Some industries are more suited to a steady stream of sales than others. While some businesses are seasonal, others are evergreen. Those that cannot rely on a constant flow of customers 12 months of the year are forced to get creative when figuring out how to hit sales goals when customer numbers change.

Changing how we work

The problem is; the standardised way we work out how to set sales targets and quotas can cease to be fit for purpose from month to month. Compare December to January, for example. One is slow due to holiday festivities while another represents a new year and new goals. Yet they are only a month apart. Previous targets and KPIs may be unrealistic, if not completely unachievable, so penalising our salesforce is never the answer.

We may not be able to control the shifting sands of time, but we can influence buying habits through marketing, and we can control what we do as a business. It’s important to keep in mind that this is the industry we choose, and such seasonal occurrences should always have been factored into our strategy.

What businesses can do

Every industry needs to prepare for a ‘sales boom’ as well as potentially quieter times. People go through boom and bust as well as businesses, and those living frugally are going to be keen to make up for the lost time when they can. We need to be ready when they do!

One method is to refocus on our salesforce. This is a great opportunity to provide training. Feedback and coaching are essential aspects of performance sales management. Do you do this enough? Your salesforce is the lifeblood of your business, so take this time to sharpen their skills and knowledge of your industry. Up-skill where you can and dig into each sales person’s strengths and limitations.

Finally, always maintain consistent but sensible levels of marketing. While it’s tempting to cut budgets during off-peak times, this risks becoming irrelevant. Customers need to know we still exist. They need to miss you, to know that you’re still open for business. Be seen and continue your marketing efforts as usual, particularly around your social channels. If you don’t, your competitors will, and they’ll also reap the rewards.

Still using a spreadsheet to calculate commission? If you’d like a simpler, more efficient way to manage sales performance, why not consider Commissionly?

You can benefit from a free trial with a demonstration on how to improve your sales performance management. With a host of powerful features, like sales territory management, sales quota management, and sales objective management, you’ll soon find yourself wondering how you ever managed with a simple spreadsheet.

In any sales-driven business, setting goals and targets is key to driving increased revenue. Without a defined target to aim for, staff can lack the motivation to do any more than the minimum possible: which is bad news for your business, and your bank balance. 

In order to keep profits coming in, and to get the most from your staff, setting sales targets is essential. Thanks to the sales goals software built into the Commissionly app, you can quickly and easily assign goals to team members and their managers.

Create sales goals that work

Motivating sales staff to put in extra effort requires a thorough understanding of your current commission model. This includes current earnings  and sales of your sales team members, and the level of revenue needed to turn a profit per salesperson. Once you know how much your team is delivering, and your targets for company growth , you can start setting targets and goals which address the difference between the two figures and deliver the results through sales team compensation.

Always be realistic about your targets for your team. Goals that are set too high can actually reduce motivation. Staff need to feel that their targets are achievable. Be clear about the potential rewards for meeting or exceeding those targets, too. In addition to their regular commission, consider offering a bonus or treat for the best performers over a set week, month or quarter.

Using software for goal setting

With Commissionly, staff are already motivated by seeing their commission stack up in real time. You can also track their performance to ensure they are meeting their quota. However, you can go beyond this with all kinds of sales tools – such as leader boards to add a competitive element to the team setting.

Using the Commissionly app, you can set goals for staff, and amend them whenever required. You can follow a team member’s progress towards a target and automate the process of collecting sales and commission data for a faster, smoother experience. Plus, you can identify staff that are struggling to reach their targets and offer extra support – and you can create bigger, bolder challenges for your best performers, too!