A Coach’s Guide to Setting Goals with Your Sales Team

Produced By Julie ann Wessinger, National Director of Client Performance Strategies | August 16, 2019

Goal-setting for and with your employees can have a major impact on your sales team and broader organization, especially when sales leaders offer the right amount of coaching and support.

3 Reasons to Set Goals
As a manager, it’s important to understand what you should (and shouldn’t) do to help employees establish goals they feel good about, while also ensuring these goals feed into the overall successes of your team and organization. 

1. Offer the right amount of support in setting and sustaining goals


Sales leaders should provide guidance and leadership when working with employees to set and accomplish their goals. However, there is a delicate balance between supporting your employees and micromanaging them.

What you don’t want to do as a leader is set goals on behalf of your employees without considering their strengths, desires, and aspirations. Making this mistake is likely to lead to less goal achievement - either because the goals are too challenging and unrealistic, or because the employee has no connection to the goal and is thus not motivated to achieve it.

You also don’t want to take an entirely hands-off approach to individual goal setting, as this can lead to a lack of accountability and purpose.

Related Blog Post: Grow Your Sales by 18% With These Coaching Strategies

2. Establish goals that are challenging, but achievable

Consider your employees’ strengths and weaknesses when helping them establish goals that are challenging, but at the same time, realistic. The more you understand your employees’ skillsets and performance styles, the better you can aid them in setting goals. 

Establishing goals that resonate with your employees will provide them with a sense of value and ownership that is likely to manifest as a drive to achieve the goals.

3. Support goal commitment, drive, and accountability

There are many ways you can help motivate your employees to work towards their goals. These coaching strategies include the following:

  • Advise employees to write down goals to make daily application – and therefore goal achievement – more likely.
  • Use action-oriented language, correct wording, and other effective communication tactics when working with employees on their goals to prevent miscommunication and boost goal progress.i
  • Establish and communicate the personal value of each goal to keep employees motivated.ii
  • Identify the larger organizational, community and customer impact of an employee’s goals to keep them engaged. 
  • Create opportunities for employees to establish goals that speak to their interests to inspire more engagement and goal achievement.iii

Related Blog Post: You Can Do It! Motivation in 3 Steps

By helping employees to understand their goals and encouraging them to believe in their attainability, you can foster an environment of support that is sure to motivate your team to success.

4. Ensure goals can be quantified and measured


When co-creating goals with your employees, it is also important to agree on clearly defined benchmarks, so the progress and success of each goal is quantifiable, aka easier to track. Setting “SMART” goals is one of the best ways to ensure that everyone is on the same page when it comes to setting, tracking, and measuring each goal.

The five characteristics of a SMART goal are as follows:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable 
  • Realistic 
  • [Having a] Timeline

By clarifying and quantifying goal outcomes, SMART goals can help motivate employees to meet their goals within the identified time period, thereby inspiring a stronger environment of success for individual team members and the sales team as a whole.

5. Help re-evaluate & rework unfulfilled goals 

It is hard to get a goal perfectly right on the first try, so it is reasonable to say you will need to help many employees rework their goals. When that time comes, put your coaching hat on so you can unearth the root cause of the issue and help your employees land on a more suitable goal.

There are two main reasons an employee could be struggling to meet their goals: either they are unmotivated to reach it, or the goal is overly ambitious/unrealistic. If an employee is struggling with a goal, it is important to find out why, so you can appropriately coach them on reworking set goals – i.e. presenting new ways to meet the goal, checking in more frequently on progress, or changing the goal to better fit the employee’s strengths and interests.

Stay involved with your employees’ goals to sustain shared accountability. Schedule regular sessions with your employees to check-in on goal progress and offer advice on goals they are struggling with.

Though it may take some time and resources on the front end, the benefits of goal-setting will quickly make-up for the initial investment.

Allied Solutions recognizes the need to have an easy, reliable tool for setting, tracking and analyzing sales goals. That is why we created performance tracking software for financial institutions.

julieann.wessinger@alliedsolutions.net to learn more about accelerating your team’s performance with our sales coaching and development solutions. 

Click here to learn how Allied Solutions is helping our industry maximize and grow sales performance. 

About Allied Solutions

Allied Solutions, LLC is one of the largest providers of insurance, lending, and marketing products to financial institutions in the US. Allied Solutions uses technology based products and services customized to meet the needs of 4,000 clients along with a portfolio of innovative products and services from a wide variety of providers. Allied Solutions maintains over 15 regional offices and service centers around the country and is a subsidiary of Securian Financial Group, Inc.

i https://trainingindustry.com/blog/content-development/4-tips-for-setting-effective-learning-goals/
ii https://trainingindustry.com/articles/strategy-alignment-and-planning/effective-goal-setting-how-setting-smart-goals-creates-a-culture-of-innovation/
iii https://hbr.org/2011/02/making-sure-your-employees-suc

Read the Blog: Grow Your Sales by 18% With These Coaching Strategies

Content in the blog posts are the opinion and views of the writer, and don't necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Allied Solutions.

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