It's that time of the year again. That's right. Most companies are just in the middle of their process for putting together a business plan for 2011. Of course, part of their plan will include a sales and marketing plan.
Typically management will ask the sales department for a sales forecast of what the sales team will sell in the coming sales year and their salespeople will turn in estimates of business they will bring in from prospects and current customers. Management then digests the numbers and eventually each salesperson receives a sales goal in the form of a dollar figure.
Sound familiar? If you are a leader of a company or a sales organization and you recognize yourself in the above description, you are probably not alone. However, it's not that the process is wrong, it's just incomplete. It needs to go one step further.
What I've discovered in working with many successful companies and businesses is the need for a certain required next step to be accomplished as part of the planning process–individual goal setting.
Goal setting by an individual salesperson is important for several reasons. For a sales leader (or a company president or owner who also wears the sales leader's hat) it's imperative to know what motivates each and every member of their team. Are they motivated by money and what money can get them? Like a second home, travel, a Caribbean cruise, a boat, etc.? As a leader, if you don't know what motivates your people, then you won't know how to manage them on a daily or weekly basis.
From an individual salesperson's perspective, having clear exciting personal dreams, goals and a process to measure progress will enable them to maintain a high level of desire for success in their sales career as well as the appropriate commitment needed to be an effective and successful sales professional.
If you already have salespeople who do personal goal setting on their own, consider yourself lucky. Fewer than twenty percent of all salespeople have written personal goals and a process to measure progress toward those goals.
If you don't have personal goal setters on your team now, sit down with them, have a conversation with them about working through the goal setting process today. It's the right time of the year to get it done!