Posts Tagged ‘sales goals’

The 12 Days of Increase Sales Leadership Questions – Day 2

Desiring to increase sales leadership truly begins with asking internal questions regarding your own beliefs and behaviors. This next question follows the first increase sales leadership question asked on 12/4/2017:

How do you know you are doing something differently? 

Hint to answer this question is “What are the results?”

By recognizing the importance of the results keeps you from this all too common sales leadership behavior:

Confusing motion with progress and activity with results.

With change and life happening at record speeds, it is quite easy to get caught up with all the craziness busyness sales activities and lose sight of what behaviors have actually made a difference.

What behaviors have moved us forward instead of us just treading water, thinking we are making progress?

Since so many in sales miss their annual sales goals, the inability to know whether they are truly doing something differently to change the status quo is extremely important. They think they have made progress when they look at their calendar, can recite how many sales meeting they have had and yet they are almost creating their own delusional state of mind where complacency has created a false sense of achievement.

Knowing the results and more importantly what activities create those results is essential to increase sales leadership outcomes.  Today, there are many apps than can assist in keeping salespeople on track.

Years ago my father created his own paper application where he gave himself the following daily points:

  • 1 Point for each new sales lead
  • 2 Points for setting an appointment
  • 3 Points for having the actual meeting
  • 4 Points for earning the sale (closed sale)

He would not give himself duplicate points for the same sales lead respective to having an actual meeting unless it was truly an actual meeting where the sale was moving forward such as meeting with another decision maker. Dad understood how salespeople can get lost in a plethora of meetings and fool themselves thinking they were moving the sale forward.

Then at the end of the week, he would add up his points.  Over time he established a baseline to know how many points were required to earn a sale. This baseline did fluctuate depending upon the time of year as his product was either replacement or new application which might required new budgeting.

These two question and the next 10 increase sales leadership questions are about creating self awareness so that you will achieve your 2018 sales goals as well as not have all that stress associated with missing those sales goals.

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A Human Malady: The Status Quo of Achievement

Many people continually strive to change the status quo.  Then once they reach whatever they want to achieve, receive their accolades, they stop.  I was reminded of this when listening to Coach Lou Holtz give a commencement speech and he shared his greatest mistake.

Listen to Lou Holtz speech

Status Quo  of Satisfaction

We observe this in sales.  For those who meet sales goals, they suddenly become satisfied and stop prospecting.  Coasting now becomes the observable behavior and translates into complacency.”Why sell more?” becomes the rationale question to justify this coasting behavior. Continued achievement will give them no more in sales compensation.

How about with personal or professional development?  People reach a level of achievement and stop learning.

status-quoWe see this by the number of books people read or don’t read. Are you one of the 42% of U.S. college grads who never read another book after graduation?

The world is changing minute by minute because of technology through connectivity and innovation.  Artificial intelligence (AI) along with robots are here not to mention all the other scientific inroads.

When we find satisfaction with the status quo, we are not growing. We are not moving forward.

My father and his family were immigrants into this country.  All three of his brothers until they died had a tower of books to read.  The older two brothers along with my father died before computers became part of every day life. However the third brother used the Internet on a daily basis to find answers to his questions.

Each year I draft a personal improvement plan that includes 100 hours of off site professional development.  This year I will be learning about real estate as a recent move has made me realize I know very little about land and real estate.

My own personal and professional development includes reading at least 1 hour every day.  This is not difficult to do given how many articles I read along with professional publications, blogs, newspapers, etc.

The status quo of achievement is indeed a human malady and translates into a barrier to continued any success be it sales, leadership or even health. Once we realize we must look to always challenge the status quo, we can indeed understand life is truly about moving forward, seeking that next level of achievement.

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Another Monday Morning and Your Sales Game Plan Is?

Mondays come and go along with all the sales opportunities they hold.  When you have a sales sale game plan, there is a far greater likelihood of capitalizing on those sales opportunities.

Possibly, you may wish to consider having a checklist as you begin your sales week.

  1. Check your calendar for today’s activities – 30 seconds
  2. Check your calendar for the forthcoming week’s activities – 15 seconds
  3. Check your calendar for the rest of the month – 15 seconds
  4. Read and clean out your email – 10 minutes
  5. Organize your desk, file any loose papers – 5 minutes
  6. Review and update your sales goals – 1 minute
  7. Review and update your marketing goals – 1 minute
  8. Review and update your personal goals – 1 minute
  9. Devote 20 minutes for reading – 20 minutes
  10. Invest 15 minutes and write down any thoughts, an article, etc. – 15 minutes
  11. Read your affirmations or what I call positive belief statements – 2 minutes
  12. Check to make sure all smart devices are charged, pens work and you have business cards – 4 minutes

This checklist can work with your sales game plan.  By investing 60 minutes each morning, you can get ahead of what needs to be done and start your Monday with all cylinders firing.

One of my favorite quotes is my U.S. President and General Dwight Eisenhower who said:  “Plans are worthless; planning is everything.”  Your Monday morning checklist is truly about planning your sales game so you can take advantage of all those expected and even more important unexpected sales opportunities.

Most of us know how good it feels to be on top of things.  What happens far too often we get behind because we failed to invest some proactive time planning our day, our week, our month and our year. This planning failure contributes to those potentially negative subconscious feelings and leaves us with those all too often “would of, could of, should of” Weasel Words.

Monday mornings are a time to seize the day and make each week one of incredible peace and abundance.

Not really sure how to construct your sales game plan? Then schedule a time to speak with Leanne by CLICKING HERE or call 219.508.2859 MST.

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Do You Really Want to Increase Sales?

How many times have I heard “I really want to increase sales” or “I need to sell more?”  Yet the results speak for themselves as the majority of salespeople do not meet their sales quotas or sales goals.

The want is a human desire. It is both external and internal.  Until the internal desire is truly emotionally energized reinforced with logical thinking, it will only be a want never a fulfillment of that burning desire to increase sales. It ends up being only an external desire or really a very weak wish.

How often do people say they really, really want to lose weight?  Yet, they “cheat” by eating this or that.  All those “this and that” cheating moments add up to extra calories.

Possibly all this cheating is why people seek the quick fix to improving their lives.  Buy this smart device or this software “app” and magically you will have all the business you ever imagined.

Cheating short circuits the desire and limits the ability to secure the desired results.

To change your results, you must change how you think, how to do things.

Change is not easy just like thinking.

What would happen if you invested the time to emotionalize your want to increase sales?  This would mean sitting down and writing all the good things that would happen if you achieved this want, this sales goal.

Then after listing all those good outcomes, do the reverse.  List all the bad outcomes.  Fill the paper until you can write no more.

Emotionalize your future, because that is what you are doing.

Some people have a dream board where those positive outcomes are in front of them each day.  This helps them visualize the future.

If you want to increase sales or change any aspect of your life, then ask yourself “Do you really, really want this change?”  What are you willing to do to make it so?  By the way, when you find yourself cheating you may realize you truly don’t want to change.

Want to increase sales?  Give me a call and let’s talk. Schedule your time here on my calendar.


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Are You Embracing This Presumption When Setting Sales Goals?

End of the year or quarter is when sales managers review and then start setting sales goals. The reason I did not state “new” sales goals is because sales research suggests most salespeople do not achieve their goals (quota) estimated by TAS Group to be 67% and so the goals are not new.



Possibly the reason for this continued failure to achieve quota is because of this serious and unspoken presumption:

Most people know how to consistently set and achieve their own personal goals.

Just look to the number of people continually wanting to lose weight, wishing for more success or setting New Year’s resolutions if you disagree.

  • Fact – Goal setting for the most part is not a learned skill
  • Fact – Goal achievement for the most part is not a learned behavior

Think for a moment when you had any teaching or training on how to set your own personal goals?  In many instances the goals were set for you by someone else and then you were left on your own to change your behavior to achieve the goal.

To believe salespeople when setting sales goals can achieve them when they cannot achieve their own personal goals is beyond ridiculous. This presumption is fatal to everyone concerned from the the individual to the SMB to the stakeholders.

For over 10 years I have been administering this one simple psychometric assessment, The Attribute Index, and it reveals that the super majority of people over 90% have “realistic personal goal setting” as one of their lower talents.  When my sales coaching clients start setting their own personal goals and achieving them then it is far easier in setting sales goals and drum roll…achieving them.

Download this FREE 78-core-talents-self-eval-dl to self assess yourself and take advantage of a special offer to learn if you are engaged in this dangerous presumption.


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Start 2017 Sales With This Aim Small, Miss Small Focus

One of my most favorite quotes is in the movie The Patriot where the father reminds his sons to “aim small, miss small.” I only wish those seeking to increase 2017 sales would heed this advice.



When salespeople have crystal clarity as to:

  • Ideal customer (role, demographics, psychographics)
  • Ideal target market (industry)
  • Trigger events (market changes and forces)
  • Value their solutions deliver

Then and only then can they truly maximize these words of wisdom “aim small, miss small.”

With the new year fast approaching, some salespeople are probably setting 2017 sales goals or receiving sales goals from their SMB owners or sales managers. In many instances based upon working with my executive and sales coaching clients, these goals are beyond unrealistic.

Those BHAG, big, hairy, audacious goals, are great if they are the goals of each individual salesperson or if there is a collective buy in as discussed in yesterday’s blog posting of “Imagine This Truly Forward Thinking Sales Kick Off Meeting.” Yet the question to be asked is how many of these BHAG are actually achieved?

Why not considered instead of eating all the elephant (BHAG) at one sitting, eat just one bite at a time. Focus on one small area such as in January reconnecting via a personal call or visit with all existing customers with the goal to secure at least one sales referral from each loyal customer. February’s sales goal (think a second bite) could be connect with all those sales referrals.

The aim small, miss small attitude works extremely well with the WAY SMART goal setting criteria.

WAY:  W – Written; A – Actionable; Y – Yours

SMART:  S – Specific (aim small); M – Measurable; A – Aligned to Purpose, Passion and Plans; R – Realistically Set High; T – Target Date, Time Driven

Yes when we aim small, we do miss small. This is not to discourage the vision of the company or current mission. Rather it works with ensuring consistent execution of existing strategic initiatives or objectives.

Doesn’t it make more sense to consistently achieve the smaller  2017 sales goals than to aim big and miss big wasting a lot of resources that you or your SMB can ill afford?

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Imagine This Truly Forward Thinking Sales Kick Off Meeting

A new quarter is quickly approaching.  Sales managers and SMB owners are scrambling to schedule their next Sales Kick Off meeting.  What would happen if the following took place?

sales kick off


One the screen is the predetermined annual sales goal broken down into quarterly goals based upon the last five years of sales per quarter.

Then the sales team (depending upon size) breaks into small groups and each group determines their own sales goals based upon their current sales funnel and their own motivation.

Note:  This is a working sales kick off meeting. To start the meeting could be some inspirational speaker or video.

Depending upon the time given to this sales kick off meeting, discussion could go beyond sharing of sales goals and into limitations that might keep the salespeople from achieving those goals.

Sales Coaching Tip:  Execution is still the second greatest limitation to achieving sales goals.

This approach is truly forward thinking because it works with the Theory of Self Determination. Those who are loyal readers of this blog have been exposed to this theory numerous times.  However for new readers here is a quick synopsis.

Back in the 1970s, Deci and Ryan developed the Theory of Self Determination. Their research revealed that human beings have three (3) shared intrinsic motivators:

  • Mastery
  • Autonomy (choice)
  • Purpose (as it relates to people)

Why this approach is forward thinking is because most sales kickoff meetings ignore these three motivators especially autonomy as goals are not a choice, but constructed by the sales manager or SMB owner. Additionally, the salespeople usually know their clients and markets (mastery) probably better than their sales managers or SMB owners.  This mastery bhy the salespeople is ignored.

Integrating this approach within a proven goal setting and goal achievement process reinforced by a proven goal setting worksheet can potentially explode the sales for the next quarter as well as year.  Many people will work up to the bar because when goals (the bar) are set by others they become a psychological restraint. Then this thought emerges:

Why do any more when this is expected of me?

Finally, when this innovative approach is taken with the sales kick-off meeting, then it naturally builds WIIFM (What’s in it for me?) leading to WIIFU (What’s in it for us?” Now doesn’t this make far more sense?

* * * * *

Leanne Hoagland-Smith has some openings in her 2017 schedule if you wish to have her work with your sales team to truly have an highly engaged and energetic sales kick off meeting. CLICK HERE to schedule a time to speak with Leanne.

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Want to Achieve Your Sales Goals? Add this Secret!

Consistently achieving annual sales goals is a challenge.  For the last 19 years when speaking or conducting sales workshops I ask these question:


  • How many of you have not consistently achieved your sales goals?  Again anywhere from 50% to 90% of the hands are raised.
  • How many know about SMART goals?  Usually, 75% to 90% of the hands raised.
  • So if you all know about SMART goals, what is the problem?

Then I ask this question:

After you write your SMART goal, what is the next action that you take?

The standard response is action steps.  And this action is why many fail to achieve their sales goals or any goals.

Beyond the overall goal setting process, the secret to consistent goal achievement is through this one word:


The goal be it a sales goal, an organizational goal, a leadership goal or a personal goal must be emotionalized. Why? Because people are emotional creatures.  We are driven by our emotions. We make decisions based on our emotions, justified by logic.  To go immediately to action steps ignores the emotions, the emotional importance of achieving or not achieving the goal.

When salespeople invest the time to emotionalize the goals, the importance of achieving it, they are building a stronger internal motivation to achieve the goal.  Conversely, when they emotionalize the importance of not achieving it, this also helps to build emotional resiliency.

Years ago I read a study (one I did not save) that over 100 CEOS of Fortune 500 companies were asked about their motivation to achieve a goal.  I remember 47% said the failure to achieve the goal was the driving force to achieve the goal.  These individuals were not motivated by money or position. No what motivated them to achieve was the potential of failing.

So if you want to consistently achieve your sales goals now and in the future, remember to emotionalize them.  Invest that time and you just may be surprised by the results.

Possibly your goal setting worksheet doesn’t provide the opportunity to emotionalize your goals, you may find this goal setting worksheet helpful.  If you make the nominal investment of $9.97, schedule a free 30 minute by clicking HERE coaching session with me and I will walk you through this incredible tool.


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The Source of Your Sales Frustration Maybe…

With the end of the year quickly coming to a close, my sense is for many salespeople, sales frustration is growing.  Sales goals, sales quotas and sales revenues are still short.  Sales management and executives continue to push sales teams. All of this pushing is not helping to increase sales, but truly limiting sales results.



Some believe frustration is because of a lack of a sales process, misalignment, unrealistic sales goals to even poor strategic planning from the top. Yet maybe the source of sales frustration is much closer to home?

What I know to be true, is most people do not know what they do well. I have debriefed over 500 Attribute Indexes as published by Innermetrix and can say nearly 98% (97.8%) of these individuals do not know what they do well.  Conversely, they have know with nearly the same percentage (98.2%) what they do not do well.

Think about what these results are saying?

Do they make sense?

When we fail to know what we do well, our talents, we miss sales opportunities. Many of these missed sales sales opportunities can be directly linked to failures in earning the sale.

Additionally, when we focus on what we don’t do well, all that negative conditioning from childhood rears its ugly head.  This is like treading water and making no progress to the finish line of a “closed sale.”

Frustration has physical manifestations from the tone of our voice to our overall body language.  I also believe sales frustration can be sensed by the sales leads.  For some this is called desperation which is the outward manifestation of frustration.

Stress is another outward manifestation of frustration.  Salespeople end up focusing on what they cannot control instead of thinking about how to use their talents to bring a situation under their influence and ultimate control.

If you think you know what you do well, congratulations! However for many, they are surprised by the ranking of 78 key talents. If you are willing to be surprised, you may wish to learn more about this talent assessment or click here to schedule a conversation to learn more.

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An Unconventional Solution to Reduce Sales Stress

Sales stress happens to many salespeople. Gotta make those monthly or quarterly sales goals is a continual conscious and usually unconscious thought.  Yet it is amazing how many salespeople ignore this somewhat unconventional solution.


Embrace a written goal setting and goal achievement  WAY SMART process both personally and professionally.

Possibly the reason this solution is not implemented is there is an existing presumption that people including salespeople know how to set and achieve goals.  Reality is they don’t.

What happens is people look at daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly and yearly sales goals. Then they start frantically dialing for dollars; attending as many B2B networking events or engaging in some other energy draining sales prospecting activity.

If they only had invested the time to clarify their own goals and then put them down in writing, the inevitable sales stress would have been dramatically reduced.

Research by 3M suggested individuals who write things down have a 42% greater likelihood of finishing that task.

What would a 42% reduction of your current stress do for you?

Consistent goal setting and goal achievement is a process.  It is not something individual learn through osmosis or some quick fix sales training seminar.  The process must be supported with a goal worksheet that reinforces the overall goal setting and goal achievement process.

Let us not forget for the most part stress is a reactionary behavior.  Yes there are some things in life that create immediate and uncontrollable reactions such as ill health. However much of life we can control provided we are willing to make the effort.

In working with executive coaching and sales coaching clients, I have them work through a goal setting and goal achievement process.  This is one of the first coaching discussions we have.

Yes it is a time consuming process to begin with. However over time what happens is the process becomes embedded as a critical thinking skill. Clients then becomes mentally engaged in how to achieve the goal.  They are now more in control of their desired end results.

Sales stress is not fun and not all sales stress can be 100% eliminated. What you can do as a SMB owner or sales professional is to reduce as much of that stress both personally and professionally just by writing your goals down and then working through a proven process.

Learn more about  proven goal setting process reinforced by a great goal setting worksheet.

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