In 2022, over 20% of surveyed sales leaders listed leveraging their company CRM as a top priority for the year ahead. But what does this goal actually look like? How can you measure it? How do you know if it’s the right goal to prioritize in the first place?
Setting sales goals is an important part of driving results across a quarter or entire annual period, but it’s even more important to set goals that can actually be measured, tracked, and achieved. There’s no universal consensus on goal setting frameworks: some organizations turn to the SMART goal framework, while others use the objectives and key results (OKR) framework. What’s important is establishing goals that center around efficient, effective performance.
If your team is setting goals, make sure your leadership team is creating the right environment to reach them as effectively as possible.
This guide to hitting sales efficiency targets focuses on the tools and tips that will enable your team to hit their goals, including:
- How to set achievable goals
- Clearing clutter out of your leads process so you can focus on efficiency
- Streamlining the entire sales process so there are fewer inefficiencies
- Providing the right technology that aligns with your team’s goals
Sales Efficiency Starts With Crystal-Clear Targets and Goals
Sales efficiency analyzes your sales team’s performance at one level deeper than general production. After all, if your team is highly productive but very inefficient, you’ll see high revenue without high profits. Instead, sales efficiency metrics analyze how much revenue is generated per salesperson or per sales dollar, giving you a clearer view. To boost sales efficiency, you’d need to increase production per sales rep or reduce the money it takes for a given value of sales production.
There are two different lenses through which you can view sales efficiency targets: team goals and individual goals.
How to Set the Right Team-Based Goals
To set useful team-based goals, it’s important to identify factors that are either holding back sales efficiency or, if improved, could scale sales efficiency. They should also focus on objectives that affect the whole team. These goals could include:
- Switching to a new CRM or sales enablement platform
- A weekly meeting for sharing feedback, advice, and insights
- Budgetary goals
How to Set Individual Sales Goals
Individual goals are just as important for maximizing sales efficiency, but they often have to be considered from a team-wide perspective. For example, every sales rep may have the goal of:
- Filling in account details more diligently after each outreach
- Following up with each lead at least five times (Most customers say no four times, so five calls can go a long way to maximizing lead value)
- Completing X hours of sales training or role-play simulations to improve sales technique
While every member of the team can have the same goals, they should be measured independently to gauge adherence—and to measure any changes in performance.
4 Tips for Maximizing Sales Efficiency and Reaching Your Goals
Setting goals is a crucial first step, but it’s just the first step. Your team needs to have the right sales environment and resources that can empower them to reach those goals. Before your next goal-setting meeting or initiative, use these tips to either set the stage for a successful year or to further guide your goal-setting decisions.
1. Set Realistic Efficiency Goals: Make Them Challenging But Not Too Ambitious
The measurable objectives you set should aim toward greater sales efficiency. The question many people struggle with is how to make those goals quantifiable—and, beyond that, how to make sure the measurable goal isn’t too easy or too hard. If the goal is too easy to achieve, the team or individual salespeople won’t flourish as much as they would have with a bigger goal. Your organization also won’t see the efficient profits you’re looking for.
But if the goal is too ambitious, it can be incredibly demotivating. Salespeople will struggle to hit milestones, feel helpless, and either give up on the process or start to suffer from burnout. While providing sales reps with the right tools can help you set more ambitious goals for everyone, you don’t want to push too hard.
Also, engage your salespeople in the process of setting goals. They can honestly evaluate their ability to make strides in certain areas, especially if they’re already stressed or overwhelmed. It’s also a good tactic for getting employee buy-in; when they’re part of the goal-setting process, they feel more ownership over the process and gain more confidence in their skills.
2. Create a System for Prioritizing Leads
This may be a goal for your sales leadership team or RevOps team, but it needs to be in place before you can really push sales efficiency targets. Develop a standardized process for scoring leads, prioritizing incoming leads, and helping sales reps identify which leads to spend more time on. Once these mechanisms are in place, salespeople can move through their leads and outreach protocols more efficiently, without pausing to think about who should be contacted next or what they should allocate each morning to.
This system should be a mechanism in the goals themselves. If you task salespeople with particularly risky but potentially high-value prospects, that can take away from the lower dollar but more likely sales. You want goals that accommodate both types of prospects, and a lead management system will help.
The more you can involve automated technology in this process, the better. After all, time is a valuable resource, and you don’t want salespeople spending too much of it scoring leads and updating profiles when they should be selling.
3. Streamline the Sales Process
When the sales process is full of gaps, uncertainties, and bottlenecks, even the best salespeople can’t be efficient. Throwing more work hours and more effort into a poorly designed system will only lead to burnout and frustration, with very little profit to show for it. Take the time now to evaluate your sales process by considering:
- What resources can you provide that eliminate a lot of frequently asked internal questions?
- Where do salespeople see the most delays?
- Where do most prospects leave the funnel?
- Are there any repetitive or unnecessary steps in the sales process?
If you can streamline the activity necessary for converting a prospect to a paying customer, the way is clear. Then it’s up to your sales team, and no confounding factors will get in the way of assessing their performance.
4. Invest in Better Sales Training
You can ramp up sales productivity and sales efficiency through better training. For example, nearly half of salespeople don’t make follow-up attempts on a lead, drastically increasing the cost and inefficiency of every lead brought in. This is often because following up after a ‘no’ is unpleasant, and your sales reps may not feel comfortable going back for a second, third, or fourth ‘no’ before getting a potential ‘yes.’ While making follow-ups a standard process can help, the most effective way to reach your sales efficiency targets is to give salespeople ample practice, tactics, and resources so they become better salespeople.
Zeroing in on Sales Efficiency Via Better Training: 3 More Tips
That last tip—implementing better sales training—is particularly effective for boosting sales efficiency, especially if you invest in the right training resources that make it less manual. Consider:
1. Use AI to Improve Your Training
Simulations and role-playing exercises are highly effective ways to train salespeople because they gain experience responding to questions, formulating pitches, and keeping the conversation going. The more practice they have, especially if they receive immediate feedback and can try again, the better. But this is time-intensive, and managers often can’t manage more than intermittent training. An AI-based training resource can provide endless opportunities for practice, coaching, and feedback.
2. Add Training Goals to the List
Focusing on training is also valuable because you can make it a measurable goal. You can set goals regarding hours of training participation. Alternatively, once you have a baseline assessment for each salesperson, they can set personalized goals to boost performance in key areas for improvement such as rep knowledge or skills. As the quarter progresses, both the sales rep and their manager can stay on top of milestones and improvements through a training program that provides a wealth of meaningful data.
3. Make Implementing an AI-Based Training Program a Goal for Your Organizational, and Connect it to Sales Performance
Implementing a training platform that significantly improves sales performance and gives leadership more insights into sales efficiency is critical, so make it a goal for your sales leaders or other stakeholders. You can set goals for integration timelines, assess the actual impact on sales performance and employee engagement, and make sure everyone on the team is pushing toward greater sales efficiency.
Power More Sales Efficiency With Better Goals and Better Training Systems
It’s not enough to set goals or efficiency targets. Instead, your organization needs to create the right environment for growth—with clear systems, better training, and attainable, measurable goals. Quantified is here to help with our unique AI-powered sales training platform. Your reps can get a baseline assessment of their skills and continually work through role-playing simulations with the assistance of an AI coach who provides personalized feedback and advice. Contact us today to see how the right sales training can set the foundation for hitting your sales efficiency targets.