MediaRadar Blog

How to Set Goals with Your Sales Reps—and Make Them Stick

How to Set Goals with Your Sales Reps—and Make Them Stick

This article is based on a webinar from MediaRadar’s Chief Sales Officer, Jen Wilga. Watch the full webinar, here.

Decades of research have shown us a clear truth—setting goals gives you power. One popular statistic: a 1979 Harvard study found that the three percent of graduates from its MBA program who wrote down their goals earned up to 10x as much as the 97% who didn’t.

Before you say, “Wait…1979? How do we know this is still relevant?”—consider this study from 2015. It found that people who wrote down their goals were 33% more successful in achieving them than those who only thought about them. 

Setting goals works. It’s why I take it so seriously with my sales reps. Here, I’m sharing how I set realistic goals with sales reps and a couple of tactics I use to make them stick.

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Understand Your Total Addressable Market (TAM)

Setting realistic goals is next to impossible if you don’t have a good understanding of the playing field. 

For this reason, the smartest and most realistic sales goals originate from a total addressable market (TAM) report. To start, ask yourself these questions:

  • What does your market look like today? 
  • How many brands exist?
  • How many new ones entered the market last year? 
  • What does overall spending look like?
  • How has this spending changed from last year? 
  • Are brands testing any new strategies or tactics such as OTT

(If you’re a MediaRadar client, this data is accessible in the Power Prospecting Report.) 

With this information, you can paint a clear picture of what your market looks like, and more importantly, how your go-to-market (GTM) strategy should take shape, which is increasingly important given the pandemic-fueled shifts taking place in many industries. 

Here’s an example of what I mean: I recently had a customer come to me who knew a change in strategy was necessary, but she didn’t know where to start.

So, we dove into market data and uncovered insights that told her that her reps should be focusing on entirely new categories than they did in the recent past. 

Knowing this allowed her to set realistic goals with her reps. The same applies to you.

Review TAM with Sales Reps

Now that you know where you stand and what your strategy should look like, align your reps with these insights to ensure they get out of the starting blocks strong.

Is one of your best reps not maximizing their skills because their account list is too light?

Is one struggling because they’re drowning in accounts, or worse, going after ones that aren’t aligned with your current strategy? 

By aligning your sales reps with insights on your total addressable market, you can optimize their time and make sure everyone’s in a position to reach the goals you’ve set with them.

An overview of rep alignment with active accounts will also give you insight into “unassigned” accounts or “opportunities” that may otherwise go unnoticed. 

When I go through this exercise, I often find hidden gems that aren’t currently linked to a rep. 

While I could take these gems and hand them out at random, what I’ve found beneficial for my team is to put them aside—think of this as a pool of really great opportunities that you can use to incentivize reps. 

For example, if a rep exceeds their quarterly target or closes a challenging deal, I’ll go into this bucket of gems and give them one as a way to say “great job” (but also to keep them charged up for the quarters ahead). 

How to Help Sales Reps Achieve Their Goals

Even the most strategic and seemingly realistic goals will be out of reach if you don’t take steps to help your reps achieve them. 

Luckily, there are steps you can take.

Here are two I take all the time: 

  1. Inspect what you expect 

A Gallup study found that when employees “strongly agree” that their manager knows what they’re working on, they’re almost 7x more likely to be engaged.

This study is just one of the reasons why I’m such a big fan of weekly 1:1s—and why you should be, too. 

To make the most of this time, base your meeting on an accountability plan that pulls data from your CRM about accounts, values and other metrics that can act as a barometer for performance.  

At the same time, turn your attention to opportunities and their sales funnel.

  • How many opportunities did they create last week? 
  • What key accounts are they targeting? 
  • Which deals will likely close this quarter? 
  • Which deals have stalled? 
  • What outreach strategies are working well? Which ones aren’t? 

With a better understanding of where your reps are on their path (the one outlined in the first step), you can come up with a plan for the week ahead—think about action items like the number of calls they should make, strategies they should use to nudge a sale along and a new account they should target.

Over the course of the quarter, these 30-minute chunks every week will increase the likelihood that your reps achieve their goals.

  1. Celebrate the big (and little) wins

Remember during your childhood when someone would call a loved one, or send you home with a note, telling what a great job you did on a test or at an event? 

It felt great, right? 

You can—and should—replicate that feeling with your reps. 

Have a toast. 

Grab a bite to eat. 

Send an email to the company. 

Heck, call their mom. 

Celebrating the big and small wins can go a long way.  

Sales is a fast-paced game and a fickle beast that requires a special type of person to master, but it can’t always be go, go, go. 

Burnout is real and the past couple of years have shown us that.

APA’s 2021 Work and Well-being Survey found that 79% of employees had experienced work-related stress in the month before the survey, while nearly 3 in 5 reported negative impacts of work-related stress, including lack of interest and motivation.

So, whenever you have an opportunity to get some endorphins flowing, do so. 

Your reps will thank you. 

Setting Goals: The Most Important Step You Can Take in 2022

In a fast-paced sales world that’s evolving quicker than ever, new strategies popping up seemingly overnight and shifting consumer expectations, like a bigger premium on the customer experience, even the best reps need a clear target and a guiding hand that’s been there and done that. 

As a sales leader, that’s you.

Look for our follow-up to this article, “Creating a Path to Success,” when you sign up for MediaRadar’s blog here.

This article is based on a webinar from MediaRadar’s Chief Sales Officer, Jen Wilga. Watch the full webinar, here.