Is Goal Setting Burning You Out?
The best sales professionals are among the most driven people in the world. They are driven by a mental picture of the life they desire and push themselves towards achievement.
But, depending on how the salesperson approaches this achievement it can also be one of the loneliest and downright depressing professions.
Salespeople learn early in their career to set goals regularly and to be constantly monitoring KPI’s - pipeline value, close ratios, revenue won etc... There are a number of reasons this is done and most of them have valid business reasons.
Goals are holding you back
I would like to suggest though that focusing all your energies on goals is what might be holding you back.
I know it did for me.
As James Clear suggests in his article “Forget About Setting Goals. Focus on This Instead” focusing on goals reduces current happiness, is at odds with long term progress and suggests that you can control things that you have no control over.
A typical month for a salesperson typically involves setting a target. As the month moves along, the tension begins to mount. About halfway through the month the salesperson is finding their sleep is broken as they begin to realize that there is not enough month left. With three days remaining they are getting no sleep at all. This is a tough place to be in as the tendency is to push ever so slightly to influence the buyers behavior towards the purchase. It is often this push that leads the buyer to put up mental blocks and ultimately shut down the transaction. No one likes to be sold.
Focus on the System Instead
I would like to suggest that salespeople should focus their thinking more on the system versus the goal.
Personally I decided to do this 5 or so years ago and it has worked wonders for my career and ultimately my life.
Let me explain...
If you’re a CRM software sales rep, your goal may be to sell $250K of new software and/or become the top rep in your company. Your system is to grow your pipeline and educate your prospects.
Would you agree that if you focused on the increasingly positive execution of the system; building strong value-based relationships, sharing relevant information on the CRM software industry, sharing relevant case studies, conducting demos, introducing subject matter experts where needed, being there to answer questions your clients might have etc... you would see results?
Yes you would! Consistent improvement and action always brings results.
I am not suggesting that you should throw goals out the window. Clearly they have a place and it is important to plan. However, a consistent mental focus on the goal is not moving you towards it. But a consistent mental focus on the system or process is moving you forward and will bring you the results you seek.
I suggest that instead of thinking “I only have two more months to achieve my annual target” you should think...
- What is one action I can take today to add a new prospect to the pipeline?
- What valuable piece of content can I share with John Smith that might help him in his decision process?
- How can I help Mary Jane explain the value proposition of a CRM investment to her management?
- Each morning write out these kinds of actions and spend your day in execution.
- Do you see how these thoughts are more empowering than worrying about the end result?
I suggest you give it a shot. It worked for me. Perhaps it will work for you too.