ODIN Consulting

Is Your Sales Team Focusing on the Wrong Targets?

Woman reading analytics in course

Are most companies getting target setting wrong?

Target setting is an effective method for improved business success, and key to operational excellence in sales. Knowing how to build the right targets is the key to making the most of this vital business strategy. The problem is that far too many brands focus on the wrong targets. Some create their targets arbitrarily without much in the way of thought regarding realism or value. When it comes to building a more effective sales team, however, it’s essential to set the right targets. Those targets will need to have the backing of real data and an understanding of the value of that data. When target and goal-setting are randomized or the sales team consistently fails to meet their goals despite past successes, this is an indication that you are setting the wrong types of targets.

Over-Pursuit of Irrelevant Targets

Out of many significant issues with target-setting one stands out. It is a key impediment to operational excellence in the sales department as well. Hyper-focus on targets and disregard for KPI’s around the target. Companies which do this may dismiss everything that doesn’t take you directly towards their goals. Excluding other factors is one of the major reasons for target failure. Without understanding the other KPIs which bring a company to its sales targets, no one can truly understand how to appropriately set the target. The Over-pursuit of just sales revenue, meetings set, or another target is very common to see, and it causes a problem results in the exclusion of valuable information that could actually improve your ability to meet those targets.

The Uncertainty Principle

All businesses have their targets. Whether it’s gross revenue for sales, social media followers, or sales leads for marketers, having objectives is a critical component of all business models. The challenge is using those targets in the right way. It’s always a bad idea to set targets in stone because companies evolve as they grow. There must be flexibility in goal-setting. With a new demographic to sell to, targets will need to change, and that means a more robust evaluation of the day to day activities of your business structure. 

Arbitrary Targets for Sales

Sales teams often come up with their targets based on basic numbers. They look at last year’s sales figures for the quarter and assume that this is a good way to set a new goal for this quarter. However, this fails to address the many factors that may be having an impact on their sales effectiveness. New competitors may have launched who offer a better product or service. The market may have become overly saturated. The list goes on. There are many reasons why the sales figures of even the best sales team are not being achieved. There must be a through and more in-depth examination of all relevant KPI’s to be able to find out the causes of these misaligned sales targets.

Targets are a useful starting point when analyzing the effectiveness of a business. They are a way to develop a clearer understanding of where your brand stands professionally, and can be used to create realistic growth projections for the future. However, by mis-aligning your sales targets with the real-world actualities of your industry and your competitor’s, it’s more likely that your targets will ultimately create a roadblock in the workflow that can be all the more challenging to unclog. Ultimately leading to a roadblock in the journey to operational excellence in the sales department.