Sales is one of the most difficult and challenging career paths to choose; however, it can also be one of the most rewarding if you put the time and effort into becoming good at what you do. An important part of being good at selling is setting sales goals. Without a goal, you have nothing to aim for while you are selling, and nothing to use to evaluate your performance at the end of a sales cycle.
Start with a very specific target in mind. Remember that exact plans provide exact results, while inexact plans usually provide no results. Consider the goal "To sell a lot" versus "To sell 30 units by the end of the month." The second goal gives you a tangible, measurable target to reach for.
Provide accountability for yourself. Note that if you are the only person that knows about your goal, you may be less motivated to achieve it or may catch yourself changing the goal at the end of the sales period so that you can say you met it. Tell your employer, friends and family about your goal so that you have someone to answer to about meeting your goals.
Ensure that your goal excites you; it must be something that you truly desire. Remember to understand the "why" of the goal. The reasons for sales goals may vary widely between people. While you may only be interested in making as much money as possible in a given time period, another person may want to sell a lot with the goal of improving sales skills so they can start their own business in the future.
Commit to a goal once you have set one. Rate your commitment to the goal on a scale of one to ten; if your commitment is not a ten, rework your goal so that you can be fully committed to it.
Take action on your goal. For instance, if your goal is to make 100 sales calls this month and convert ten percent of those into sales, you can't begin do that until you start to make calls. Ensure that your actions are tangible and you can tie them directly to the accomplishment of a goal.
Evaluate your goals periodically. Confirm that you are meeting your goals or coming close during each period. Modify your goals if necessary to keep them challenging but realistic at all times.
David Somerset has been a writer intermittently for 11 years. He attended New Mexico Tech and earned a Bachelor of Science in technical communication in 2007. From being published in the "Bucksworth Community News" to writing how-to articles for eHow, his experience is quite diverse.