Sales Goals: 11 Tips and Examples for B2B Sales Teams
What's the golden ticket to B2B sales success?
First off, here's what it's not:
Having just one common sales goal, like meeting quota.
That's not how the best sales teams close.
Here's what they do:
They do the sales maths and set goals - lots of them!
In this article, Cognism's Brand Ambassador Ryan Reisert is going to dive into sales goals for B2B sales teams and how sales managers can realistically set them.
Sales leaders, keep scrolling for the goals you need to set in 2022 👇.
What are sales goals?
Sales goals are set objectives you want your sales team to hit monthly, quarterly, or yearly. These goals are based on the priorities of your business and its desired growth and performance. Examples of sales goals include lowering the quarterly customer churn rate by 5% or increasing sales conversion rates by 15%.
What are stretch goals?
A stretch goal is an unachievable type of sales goal that is intentionally set above the usual standard. They are high effort and never expected to be achieved one hundred percent, but rather to inspire growth.
Assigning your B2B sales team stretch goals is not recommended as they can be overwhelming and lower morale. Instead, stick to SMART sales goals:
What are SMART goals in B2B sales?
SMART goals are a great way to help you set realistic and measurable sales goals your team can actually 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 your want your team to hit so you can 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 and set an attainable revenue goal that you know will challenge but still be achievable for your team.
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 is working 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 goals for your B2B sales team
There's only one rule when it comes to setting team sales goals, and it's:
Have one main revenue goal, supported by smaller actionable goals that help you to reach your sales target.
Remember that every business is different, and what works for one might not work for another.
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 sales goal tracking and track lead generation metrics to monitor selling progress.
If we notice a drop, we focus on finding and solving the underlying cause.
Sam Schooley, SDR Manager at Postclick, Molly Grossman, Manager of Sales Development at Outreach, and Patrick Connolly, Head of US Sales Development at Cognism, talk more about setting sales goals here 👇.
11 tips & examples for sales goal success
Deciding on a revenue goal isn’t just about picking a number and working toward it.
It involves maths. You need to know your sales data to set realistic expectations. Ryan says:
"You should always use data to set realistic expectations on what's possible for your business goals. Most sales organizations don't do this very well. They put their thumb in the air, or they have a VC of a model that's worked and are just replicating it."
So, your team sales goals should all be based on one critical question:
What do we need our annual revenue to be?
"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 need to keep reversing it and discovering what your close rate is. It's all down to the math of sales."
If you don’t have this data on hand, you’ll need to look back historically. Ryan adds:
"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."
Ryan explains more about how the maths of sales can help you set your sales goals for 2022 in this video 👇
1. Monthly sales
Meeting a revenue target is the number one goal of any successful B2B sales team and their sales managers.
But it's overwhelming when you look at your annual sales goal as one large number.
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 they've been reached.
"Understand your sales math and 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 actually bring in on a monthly, quarterly, annual basis."
Just don't forget to emphasize that their monthly sales revenue target should be prioritized over other goals.
Monthly sales goal example:
Increasing your month-on-month revenue by 10%.
2. Sales cycle
The average sales cycle length depends on your industry and the average deal size you're looking 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 says:
"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:
To 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!
Especially at the beginning of your sales funnel, the more targeted leads you can qualify, the more deals you can close. Ryan says:
"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 a good top-of-funnel start if leads meet your criteria, but it should thin out as you qualify leads. Invision your funnel similiar to a nail. It's about quantity at the very top and then thins out with quality leads all the way 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 than others due to factors outside your control.
With this in mind, are win rates still good sales goals to have?
The answer: yes, they are!
They keep your sales reps focused on their overall goal and can help you improve your sales funnel. Ryan adds:
"From a quota perspective, you've got to make sure you're creating numbers that make your company hit target as part of your quarterly sales goals, and that they are actually attainable."
"So if you run that math and realize you need a rep to do so many deals, you need to look at if it's really 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, and most reps can't handle that unless it's very transactional. That's why 50% of reps miss quota. It's literally 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, in one month, you might be hitting your revenue target, but if your team gave too many discounts the month before, your profit margins would need a boost.
If you want to meet these sales goals, double-check that your pricing is fair by reviewing benchmark pricing against your competitors.
And put a cap on 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.
"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 it’s going to take a while to see those results.
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 work out what’s costing you the most. They’ll help streamline your processes and get your CAC down.
Customer acquisition cost goal example:
Lower customer acquisition cost by 9%.
7. Churn rate
Churn rate 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 says:
"If your churn is super-high, you'll have to keep stacking more and more, and that's never healthy."
There are a number of different types of churn to look out for:
- Delinquent churn is where a buyer's card expires without them noticing.
- Account churn where a buyer doesn't feel your product is the right fit for their needs.
- User churn where your product isn't working the way it should, so your buyers stop using it.
Avoid churn in the first place and exceed sales goals by prospecting to leads that are the right fit for your product/service. It's also important to maintain customer relationships, 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.
- Improved lifetime value (LTV)
- Decreased CAC
- Bigger budget
- Quality leads
"Retention is a big part of a company's revenue goals. That's why SaaS is so nice because, over time, your retention builds up your LTV. The longer your client is around, the higher that LTV is. Meaning, you can pay more to get them in the first place, use more expensive channels to reach people, and have more quality there."
"For example, using sales reps, cold calling, and email, you're going to 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.
Make sure 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 explains:
"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 generated from a customer over a set period of time.
You want your CLV to be high, so you'll need to invest in giving your customers more value over time.
To achieve this goal, you'll need to update and improve your product. Try to 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. Track sales time per week
A simple but effective sales goal.
If your reps are taking too long on calls, or putting too much effort into prep with no meetings booked, then you have a problem.
Being aware of 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%.
How to set sales goals?
The answer can be found in these 11 strategic sales goal examples that will skyrocket your strategy.
Ryan’s key takeaway:
"If you to set sales goals and objectives 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.