3 unusual sales targets that bring in more print business

It’s all about the journey, not the destination

We were lucky enough to spend Christmas in Lapland (and we got to see the Northern Lights!). But just saying we were going to go would not have resulted in us actually having our holiday there. We had to book accommodation and flights.

Organising the journey was a crucial part of getting the right result.

It’s vital to plan the sales journey as well

All too often I see sales people that have targets. But they don’t have a plan for achieving them. They rely on the fact that things went well last year. In some cases, when there is a significantly increased target, the sales person relies on blind optimism! Sales targets rarely include actual sales activity.

Companies that target and measure sales activity are more likely to control the results of their sales people. They know that the team is more likely to be working effectively they can see how sales targets will be achieved.

Printing companies that leave the choice of activity to the sales person are less likely to achieve their sales targets. Often, they don’t have a clear idea of exactly what their sales people are doing.

Here are three examples of activity targets that could be set for a sales team. They are all based on activities, not sales numbers.

Referrals are a great way to increase your print sales - make sure you have a referral target

Referrals are a great way to increase your print sales – make sure you have a referral target

Referrals

If done correctly, referrals are a fantastic way to get conversations with likely prospects. Everyone should be doing them as a standard part of their sales activity. In reality, only 11% of sales people ask for referrals (source: Dale Carnegie).

Given this low level of referral activity, companies should be measuring this. Every salesperson should be tasked with asking a certain number of contacts for referrals every week. Some printing companies take is even further. They run a referrals scheme throughout the company.

Here’s another activity that every salesperson should be carrying out.

Social media

Again, a large number of sales people ignore this channel. However, I know of no better way to find new prospects and to start engaging them.

Salespeople could be tasked with making a certain number of new social media connections every week. They should also be tasked with engagement activities and moving connections off-line into the sales pipeline.

The next target is also a form of off-line social media.

Events

It is essential to attend events that are focused around your target market. This is an excellent way to increase your company profile. A good salesperson will also be able to meet a good number of new prospects. It’s another excellent way to fill your sales pipeline.

Salespeople could be tasked with attending a certain number of relevant events per year. They can also be tasked with creating a number of new prospects per event.

So should you set these activity targets as a “one size fits all” exercise?

Remember, not all activities suit all salespeople

Set activity targets according to the sales person’s strengths. The natural networkers will probably jump at the chance to go to more events. Those who struggle at cold calling may excel at social media.

By setting the right activities to the right sales person, everyone has a better chance of achieving their sales numbers.

Here are the next steps for setting successful activity targets

  1. List the activities that have traditionally brought in sales for your company
  2. Thinking about which other sales channels you should be using and add them to the list
  3. Hold individual meetings with each of your sales team. Discuss the activities with them and see which ones they would like to pursue
  4. Agree the metrics between you

These activity targets should help you towards your destination

At the end of the day, it’s the sales numbers that matter. But the activity targets will ensure that your team is more likely to make the numbers you require.

Remember, the same applies to achieving sales goals and enjoying an excellent holiday. The end-result will not happen without a well-planned journey.

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