All team managers have the same goal: making sure that their sales team obtains the most. How can they achieve it? Obviously there is not a single answer, but one of the best ways to effectively manage a team is the so-called “Goal Management” approach, i.e. managing teams starting from the final goal.
What does “management by objectives” mean?
The underlying principle is that having clear in mind both their own short/long term goals, all team members can work more effectively being more motivated to achieve those. In fact, as many productivity experts say, writing your goals down and checking on them on a daily basis is a psychological spring able to focus your attention and increase your productivity.
The key to this method, which should enter in your team’s culture, is to have an effective way to plan goals, make them visible to everyone and measure their achievement over time. For this purpose, management software and CRMs are here to help, but most of them are more focused on the customer acquisition process and less on the team performance and motivation. Sellf, on the contrary, was conceived to be focused on achieving sales targets, like a personal trainer app that helps users train properly in view of the ultimate fitness goal. Just launch Sellf to see that your goals are in the first place: from the first screen it provides the overview of your monthly goals and an indication of how far you are in order to reach them, down at the level of the individual salesman level and up to the team level.
How to successfully set up a Goal Management strategy
But let’s see how a team manager can set up an effective Goal Management strategy using Sellf.
1. Structure the team.
Before starting to think about the goals, the team manager must draw a clear picture of his/her team structure, that is understanding what sub-sets of people work to achieve the same objectives. You can structure the team according to products/services categories, or by geographic area, or by team members seniority level: the important thing is that the structure actually suits your business. Once the structure is drafted, create a multi-level organization in Sellf and group into different sales lines the team members who work together.
2. Plan the goals.
This is the critical point: the goals must be a balance between challenging results that motivate people, and achievable results that make it possible to reach what was planned and to grow more and more over time. There are many schools of thought on how to plan objectives, from the SMART method (Specific, Measurable, Acceptable, Achievable and Timed) to more complex ones; in this article we gave some advice on how to plan goals and reach them effectively. In any case, an evergreen method for team managers to plan goals is to look in depth at the results that had been achieved during the previous year, to determine the objectives for each team member, and then have an open discussion with the team to ensure that the planned objectives are recognized and approved by everyone. In Sellf, goals can be both monetary and quantitative: in certain businesses the exact value of a deal can not be quantified in advance, so a goal in terms of how many deals should be closed each month is perfect.
3. Assign the goals.
Once the objectives are established, then the manager can assign them in Sellf to each team member, splitting goals on a monthly, quarterly and annual basis. Sellf will automatically calculate the goals for the whole team and for each sales line, giving everyone full visibility of what they need to achieve.
4. Monitor results in real-time.
Day by day, the manager can see what is happening with his/her team, either by viewing individual activities, like calls and meetings, to understand which activities are leading to good results (in an Activity Based Management optics), and in addition by having an immediate feedback on who is reaching his/her goal. Through Sellf integration with Slack, the manager can also be alerted immediately when a salesman wins a negotiation, and can then go and see the percentage of achievement of the goals directly in Sellf. This applies not only to the manager: every seller can monitor his/her own performance, seeing how far are they from their monthly goals and receiving notifications about the successes of their team mates.
5. Review the results together with your team often.
As discussed above, having a way to track what you are achieving is of extreme importance. Every week, month and quarter, the manager must be able to look at an aggregate level how things are going in your team, calculating their conversion rates (won deals against the total), calibrating the goals for the next period and promptly identifying any problems or difficulties. In the Sales Statistics area on the web, Sellf allows you to explore all the data about deals, stages of the customer acquisition process, lead sources, etc. through easy-to-read infographics with the desired level of granularity. The Leader Board creates a real-time ranking of all team members, showing who is closing more deals than the others. You can also find out early if one of your guys is having some issues in achieving his target: it’s in fact the first step to help him achieve more! Therefore the regular analysis of the results, to be carried out together with the whole team, should not be seen as a punitive moment but as an opportunity to find solutions together.
In conclusion, to be successful the team manager must ensure that all these activities concur to create an atmosphere of positive competition. Knowing our goals and seeing others who are reaching theirs should push us to always give our best, without creating a stressed out workplace! How can you achieve this? You need to make sure that everyone has understood completely the starting point of the Goal Based Approach: i.e. to give top priority to the goal of the team as a whole instead of just an individual one.
Think about it, speaking about goals, have you ever seen a football team in which the players do not rejoice when a mate scored the winning point?