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11 Sales Goals & Examples to Boost B2B Pipeline Performance

Setting attainable sales goals is the golden ticket to B2B sales success.

Sales is a demanding, fast-paced industry; setting goals can help SDRs build confidence, boost motivation, improve sales performance, and much more!

In this article, we speak to the Head of Growth at NeonPixel, Ryan Reisert, for insights on how to set B2B sales goals and build a formidable sales engine. 

Let’s go 👇

What are sales goals?

Sales goals are targets that sales reps use to plan their daily activities and make crucial decisions. They’re based on sales KPIs and metrics, the priorities of your business, and your desired growth and performance. 

You can set sales objectives monthly, quarterly, or yearly. They provide direction, motivation, and accountability for sales reps. 

Importance of sales goals

1. Establishes accountability

Sales targets help SDRs understand what is expected of them so they can track their performance. 

This accountability fosters a sense of ownership and responsibility among team members, increasing motivation and productivity.

2. Creates direction

Team members can focus on activities to help them achieve goals rather than wasting time on less impactful tasks. 

This sense of direction helps streamline the sales process, leading to more efficient and effective sales strategies.

3. Sets benchmarks

By establishing realistic and achievable targets, businesses can measure performance and track their progress towards goals. 

This data allows companies to identify trends, analyse strategies, and make necessary adjustments to improve sales performance.

4. Ensures attainability

To establish realistic and achievable goals in sales, monitor these three things: 

  • Market conditions.
  • Industry trends.
  • Historical sales data

These variables help sales teams set targets that are challenging yet attainable.

Types of sales goals

The types of sales goals you get fall under two categories:

1. Stretch goals

A stretch goal is an unachievable type of objective intentionally set above the usual standard. They’re high effort and never expected to achieve one hundred percent, but rather to inspire growth.

Assigning your B2B sales team stretch goals isn’t recommended as they can be overwhelming and lower morale. Instead, stick to SMART sales goals:

2. Smart sales goals

SMART goals are a great way to help you set realistic and measurable objectives for your team to achieve.

The acronym SMART stands for:

Specific 

You should be clear when discussing your B2B sales goals for growing your business with your team. 

For example, you could say, ‘We’re going to use a script-based sales strategy to help expand our outbound lead generation efforts and grow our customer base.’

Measurable 

Be clear about the revenue number you want your team to hit. Benchmark your sales performance against trackable key performance indicators.

Actionable

Don’t set impossible goals. Look at your annual revenue over the last few years. Then, set an attainable revenue goal you know will challenge your team but still be achievable.

Realistic 

Every goal must support your current sales strategy and business goals. 

Suppose your company has only ever sold on LinkedIn, and now you want to expand to Facebook. In that case, you shouldn’t aim to achieve the same monthly sales goals, whether it’s opportunities entering the pipeline or revenue generated from closed-won deals.

Time-bound 

Each sales goal and objective needs an expected end date. This ensures your team works toward larger goals and growth - not just a single milestone. 

Aim to set yearly, monthly and quarterly goals that align with each other.

How to set realistic sales goals in five steps

Setting team sales goals comes with one rule:

Have one main revenue goal, supported by smaller actionable goals that help you to reach your sales target.

That’s it.

Remember that every business is different, and what works for one might not work for another.

Ryan said:

“You should always use data to set realistic expectations on what’s possible for your business goals. Most sales organisations don’t do this very well. They put their thumb in the air or have a VC of a worked model and are replicating it.”

Here’s how we do it at Cognism:

  • First, we decide on a monthly or annual target.
  • Then, we set out mini-goals to help us achieve this target.

We throw in incentives to motivate our sales team. And, of course, we strongly believe in using sales data to track lead generation metrics and monitor selling progress.

If we notice a drop, we focus on finding and solving the underlying cause.

Sam Schooley, SDR Manager at Postclick and Molly Grossman, Manager of Sales Development at Outreach, discuss setting and tracking sales goals here 👇

Now let’s break it down:

Step one: start with revenue

If revenue is your ultimate goal, make it the benchmark you measure over everything else. Everything you do in B2B SaaS sales must relate to revenue. If something you’re doing isn’t helping you hit your revenue target, drop it.

This top-down sales approach shows you where you should be focusing your energies. When you’ve worked out your revenue target, you can determine which activities will help you achieve that target.

Typically, these will be:

  • Outbound sales - when salespeople engage with decision-makers inside a company to generate interest and make a sale. The main outbound sales activities are cold calling, outbound email and social selling.
  • Inbound marketing - when a data-driven marketing team generates opportunities for the sales team to take action. Generate opportunities through content marketing, email campaigns and paid ads.
  • Upsells - the process of selling more to your existing customer base.

Underlying metrics must track every revenue-generating activity you engage in. These include:

  • Capacity/budget - how much do you expect these activities to cost?
  • Conversion rate - how well is each activity performing in converting leads into customers?
  • Cost per lead - how much does each lead cost?

These are the top-level sales metrics that you need to track. 

Ryan says:

“If you need to produce a million dollars in revenue and your average deal value is $50k, then you need 20 deals. From there, you must keep reversing it and discovering your close rate.”

“If you have deals you typically close at 10%, then you’ll need 200 opportunities. And if it takes so many meetings to get an opportunity (say you only move 50%, you’ll need 400 meetings), reverse that using math and conversion ratios.”

“To hit a specific target, this goes back to the concept of control - you can do more, find more or increase the value of deals.”

“An example of sales goal setting is instead of $50k deals, you aim to get $100k deals or choose to streamline your funnel.”

Step two: calculate the maths of outbound

The old-school view of outbound sales is that it was an art - you had salespeople who engaged with leads and, through sheer force of personality, persuaded them to buy.

This approach just doesn’t cut it today. SaaS companies have transformed outbound sales into a science. You can calculate exactly how many sales reps you’ll need to hit your revenue goal - and this is the secret formula:

  • Let’s say you have one outbound sales rep. They’re making 200 dials every day.
  • Those 200 dials lead to 60 conversations and 15 follow-ups. It’s important to note that follow-ups typically have higher conversion rates than a first-time cold call - the lead is already “warmed up” and aware of your product/service.
  • Those 60 conversations and 15 follow-ups lead to 20 product demos.
  • Those 20 demos led to 10 opportunities and three signed deals.

From this calculation, you can work out:

  • The number of deals you’ll need to be signed monthly to make revenue.
  • The number of salespeople you need to generate the opportunities that lead to those deals.
  • You can also work out the average cost per deal, which will help you allocate resources.

The next step is to put this together in a practical, repeatable way.

Step three: follow the capacity model for B2B sales

The capacity model is how you build the ideas from Steps 1-2 into a scalable, repeatable sales process. 

Here’s how it works:

  • As with Step one, start with revenue. What’s your target?
  • Then, work backwards. What resources do you need to reach that target?
  • Your monthly revenue target will indicate how many SDRs you need to book X meetings.
  • From that, you can extrapolate how many meetings will lead to a demo, how many demos will lead to an opportunity, and how many opportunities will convert into a customer.

This is the science of predictable B2B sales

We recommend this model if you’re a scaling B2B SaaS company. It allows you to accurately predict revenue, establish SMART sales goals, and successfully manage resources month-on-month.

Step four: improve sales efficiency

Part of setting SMART goals for sales includes improving your team’s efficiency. You do this by: 

  • Knowing who they need to prospect to.
  • Working with marketing to develop actionable assets that help nurture customer relationships through the funnel.
  • Ensuring everyone in your team uses the best tech for the job.

Let’s break these points down:

Identify your ideal customers

Create an Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) for your business. This is a representation of the perfect buyer for your product/service. 

Once you’ve defined your ICP, use it to find decision-makers who exactly match that persona.

Align sales and marketing

You’ll never achieve your sales targets if you can’t align sales and marketing. These teams must work together symbiotically, with marketing attracting and scoring leads for sales to action.

The number one thing you can do to drive alignment is to put both departments under the same umbrella. Instead of viewing them as two separate teams, view them as one super revenue team.

Nurture your leads effectively

Use every tool in your marketing toolkit to nurture your leads until they’re ready to buy.

Start a blog, publish quality content for your ideal buyers, run paid ads and launch email marketing campaigns. Keep that pipeline full of warm and hot leads!

Measure your results weekly

Select your metrics and track them every week. Measure everything to the smallest detail - number of dials, conversion rates, demos attended - the list goes on!

By tracking everything weekly, you’ll be able to spot errors in your sales process and fix them quickly.

Invest in the best B2B sales tech

There are a plethora of tools that can aid your sales team in their B2B prospecting quest. A word of advice, though - don’t implement tech for the sake of it.

When looking at providers, always ask yourself: What problem will this solve for my team? If it doesn’t resolve an issue, don’t buy it.

💡 Looking to invest in some tools? We’ve curated a list of the best B2B sales software available.

Step five: don’t forget your people

All this talk of processes, tech, and B2B data can lead us to forget the most crucial element: your people!

Achieving sales goals can’t happen without them. Ensure you don’t lose sight of your team when setting your sales goals and objectives.

Hiring the right SDRs is critical; providing them with clear progression opportunities and world-class training is also important. 

If you can get the right salespeople, give them everything they need to succeed, and incentivise them to achieve their very best, then you’ll find that your sales operation will run like clockwork.

11 tactical sales goal examples for B2B teams

1. Monthly sales

Meeting a revenue target is the number one goal of any successful B2B sales team and their managers.

But seeing your annual sales goal as one large number is overwhelming.

What you should do is this:

Break the annual revenue goal down into monthly sales targets. These can become individual or team goals. Only increase the targets once reached.

Ryan said:

“Get a good idea of what your CAC is. Then you can give each salesperson a realistic annual revenue target based on how many deals they can bring in monthly, quarterly, and annually.”

Your salespeople must prioritise their monthly sales revenue target over other goals.

Monthly sales goal example:

Increase your month-on-month revenue by 10%.

2. Sales cycle

The average sales cycle length depends on your industry and the deal size you want to bring in.

According to SaaS Metrics, the average sales cycle for a SaaS deal with an annual contract value of $25,000 should close within 90 days. 

Ryan told us:

“Most companies say that their average sales cycle is 90 days, but you need to work it out correctly because it will help you with your overall team sales goals. It might not be 90 days; it could be 127 days.”

Shortening the sales cycle is a quarterly sales goal that most companies aim for.

One way to do this is to set up a funnel better suited to your sales targeting audience. This helps to make the sales process smoother and faster.

Sales cycle goal example:

Reduce the cycle time of mid-market leads by 5%.

3. Lead generation

Every sales team needs a quality pipeline to achieve its lead-generation goals.

Quantity is also an issue - you need to keep it filled!

The more targeted leads you qualify, especially at the beginning of your sales funnel, the more deals you can close.

Ryan had a fantastic analogy for this:

“Your sales funnel is your opportunity pipeline, and that’s where most people fail. They think they want a wide funnel filled with deals so that they look busy. But that’s a bad thing.”

“Think about this when setting realistic sales goals:

It’s not about having a wide funnel. Sure, there must be an excellent top-of-funnel start if leads meet your criteria, but it should thin out as you qualify leads.”

“Envision your funnel similar to a nail. It’s about quantity at the top, which then thins out with quality leads through to the bottom.”

Lead generation goal example:

Increase sales qualified leads by 16% each month.

4. Win rates

Working towards a specific win rate isn’t only great for determining which of your strategies are performing - it’s also great for your bottom line.

Remember that not every sales rep will have the same win rate or cold calling success rate. Some wins might be more significant due to factors outside your control.

With this in mind, are win rates still good sales goals?

The answer: yes, they are!

They keep your sales reps focused on their overall goal and can help you improve your sales funnel

Ryan said:

“From a quota perspective, you’ve got to make sure you’re creating numbers that make your company hit the target as part of your quarterly sales goals and that they are attainable.”

“So if you run that math and realise you need a rep to do so many deals, you must look if it’s possible.”

“If a rep has more than three to four real sales meetings a day to get the number of opportunities or wins they need to satisfy their monthly goal, that’s 80 to 100 meetings a month.”

“That will max them out, especially if there are 30 cold calls. That’s a lot of work. There’s pre-prep and research; most reps can’t handle that unless it’s very transactional. That’s why 50% of reps miss quota. It’s not attainable. It’s a stretch goal.”

Win rates goal example:

Increase monthly win rates by 5%.

5. Profit margins

Your revenue target needs to work with your profit margins.

For instance, you might be hitting your revenue target one month, but if your team gave too many discounts the month before, your profit margins would need a boost.

To meet these sales goals, double-check that your pricing is fair by reviewing benchmark pricing against your competitors.

And cap the number of discounts your team is allowed to give out.

Profit margin goal example:

Increase annual profit margins by 10%.

6. Customer acquisition cost

When you first set sales goals, you’ll want to know how much it costs your company to onboard new customers.

And the lower the number, the better.

Ryan says:

“In SaaS, there’s an age-old equation - your CAC needs to be less than three times the lifetime value of your customer.”

“This is because SaaS software is often subscription-based, so seeing those results will take a while.”

Your CAC usually consists of:

  • Salary and comm. of reps.
  • Outreach expenses across teams.
  • Call costs.
  • Technology costs.

The best thing to do is get a Revenue Operations Manager to determine what’s costing you the most. They’ll help streamline your processes and lower your CAC.

Customer acquisition cost goal example:

Lower customer acquisition cost by 9%.

7. Churn rate

This refers to the rate at which customers end their relationship with a company.

Understandably, you don’t want a high churn rate. Reducing churn must be a key sales goal within your sales strategy.

Ryan’s advice:

“If your churn is super-high, you’ll have to keep stacking more and more, and that’s never healthy.”

There are several types of churn to look out for:

  1. Delinquent churn is where a buyer’s card expires without them noticing.
  2. Account churn is when a buyer doesn’t feel your product fits their needs.
  3. User churn occurs when your product isn’t working as it should, so your buyers stop using it.

Avoid churn in the first place and exceed sales goals by prospecting for leads that are the right fit for your product/service. Maintaining customer relationships is essential, even after they’ve signed the deal.

Churn rate goal example:

Reduce quarterly customer churn to 3%.

8. Customer retention

Retaining a customer is gold for any business. Loyal customers reward companies with:

  • Improved lifetime value (LTV).
  • Decreased CAC.
  • Bigger budget.
  • Quality leads.
  • Referrals.

Ryan said:

“Retention is a big part of a company’s revenue goals. That’s why SaaS is so nice: over time, your retention builds up your LTV. The longer your client is around, the higher that LTV is.”

“You can pay more to get them first, use more expensive channels to reach people, and have more quality there.”

“For example, using sales reps, cold calling, and email, you will generate much better opportunities by doing that type of outbound versus paid ads. The sales call’s quality will be much better than a paid ad.”

“The chance of reaching a CEO with an ad versus a phone call is that you’re much more likely to get them on the phone than to get them to respond to a social ad.”

If you want to make customer retention part of your sales goals, then how you treat your customers matters.

Ensure your reps communicate, share valuable resources, and deal with issues and complaints as soon as they happen.

Customer retention goal example:

Improve customer retention by 15% by the end of the year.

9. Cross-sell and upsell

The great thing about keeping your customers happy is that it leads to more opportunities like upselling. 

Ryan explained:

“When you have clients who love you, you open up opportunities for referrals, upsells, and cross-sells, and that’s gold.” 

“It helps sales costs decrease and improves your conversion rate as these leads are always great quality.”

To achieve this sales goal, your team will want to look at the intent data of your current customers. 

From your CRM, you should be able to track if they’ve investigated a new feature on your website. Then, it’s as easy as reaching out to them with your pitch.

Cross-sell and upsell goal example:

Increase monthly upsells and cross-sells by 5%.

10. Customer lifetime value

Your Customer Lifetime Value, or CLV, is the revenue a customer generates over a set period.

You want your CLV to be high, so you’ll need to invest in giving your customers more value over time.

You’ll need to update and improve your product to achieve this goal. Avoid offering too many discounts, as this will only set you back when achieving sales goals.

This will also result in less pressure on net new business because you know these customers will be around for a while.

Customer lifetime value goal example:

Increase CLV by 10% year on year.

11. Weekly sales time 

A simple but effective sales goal.

If your reps take too long on calls or put too much effort into prep with no meetings booked, then you have a problem.

Knowing this issue means you can implement new training and refocus your reps on more valuable sales tasks.

Time tracking goal example:

Increase meetings booked by time to 50%.

Closing thoughts 

How to set sales goals?

You can find the answer and skyrocket your strategy with these strategic sales goal examples.

Ryan’s key takeaway:

“If you set sales goals and objectives and want to hit your number and achieve your revenue goals, then you need to do the math.”

Never miss a target with Cognism

Cognism has assisted countless B2B companies in hitting their sales goals:

  • A sales enablement firm achieved £410k ROI in one year.
  • An award-winning creative agency generated £500k worth of new opportunities.
  • A growing software company increased its sales pipeline to $125k.

Click 👇 to book a demo and make missing sales targets a thing of the past.

Generate leads your sales team will love. Click to book a demo!

 

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