Setting Meaningful Sales Targets

by | Dec 14, 2018 | Business Strategy

Setting Meaningful Sales Targets

Are you asking Why before you ask What and How?

Target Setting: Are you getting it right?

Are you fretting that you’re nowhere near getting those targets you’re regretting setting?

I’m betting you’re forgetting the jet-setting lifestyle you wanted to be netting.

Don’t sweat it.

Often the depth of someone’s target setting revolves around vision boards with private jets on them, maybe with a #crushingit post-it note with an archery target and the Wayne Gretzky quote “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

Let’s break it down.

A question I get a lot when it comes to Target Setting is:

Should I set goals I know I can achieve or aim for the stars?

I always have to return with a question of my own: 

Is your mindset “comfortable and confident?” Or is it applying pressure and striving to meet something that stretches you? There is no WRONG answer, it’s just down to who you are.

It also depends on the reason WHY you’re setting your goals in the first place. 

Is your sales strategy to be your market leader? A set percentage of the market? Niche and high profit/low volume? Your targets must be related to your overall strategy.

Whichever side of the line you fall on however, there is no point setting unattainable goals that you have absolutely no chance of achieving. 


If you’re setting off to Birmingham from London in a Ford Cortina, there’s no point setting a target to be there in 15 minutes. It isn’t admiral, and in the attempt to do so, you’re likely to crash your car and then you’ll have bigger problems.

Instead, you could attempt to knock ten minutes off the journey by driving less economically.

A good measuring stick for whether a long-term goal is achievable is to break it down into monthly and weekly objectives (or even daily.) 

For instance, if you wanted to turnover £120,000 in sales, can you make £10k/month? That’s £2.5k a week, or £357/day. 

Your targets may help you to set your price, but your price could also be fixed, such as a product which will be limited by competition. 

In those scenarios, your price might help you to determine a realistic target. If your product sells for £14.99, could you sell 24 a day to make that £357 target? If you feel like you could only sell 10, maybe your new long term target needs to be adjusted for that. 

Whether you work downwards from a big target, or upwards from a small target, it needs to be achievable. 

Having targets in mind can make rejection easier to deal with. There’s an old sales adage that it takes 9 “No”s to get to 1 “Yes”, so each no you get is actually getting you closer to the 1 yes. If you only need 2 “yes”s each day, it may well make it easier to handle the rejection.

If you weren’t aiming for only 2 sales, and instead were just hoping for as many sales as possible, each no could be crushing, as you’re hoping that every conversation will convert into sales. 

Key Points to Consider

Figure out why you’re setting your goals. What objective are you hoping to achieve, and is that objective meaningful?

Will your price determine your target, or will your target determine your price?

Understand whether you thrive under pressure or buckle under it. Set your targets accordingly.

Make your targets measurable and verifiable. Otherwise you won’t be able to track it, or analyse your performance. 

Make them specific and time-bound. e.g. having ten conversations, one of which is converted into a sale, every day, five days a week.

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