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How to Become a Better Salesperson With Goals

by Mark Applegate, studioD

Exceptional sales professionals often combine innate abilities and personality traits with genuine hard work. While some may say that these sales gods and goddesses are lucky, most realize upon examination that salespeople make their own "luck." A common trait of stellar sales pros is having goals. Whether you are a sales manager or a sales person, consider this important tool as you seek to enhance your performance.

Setting Your Goals

Meet with your sales manager, if applicable, to discuss your sales requirements and those required for the entire sales staff. Evaluate your sales history and your strengths and weaknesses to formulate specific ways to improve. If you are traditionally a below-average performer, break down your sales goals into bite-sized chunks such as daily or hourly rates. When you see your goals in this way, they will seem like less of a Herculean task and will help you maintain a positive attitude throughout the month. If you are traditionally, say, $2,200 a month short of your goals, shoot for a $100 per day of work improvement by finding one item or strategy that could fill that gap. These goals can also be intangible numbers such as having the best customer service evaluation scores on your team, knowing that with good service sales and repeat customers will typically follow.

Motivational Goals

"Inc." magazine offers the reminder that "It's all about the numbers." Use past successes to exceed your goals your overall sales history as motivation and encouragement when you are having a bad sales day. If it usually takes you 10 sales calls to generate an appointment with a customer or to make a sale and you have called 20 times without any luck, remember that your next success is, statistically speaking, likely right around the corner.

Use Tangible Rewards

While sales is "all about the numbers," it is more motivating to translate your goal numbers into a tangible reward that encourages you to succeed. If you are a working mom, put a picture of your family's favorite amusement park on your desk with your sales goals. If you are a muscle car enthusiast, build a model of one and set it where you will see it. Break down the total cost of your reward into specific amounts of improvements you would need to achieve this reward above your normal goal, and update your progress often.


Individual goals are easier to achieve when you share them with an accountability partner other than your sales manager. If possible, find a mentor who has better performance than you to maximize what you learn. Meet regularly with your colleague to discuss your incremental steps toward your goals, areas of success and potential improvement. Listen to her carefully as she shares her challenges to see if you can improve in similar areas. During a shift, perhaps between customers, ask her how she is doing toward her goal. Numbers can only motivate if you are self-aware in the process.

About the Author

Based in Bolivar, Mo., Mark Applegate has been a professional writer since 2003. An experienced Christian entrepreneur, Applegate work covers business, careers and technology as well as religious topics. He has primarily published in print in the "Cedar County (Mo.) Republican" and the "Republic (Mo.) Monitor" along with an host of online publications. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Colorado Technical University and currently serves as the information technology director at a local public school.

Photo Credits

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