Sales Targets; Assigning More or Less than you Should

When it comes to assigning sales targets, we all understand this is a detailed and thorough exercise. As we analysed in previous articles, it is a process that requires the usage of certain quantitative and qualitative factors. 

Targets sometimes can deviate from the strict number that your “system” produces, by allocating to some sales people less and to others more than the ones generated by a formula. Allocating more or less than what you should is not a careless mistake as long as there is a justification behind it. 

Why though allocating different amounts to the calculated ones?

Your objective as a sales manager is not only to make the target of the team but to get the best out of your sales people in a particular moment. You don’t want to upset them but in the same time you don’t want to make things easy for them. Hence, you need to take sometimes into account reasons that cannot be factored in the initial allocation of the targets. 

Let’s see some of them. 

  1. The upcoming crisis in the market that would slow down sales, might be a reason to give less targets.
  2. The experience of sales people and their subject matter expert level is another reason especially to new comers that affects productivity. 
  3. The economics of a deal; if terms are changing and these are affecting customer decisions, it can be another reason to adjust targets.
  4. Expectation of changes in the competitive landscape due to corporate actions and changes in the dynamics. Maybe a huge competitor is going out of the market in your product line and you expect a higher inflow of deals coming your side.
  5. Launching new propositions, solutions, products or even features. All these can have an impact and sometimes a significant one in sales. The same applies with your competition. It might be that they have a stronger product development map and they go faster in launching new products.

If I could summarise my opinion on setting up targets, I would say that the first step is that allocation should follow specific rules. However, this quantitative approach shall give you a first draft of the targets. You should always look whether adjustments could be made. And if you believe that you should make them, do it.  

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