Help your salespeople set the right goals (drawn from @jillkonrath)

Here is a crazy idea – stop talking with your salespeople about performance-based goals.

YES I really just said that!

It is something I’ve always believed and want you to take a moment to consider today if the people on your team really care about that number – either as a % of goal, a number on the W-2 or a sales revenue/margin #

dreamstimefree_30406Instead, check out two types of goals that Jill Konrath mentions from Heidi Grant Halvorson’s work at the Columbia Business School’s Motivation Science Center (pg 33 in Agile Selling):

“Why” goals for motivation. They help us get in touch with the benefits we’ll realize from achieving the goal.

“What” goals in order to achieve our big picture. That means we need to outline, to the best of our knowledge, specifically what actions we need to take to accomplish our goal.

Here is a coaching exercise I use to get at the why behind the numbers salespeople tell me are their goals.

What will that get you?

See it isn’t rocket science – it’s a sales question!

The key is to continue to ask that question until the salesperson doesn’t have a different answer. That will give you their WHY.

Here are three answers I’ve heard recently – financial stability for my family, to be free from worry about keeping my job, the ability to choose without regard to what something costs.

important safety tip: they have to trust you to be willing to have that conversation and not just clam up on you.

My approach to the what may seem a little odd. I work do with salespeople on seeing the whole picture of how to get from where they are to their why goal.

I focus on what they need to do first.

What action can you take today to make
a tiny step forward toward (insert their why goal)?

Many times the subsequent steps the salesperson need to take, change based on their experience with each tiny step. The view of “here” to their “why goal” changes with each step.

I encourage them to know the direction they are going but not worry about step 37 when they are on step 2 of their journey.

Want more … of course you do … well:
* buy Jill Konrath’s book, Agile Selling
* stay tuned & read the next post

image courtesy of © Dawn Hudson | Dreamstime

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