new product lines
    • Program idea: Pitch/Demo Certification
      • Conduct product training. If possible, include a “hands-on” portion so reps can truly understand the value the product provides
      • Ensure reps can speak to the value by teaching effective storytelling techniques
      • Ask sales leaders to identify calls where reps effectively positioned the new product line and use these to build a call library of best practices. 
      • Measure new product attach rate and ensure these metrics are visible in team dashboards and competitions 

Sales Enablement Training Best Practices 

There are clearly a lot of ways you can tackle performance gaps with effective sales enablement training programs. While the methods and tactics to train new behaviors can vary based on the needs of the business, there are some best practices that always ring true. 

  • Begin with the baseline of a standard sales process playbook. If you don’t have that, start there. 
  • The playbook allows you to measure what is working and not working. If everyone uses a consistent process, you will be able to identify behavior gaps and how to address them by watching how the team performs to the sales goals. 
  • Training is an ongoing process, not a one-time event. It should start on day one of employment with effective new hire onboarding and should continue throughout the life of the employee with consistent skill development programs combined with sales leader coaching. 
  • When setting out to build a program, start by setting clear training goals. This article does a great job of outlining how to set effective training goals and the overall importance of sales training.
  • Keep goals and performance visible. Establish reporting, communicate results, and when appropriate, gamify it!
  • Reward progress and completion to drive accountability and reinforce a training culture.

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