Sales management

Set Your Sales Goals Using 4 Steps to Help Your SME Grow Quickly

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The logic is overwhelming. Any business that wants to be profitable has to sell. To sell, you just need to have sales targets. In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about the objectives of the SME commercial service, and you will discover examples that can inspire you to set the best objectives for your organization. 

There is no business without a sale. This is where “the essential ingredient” of any business comes in. This is called "growth". 

Business growth is measured in many ways, including:

  • The number of users or sessions in your app
  • The number of people who subscribed to your newsletter
  • The time that users spend on your website
  • The amount of comments they leave on your blog
  • The average amount of the shopping basket
  • The number of sales deals by phone

But if you really want to be successful, all you need to grow is... more income! And to increase your income, the first thing to do is to increase sales. It’s not always easy. Whatever your company's strategy is, the first years of existence are often the most difficult for an SME. However, this is where there are more things to do, without necessarily having all the necessary resources. 

The least you can do is:

  • Find a good product/market relationship
  • Define your acquisition strategy
  • Design a sales funnel that turns your prospects into potential customers, so that they ultimately become customers

Do you think everything is ready? I guess you got into the world of entrepreneurship because you thought you had great ideas and a lot of ambition. I won't deny it: that's fine. You always need passion to push you to take on a new challenge! 

But it is difficult to set goals without experience. As the founder or sales manager, it is your responsibility to set realistic and achievable goals for both your sales team and your investors. The sales goals that will help you the most in growing your business lies on the fine line between realism and recklessness. 

You want to learn to identify them, right? Your team will be more motivated, your momentum will be stronger, and the investors and co-founders will be happy. 

So let's take a look at four steps to follow in order to set the best goals for growing your business! 


1. Be realistic and have your head on your shoulders

« If your sales are decreasing, don't blame your salespeople in the first place. It is better to assess who is running them: the boss or the sales manager, as well as the current sales and marketing plan », says Jorge Pareja, a well-known entrepreneur. 

Before you even start thinking about incentives or commissions, carefully examine your sales plan and ask yourself the following question: « Is my annual profitability target realistic? ». 

This is similar to repeating the analysis that you had made at the beginning, namely information on your sector of activity, competing prices, already known customers, the number of prospects targeted, the ratio of new customers… And if you find it difficult to answer the above question, keep these three factors in mind:

Realign your company's sales goals

Even if your SME is less than a year old, you already have enough data on how everything should go over the next 12 months. Pay attention to the number of new buyers in the past year. Analyze the past, so you can know where you want to go in the future.

  • How much money did they spend on average in your business?
  • How fast is your customer base growing?
  • What is your ideal scenario and the least desirable one?

Assess your market potential

When you sell water to a thirsty man, you can reach your sales goals without flinching. You must, therefore, discover the subtlety of your market to understand if there is a real need behind what you sell. 

But apart from this immediate need, what is the room for maneuver you have to develop? This famous need that we create for a prospect. 

Sometimes aggressive sales can be a great way to attract customers before your competitors do it for you.

Evaluate your sales team

What can you do with the resources you currently have? If your sales goals are unachievable, you will demotivate your teams. Conversely, if your teams perform well, this is a good sign for your sales. However, don't be too optimistic. When you have little experience in service or market, it's common to underestimate the length of its sales process. So never forget that the success of a sales team is based on trust, and it starts with yours. Discover our 3 tips for organizing your sales force


2. Build a professional sales team

You have to give your salespeople the best possible tools. For example, at efficy, we decided to develop a sales support tool (CRM) that helps SMEs to focus on their most important activities. Improve information sharing, simplify internal reporting, follow opportunities, offer a complete view of the commercial pipeline. Result? Our customers sell more and our entire sales process is based on this value proposition. 

For the long-term success of your sales team (and your business), you can also focus on your most immediate sales goals. 

Here are some ideas from Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed in Today's Ever-changing Sales World:

  • Duration of the sales cycle: how long does it take to close a deal? The longer the delay, the less chance there is of reaching an agreement with you.
  • Conversion rate: how many people, starting from leads you had from your first exchanges, turn into customers? If you can close a high percentage of sales, your business will be much more successful.
  • Losses due to indecision: Losses due to indecision: what percentage of your prospects are lost? Reducing this rate means more income. 
    L'avantage de ce processus est qu'il peut être séquencé, ce qui est vital pour l'accélérer.

The advantage of this process is that it can be sequenced, which is vital to speed it up. 
Look further than the volume of calls made or the number of emails sent. Ask yourself, "What is the actual conversion rate?" Sometimes a slight increase in an item can increase the overall efficiency of the process.


3. Reward your sales team

In the entrepreneurial world, where a culture of responsibility, transparency and experience reigns, an overly aggressive salesperson damages his/her reputation. A culture of friendly competition is now advocated, where everyone's interest is to make as many sales as possible

Even if you think your corporate culture and your company's profits are compelling enough reasons, the reality is that your sales team needs one more reason to succeed - and break all records! And linking sales bonuses to the number of new customers reported or milestones achieved is a great way to keep your salespeople focused on their numbers. It is the basis of any commercial strategy aimed at maintaining regular growth over the long term. 

By combining competition and reward, you allow everyone to know that they can be the best, to maintain mutual respect and to appreciate teamwork while striving to excel individually.

Think about commissioning before you start

Before organizing your sales meeting, remember that nothing works better than a good commission structure. The way you reward sales performance will radically change your business growth. 

Traditionally, there are two ways to design a commission structure:

  • Reward only the best sellers, so only a few people.
  • Offer a fixed salary base and add a variable for everyone, depending on the achievement of sales targets.

The bonus strategy, or bonus plan, that you choose will depend on your own personality and the culture of your business. But the most important thing is to stay flexible and adapt what you learn from the potential market and consumer demands to your business.

Set up retention bonuses

Nowadays, the question is no longer what value you can get from a customer, but how much you can give them to stay. A good sales team must, therefore, think long term. So encourage your salespeople to target the right customers, to retain them, in short, to focus on the good battles. The advantage of this type of bonus is that it encourages your sales teams to do more than just get a new customer, focusing on the entire customer life cycle. 
Here are some ways to reward your team:

  • When customers reach a long loyalty period. In this way, sales will not only focus on acquiring new customers, but also on how to retain them. In an SME, customer happiness is everyone's responsibility.
  • When customers move to a higher stage. Providing enough value to turn a regular user into an unconditional fan is the dream of any entrepreneur. So why not reward your sales team when they do?
  • When old customers become customers again. Sometimes the nature of your business does not allow you to get new customers for long periods of time. You can then reward your sales team when they manage to sell a new product or service to an old customer.


4. Calculate monthly and ideal sales targets

Keeping track of annual sales goals also means being attentive to your changes month by month. Whether sales are increasing or decreasing, it is essential to track the reasons for these changes.

  • Is your product or service affected by a seasonal problem?
  • Have you added a new salesperson to your team?
  • Has your product changed recently?

To find out if something is affecting your numbers, you need to know your ideal monthly sales goals.

  • The company's monthly sales targets
  • Monthly sales targets by department
  • Individual monthly sales targets

Examine the sales levels and previous experience of your salespeople to manage their abilities, and not discourage them.

Don't expect to hit your sales goals the first time

The success of any new business depends only on three elements: build, measure, repeat. Your sales goals work the same way. As your business and team evolve and develop, you will need to adapt the results to the real world. If a salesperson is starting to rush through projects, you can consider other selling methods to motivate them and push them to sell even more. If someone has a month where their results are below average, you can spend some time with them to find out what's going on, get feedback on their approach and give them feedback. 

Just because something works doesn't mean it's the best process 

Once your goals and sales process are in place, start using it as a support. Maybe your sales script is unsuitable and needs some tweaking. Maybe your emails could get better. Don't worry if things don't immediately work out the way you expect.

Examples of business sales targets

Sales goals, or business goals, are generally measured to motivate salespeople and determine their salary. Since there is a wide range of goals, it can be difficult to choose the ones that best suit your business. Multiple goals can help your sales team focus, but too many can be confusing and make your strategy ineffective. Furthermore, overly ambitious sales targets can create financial instability for both your business and your employees.


One of the most popular business goals is turnover. It means the amount of profit from the sale of your products or services. It is generally useful because it is easy to measure and understand.


It's the foundation of any business, so using it as a measure to compensate your sales team may seem like a good idea. However, the calculations are sometimes complex and the sales force often has trouble understanding them, which can create an environment of mistrust.

New businesses

Creating targets in your new business is an effective way to guide the performance of your sales force. These goals work very well in mature businesses where sales are stagnant or declining.


Another great way to boost the performance of your sales team is to create a goal based on the growth of the business over a period of time. You can use a percentage or a total monetary value. The most important thing is to create a SMART objective: specific, measurable, realistic, achievable and limited in time.

Team performance

Most sales goals are short term and individual. This type of action can discourage your team in the long run. Therefore, collective objectives are often interesting to integrate. 


Bonus: long-term goals to boost growth

We've talked a lot here about how to set goals, but what about those who, at least at the start, aren't directly related to income? For long-term success, you need a committed sales team that grows with your business. This is why it is important to set aside time to establish long-term objectives taking into account:

  • The productivity
  • Income generation
  • Personal and professional development

It sometimes takes a little effort to better understand the sales teams and identify what prevents them from being better. Once this is done, you can apply changes to the management areas that need it. But never forget that setting and monitoring sales goals aren't always enough. You have to support and motivate your day-to-day sales team because, in the end, you will not only have an incredible group of salespeople who will achieve their goals, but you will also improve everyone's professional life. It’s perfect for getting a strong, united group that will perform better year after year. 

It's your turn! 

Learn more about: 

Perfect Competition: What it is and what are its characteristics