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Silicon Valley Sales Group, Inc. | Santa Clara, CA

Dave Mattson

You’ve thought it out, gotten motivated and set a lofty goal for your sales and performance this year – so you are all set, right? Not so fast; setting the goals is just the beginning. Careful planning now can help you beat the odds when it comes to your sales goals and ensure you have the successful year you are planning for. Setting the right goals for the New Year is a great start. In a recent post, we covered the best way to set obtainable goals that are SMARTER – using a specific format designed to ensure your goals are measurable and attainable. Whether you use this system or take a different approach, the things you do in the first quarter will have a big impact on your outcome at the end of the year.  

This year's theme is Vision Driven Success. It is two days packed with non-stop training on sales, management or enterprise-level selling. Each trainer will bring real-world tactics, strategies, and ground-level tools that you can immediately implement in your business. 

Hiring season is here, and it’s you’re chance to show off your skills and really shine. You may be one in a million, but you could be competing with dozens of others to secure the sales job you’ve been dreaming of. The right preparation and an idea of some of the elements that are commonly included in sales interviews can help give you an edge.

What does it take to be an effective leader? Do the skills that make you an effective manager—planning, organization, and communication—make you an effective leader? Or, does it take something else—something more?

It’s that time of year again. During the month of January, we’re likely to make promises to ourselves about how we’re going to do better, how we’re going to shake things up in the year to come, how we’re going to make a positive, lasting change in our lives and our careers.

It happens every single year. You begin with lofty sales goals and quotas in January – but by December, you wonder what happened and end up trying to figure out where your team went wrong. Lack of motivation may not be the problem – you may just be taking the wrong approach to goal setting.

Our experience with sales teams is that less than 20% of all salespeople set written goals of any kind. We estimate that the income of this elite minority of salespeople is predictably and consistently greater than the 80-plus percent who don’t set written goals — combined! You can help each of the members of your team join the ranks of the top performers… by helping them to craft strong written goals.

Having a big pipeline of “prospects” is typically seen as desirable. The more prospects you put into the pipeline, the more will eventually emerge as customers. At least that’s the theory. And the theory is partially true. Some of the people you put in the pipeline will become customers. The question is, “How many will be customers and how long will it take for them to materialize from the other end of the pipe?”

Leaders need to be involved in both strategic planning and team goal setting, but there’s a built-in problem here. Teams often tend to focus on immediate tasks, on “putting out fires,” and on familiar routines rather than the strategically vital organizational targets we set for the coming year.

The transition from employee to manager is tricky in any position, but it can be especially challenging in the sales department. The skill sets are different, and the boundaries can get blurred in sales. Whether you are currently a sales rep looking to advance your career into sales management or a newly minted manager trying to make the transition to leader, there are some important things to keep in mind as you evolve from one role into another.