Setting sales targets for your business
The Lombard Accountants team believe strongly that setting sales targets for your business and achieving them is solid practice for any aspirational, growing company. If you’re going to stretch the sales and marketing teams, it’s important to have clear, unambiguous targets for them to aim for. But what happens when a crisis looms?
In uncertain times it’s more than likely that your pre-crisis sales targets have effectively become unrealistic and impractical for your teams to use. But with things slowly returning to normal you can begin to reset your goals back to where they were pre – Covid.
So, how do you set sales targets during or after a pandemic? And how can you ensure these targets are meaningful, accurate and workable for your business goals?
Let’s take a look a look at some important steps for setting robust sales targets put together by the Lombard Accountants team:
- Understand your turnover and profit goals – do you know how many sales to make if you’re going to break even, or want to actually make money? Understanding your gross margin, your break-even point and your desired profit margin helps you calculate how many sales will be needed to achieve this profit goal. Bear in mind, of course, that your sales will be down during a crisis and work this into your figures and targets.
- Make your targets SMART – if you set sales targets then these numbers have to be Smart (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely). Break them down into achievable goals, such as weekly or monthly targets, and track your actual sales over time so you can see how you’re performing against your target. Look at regular performance reports and make these part of your regular management meetings, so you can discuss how you’re tracking and can take evasive action if you’re not hitting the desired targets.
- Track other sales elements – in challenging times, or not, it’s also worth considering what other elements of the sales process you can measure, to get a handle on how you’re doing as a business. Track things like calls/enquiries, visits to your home page, trials, bookings or customer demos. Analyse what drove these enquiries or visits, so you understand where things worked well and you can do more of the same.
- Fill the information gaps – Are there any gaps you could fill to get a better understanding of the market and your customers? A proactive effort to make more follow-up calls with existing customers can be incredibly informative. Running a customer feedback survey can also help to gauge where the sales process works well, where you could do better and what their future buying intentions might be over the coming months of the crisis.
The Lombard Accountants team hope these tips may help your business return to, or improve upon where it was pre-pandemic.
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