Stop W.A.G.ging your Sales Goals and Plan to Succeed

Liz Heiman
10.12.22 05:20 AM Comment(s)

Stop W.A.G.ging your Sales Goals and Plan to Succeed

It's the time of year that companies start setting next year's sales goals. The conversation begins with "What percentage increase can we do over last year?" Then someone picks an arbitrary amount, and away we go. 


Does that sound familiar?


In other words, it's a WAG (a wild-ass guess) based on nothing but a whim. And you expect the sales team to deliver, regardless of whether the market can support it or you have the internal resources to deliver.


Every year, sales teams worldwide get W.A.G.ged, and leaders expect them to magically make gold out of straw. Then, when the year ends, those same leaders who wagged their sales are shocked that sales didn't hit the unrealistic goal. Someone's head will roll. And another Sales Leader hits the dust.


STOP! Before you WAG your sales goals, assess the information you have from last year and the market and industry trends that will impact your sales. There is still a certain amount of uncertainty, but it will be much more realistic.


Start with what you know about last year. Which industries or verticals were buying from you? Which did you miss the mark on? Which products did you sell? Which territories had the most sales? Which sellers sold the most? Where did the leads come from? Once that is done, look at what the experts are saying about next year. This is the data that will inform your goals.

1. Assess the Industries

  • What happened in each sector last year?
  • What do the experts say about next year?
  • Which sectors are expanding, and which contacting?

2. Assess Products

  • Which industries are buying which products?
  • ​Which products are most profitable
  • ​Which kinds of companies are buying multiple products
  • ​Which products are hitting, missing, or exceeding goals?
  • ​Which products are customers most/least happy with?
  • How are we positioned vis-à-vis our competition

3. Assess Sellers 

  • Which sellers are hitting the goal?
  • Which sellers are selling which products?
  • What is the correlation between seller success and industry or product?
  • If you have successful channels figure out why they are successful.
  • What resources are required to sell more?
  • What training is required?
  • Who should go?

4. Assess Lead Generation 

  • What is the ratio of leads required to close enough deals?
  • Where did leads come from?
  • What is the ROI on each type of lead
  • How much is coming from new companies vs. existing clients?
  • How much room for growth is there in existing clients?
  • How much can you expect from new businesses?

Before making a WAG, do your research and build a sales and lead generation strategy that supports the goals you think you can hit. This year, instead of WAGging your sales team, set them up for success.

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Liz Heiman