Four reasons why annual sales targets are a waste of time

How much turnover does your company need?

You don’t need me to tell you that bringing in the right amount of business is vital for the survival of any company. This is what is normally set as the company sales target. It’s the one big figure that has to be achieved over the next twelve months.

Some companies set elaborate annual sales plans. Others just hope that the business will come in. Either way, companies that rely on an annual sales target or plan often fail to reach it.

Here’s why annual sales targets fail so often:

How will you achieve your sales targets in the next 12 months?

Annual sales targets are often unrealistic

The figure is often based on what a company would like to achieve. But there is rarely any reasoning behind how a company is going to reach that figure. At some larger companies, senior managers have told me that they just make up figures to keep the managers happy.

Annual sales targets seem unreachable

It can be very hard for someone to come to terms with the sheer amount that they are expected to sell over the next twelve months. That leads to inaction. People often find it hard to get going with winning new business.

Annual sales targets are based on optimism and growth

Most sales planning assumes that all accounts will grow, or at least stay at the same level. That just isn’t going to happen. Sadly, many of your accounts are going to place less work, move to the competition or go out of business. Your sales plan should reflect this. You should be ready to replace work.

An annual sales target is a lag target

We only really know if the annual sales target is successful at the end of the year. By then, it’s too late if things have gone wrong. A good sales plan means that you know if you are on track or not to achieve the end result.

So what’s the alternative to annual sales targets?

It’s time to adopt 12-week sales projects. A 12-week sales project:

  • Allows you to get on with the rest of your job at the same time
  • Gives you focus
  • Makes sure you know you’re on track to achieve the right results
  • Gets results quickly

I also cover 12-week sales projects in my new book “How To Succeed At Print Sales”. In the book I give you detailed instructions on how to create one. I also give you lots of tips to make sure you stay on track with your project, while still managing the rest of your job as well. Invest in your copy here.
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