A roadmap to goal-setting: Coach your way to a higher-performing sales team
Setting, tracking and measuring goals with your employees will have significant impact on your sales team and broader organization. According to a recent study, setting goals and creating a more engaged team can result in as much 59% less turnover, 21% greater profitability, 17% higher productivity and 10% higher customer ratings than disengaged teams.
Goals create an environment of productivity by clearly identifying what your employees need to achieve over time. As employees become more productive, their sense of purpose and self-confidence is likely to increase, which can result in happier, more engaged employees.
Track & Measure Goal Progress to Improve Performance
“You can’t manage what you don’t measure, and you can’t improve what you don’t manage.”
The ability to track and measure the progress of employees’ goals is quintessential to the success of your organization –
If an employee’s goal isn’t benchmarked and tracked, how can you/they know if it has in fact been achieved or not? And if you don’t know if an employee’s goal was achieved or not, how can you resolve unmet goals or create new goals that continue to challenge and motivate your employees?
Properly set and managed goals can result in more methodical actions and decisions, sustained focus and momentum, and increased productivity across your team. Moreover, offering a solution for employees to record and track their goals can lead to 33% higher goal achievement.
Using performance tracking software is one of the most effective ways to record, track and measure sales goals. These tools offer the ability to establish objective, quantifiable benchmarks, so that goal progress can be easily viewed and analyzed at any given time.
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The best goal tracking tools also offer the following features:
- Options to view and compare progress at the organizational, branch, and individual employee level
- Convenient access to real-time data at all levels of your organization
- Various types of sales and performance data, such as referrals, product penetration and individual sales
- The ability for managers and sales staff to view their goals and results
When leveraged properly, goal tracking data can help you uncover your team members’ strengths and weaknesses These data insights will allow you to provide timely coaching to capitalize on each individual’s areas of strength and improve upon areas of weakness so every member of your team is maximizing their full performance potential.
Establish Impactful Goals with Employees
It’s important to know what you should (and shouldn’t) do to support your employees in developing goals they feel good about, while at the same time feeding into the overall successes of your team and organization.
1. Offer the right amount of support in setting and sustaining goals
Sales leaders should provide guidance and leadership when working with employees to set and accomplish their goals. However, there is a delicate balance between supporting your employees and micromanaging them.
What you don’t want to do as a leader is set goals on behalf of your employees without considering their strengths, desires, and aspirations. Making this mistake is likely to lead to less goal achievement – either because the goals are too challenging and unrealistic, or because the employee has no connection to the goal and is thus not motivated to achieve it.
You also don’t want to take an entirely hands-off approach to individual goal setting, as this can lead to a lack of accountability and purpose.
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2. Establish goals that are challenging, but achievable
Consider your employees’ strengths and weaknesses when helping them establish goals that are challenging, but at the same time, realistic. The more you understand your employees’ skillsets and performance styles, the better you can aid them in setting goals.
Establishing goals that resonate with your employees will provide them with a sense of value and ownership that is likely to manifest as a drive to achieve the goals.
3. Support goal commitment, drive, and accountability
There are many ways you can help motivate your employees to work towards their goals. These coaching strategies include the following:
- Advise employees to write down goals to make daily application – and therefore goal achievement – more likely.
- Use action-oriented language, correct wording, and other effective communication tactics when working with employees on their goals to prevent miscommunication and boost goal progress.
- Establish and communicate the personal value of each goal to keep employees motivated.
- Identify the larger organizational, community and customer impact of an employee’s goals to keep them engaged.
- Create opportunities for employees to establish goals that speak to their interests to inspire more engagement and goal achievement.
By helping employees to understand their goals and encouraging them to believe in their attainability, you can foster an environment of support that is sure to motivate your team to success.
4. Ensure goals can be quantified and measured
When co-creating goals with your employees, it is also important to agree on clearly defined benchmarks, so the progress and success of each goal is quantifiable, aka easier to track. Setting “SMART” goals is one of the best ways to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to setting, tracking, and measuring each goal.
The five characteristics of a SMART goal are as follows:
- [Having a] Timeline
By clarifying and quantifying goal outcomes, SMART goals can help motivate employees to meet their goals within the identified time period, thereby inspiring a stronger environment of success for individual team members and the sales team as a whole.
5. Help re-evaluate & rework unfulfilled goals
It is hard to get a goal perfectly right on the first try, so it is reasonable to say you will need to help many employees rework their goals. When that time comes, put your coaching hat on so you can unearth the root cause of the issue and help your employees land on a more suitable goal.
There are two main reasons an employee could be struggling to meet their goals: either they are unmotivated to reach it, or the goal is overly ambitious/unrealistic. If an employee is struggling with a goal, it is important to find out why, so you can appropriately coach them on reworking set goals – i.e. presenting new ways to meet the goal, checking in more frequently on progress, or changing the goal to better fit the employee’s strengths and interests.
Stay involved with your employees’ goals to sustain shared accountability. Schedule regular sessions with your employees to check-in on goal progress and offer advice on goals they are struggling with.
Though it may take some time and resources on the front end, the benefits of goal-setting will quickly make-up for the initial investment.
Allied Solutions’ recognizes the need to have an easy, reliable tool for setting, tracking and analyzing sales goals. That is why we created performance tracking software for financial institutions. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about accelerating your team’s performance with our sales coaching and development solutions.