A Guide to the Most Important Types of Sales Objectives

19th November 2019 | 4 min read

A Guide to the Most Important Types of Sales Objectives

Any sales department worth its salt will know that a good set of sales objectives is vital to be able to measure success. Sales objectives ensure your salespeople have a clear idea of what to aim for, and can be employee-specific, or shared team goals. With no guidance on what is expected from them, your sales team may fail to run like the well-oiled machine it should be.

There are many different types of sales objectives, ranging from money-focused goals such as revenue and profit, to performance-based targets such as customer satisfaction or customer retention. Sales objectives can also help you to locate and identify areas of weakness and strengthen them.

In this article, we take a deep dive into some of the different sorts of sales objectives you may come across in the workplace.

Revenue and profit

The most important sales objective is often of course, money. Revenue-based sales objectives should aim to increase the revenue the sales team bring in; which can be measured by number of transactions or the individual cost of each transaction.

Revenue objectives can be set per individual, or for the team as a whole. You may also wish to consider the timescale of your revenue objective; for example, is the aim to increase sales over the quarter, or the year as a whole?

Looking for sales leads

Prospecting is essential in sales to be able to close more deals and make more money, and involves looking for potential customers or buyers for your services. The amount of sales leads the team gathers is therefore a crucial sales objective – especially the number of leads that end up progressing through the sales funnel and converting.

Cutting churn rates

The term ‘churn’ is used to describe the rate at which your customers cancel or fail to renew their subscription to your services. If your targets are subscription-based, cutting your churn rate is therefore a fantastic sales objective.

You can track and improve your churn rate by making it a top sales objective for your team. Increasing the quality of you customer onboarding, building customer trust and making sure to collect regular customer feedback should help you to reduce churn rate.

Retaining customer numbers

With no customers, there’s no money. A good sales team should not only endeavour to increase customer numbers, but encourage customers to stick around by maximising customer experience, being on-hand to answer any queries or complaints, maintaining regular contact with customers and offering loyalty rewards.

Sales capacity, capability and efficiency

If your numbers don’t look as good as they should, it could be down to your team not spending enough quality time on tasks. Two more good sales objectives are capacity and capability; the former dictating how much time your team should be spending on certain goals and the latter concerning how effective they are in achieving these goals.

Another similar objective is sales efficiency, which is the revenue of your team compared to sales costs (such as salaries, expenses etc.). By using this measure you can calculate the overall efficiency of your sales team and identify possible weak spots.

Product sales objectives

If your team needs to sell numerous products, a useful sales objective is to set specific targets per product. You may wish to promote different products at different times of the year, and setting sales objectives for specific products will make sure the right products are being pushed at the right time. For example, if you release a new line of products, you’ll want your sales team to spend adequate time promoting and selling it.

How to set good sales objectives

If you’re after some tips on how to create an achievable set of sales objectives, look no further.

Firstly, you’ll certainly require your objectives to be achievable, but at the same time challenging. After all, you don’t want your sales team to be resting on their laurels – setting goals which will take dedication and effort will ultimately create a harder-working team. To create the best sales objectives possible, use the SMART anagram to analyse each one (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Time-bound). If they are all SMART, you can be sure you’ve got a good set of objectives.

Next, set realistic timescales for your objectives. This will give the team a clear goal and help everyone to stay on track. If team members fall behind schedule, a timescale will steer them back on course and drive them towards targets. Keep an eye on team morale and try to offer motivation wherever you can. Without motivation, your salesforce risks missing key opportunities and dropping sales.

Above all, listen to your sales team. Are there any goals that aren’t working? Could switching out certain objectives and replacing them with alternative options be a smart move? Collect regular feedback from your team and consider adapting goals that don’t seem to be working as well. It’s not always about money and customer numbers – there are many ways of creating an effective and successful sales team.