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10 proven ways to exceed your sales goals in 2020

By Darren Finkelstein
By Darren Finkelstein

The Accountability Guy®

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Exceed your sales goals in 2020!

Do you have plan to exceed your sales goals in 2020? In my ad sales training travels, I see some media sales people drift aimlessly day-to-day and year-to-year. There is no focus on a long-term plan for their life, let alone for their sales life. Other ad sales executives set detailed goals and conform strictly to daily to-do lists. The rest of us are somewhere in the middle. Now that you know you are “normal”, where do you go from here and set goals for 2020 that will help you grow and maybe even glow?

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Here are ten tips to exceed your sales goals in 2020.

1. Set keystone habits first

“Keystone” is a term used to define the significance of one piece or component in a system of parts. It dates back to the Mesopotamians who used a single solitary stone – later termed a keystone – to lock other stones in an arch.

When you set these keystone goals as a priority then other goals begin to fall into place with ease. For example, if you want to prospect with greater passion in 2020, you cannot do it if you are tired by 2pm. So, your first goal needs to be getting more rest.

According to the Centre for Disease Control, nearly one in three adults in this country get an average of less than seven hours of sleep a night. Experts at the Mayo Clinic will tell you that most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to achieve peak performance.

If you overlook the keystone goals, you are overlooking the fundamental foundation of your goal setting success. If you are not sure of your keystone goals, this is a great topic to bring up with your sales coach as you set your agenda for the New Year.

2. Identify the ‘why’ in the goal

The “what” of a goal is pretty easy to define. For example, I want to grow my client base.The “how” is about creating mini-goals. You can find further detail about it in tip 6 of this blog.

The “why” is the critical and often missing piece of goal setting success. It is also the hard part. Do you have deep and profound reasons for wanting to achieve the business goals that you set for yourself? I’m not talking about superficial reasons. You need to have a meaningful reason for each objective that keeps you motivated until you’ve achieved that goal.

For example, I want to earn 25 per cent more this year to send my kid to a private school. Without the why, the what will often fall flat.

3. Plan for the year, not January

Buy a big flat calendar for your wall. A calendar that shows all the months of the year in a glance. Now break down your goals period wise across the entire year.

Most failures happen in the first 60 days or even earlier. By spreading out your goals you allow yourself time to actually achieve them. For example, you might set your prospecting goals for January and the creation of your new proposal templates for March.

It is really helpful to see the entire year road map for your goal setting success.

4. Find an accountability buddy

Researchers at the University College London found that partners who adopted a new and positive behaviour together were more successful than those who tried to change on their own.

If you can’t find a supportive friend, then use your calendar to remind you. Even simple items need a place on your calendar and put the important items in the Reminders app on your iPhone.

Maybe you need a sales coach? Maybe your accountability buddy is a fellow sales person? For example, prospecting is a critical sales process. Maybe you set a time at 11am each day to prospect. You will have more success if you find a partner to do the exact same task at the exact same time.

At the very least, your accountability partner will follow-up with you at a certain date about a certain task.

5. Set a realistic time frame for success

The time frame required to develop a new habit or routine is usually anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks depending on the complexity of the habit and your level of commitment. In other words, if you carry out a ‘habit’ consistently for 3 to 6 weeks, it becomes a routine for you. Getting rid of an old habit theoretically takes the same amount of time.

However, changing some habits can be a bit more challenging. For example, you may want to work on your closing skills. This is not an overnight task. You might say I will practice with Bill this week in the office and try my new closing techniques on two sales calls this week.

6. Create mini-goals

A big goal is great. But, that goal usually comprises of steps that need to be accomplished to meet the goal.

For example, if you want to grow your sales by 25 per cent, you may need to adjust your prospecting process, your proposal process and your closing process. This means there are three mini-goals to your larger goal.

Just like steps on a ladder, you also need to often take small steps to get to the goal. It is imperative that you set these mini-goals right away. Do not wait for failure to then go back and set the mini-goals.

7. Use technology to track your progress

I use the Reminders app pre-installed on my iPhone every single day. There are many tools online that are more robust.

Nozbe is used for tracking goals, habits, and daily tasks. Set up each goal as a project and then create milestones, tasks, and habits related to each of your goals.

Coach.Me is a veteran of habit-tracking apps. It started with the premise that you have a better chance of reaching your stated goals and establishing new habits if you crowdsource feedback and encouragement. The idea of accountability is at the core of its success.

GoalsOnTrack is one of the most robust goal-setting programs. It allows you to record the goal, the purpose, the start date, end date, metrics, sub-goals, habits, and action plans.

8. Plan to adjust your plan

Things happen. Or, as I like to say, “Sales Happen”.

Every day is not a good day in sales land. So, plan to adjust your goals as needed to keep on track. As a sales coach, I have new clients coming to me for help on this point all the time.

If you skip a day, get back to it the next day. You may even want to set up a discipline for yourself if you miss. For example, if I don’t prospect for new clients today I will put $10 in my charity jar. I know it sounds a bit silly, but just the fact that you think about consequences related to missing your goal can help you meet your objective.

You will fail at some point. So, what is the plan to get back on track quickly? For example, I use a specific date and time to get myself back on track. If I miss my hour to prospect at 11 am, I push all else aside at 4 pm to complete the task.

9. Set goals that are within your control

This is critical to your goal setting success. As a sales coach, I am all too often guiding my clients down a path of doom that they have set for themselves because they set goals that they cannot control. For example, if you say that you are going to set more realistic revenue goals, yet you do not control the budget, you are doomed.

10. Celebrate success

No matter the size of the goal, you need to celebrate each and every win.

My team used to HATE the small hotel-style bell that I set on the counter at the front of our office. Whenever a sale was made the sales rep would ring the bell. The ring went from a small ding to a huge smashing of the poor bell after having it in place for 90 days. I keep several of these bells in my desk drawer. I actually encourage the breaking of the bell for huge deals.

Celebration can come in small and big doses. From rewarding yourself with a massage to buying lunch for the team. The important part is to celebrate victories.

Consider a coach to help exceed your sales goals in 2020

Achieving your goals takes more than good intentions. You have to take action and then systematically measure your progress. You may need some help to stay on track beyond apps, your accountability buddy or your calendar. That is why a sales coach might be a big help to you. I would love to be your sales coach. If not me, look for a coach that is certified by a group like the International Coach Federation. Also, look for a coach that has lived in your world.