How to Set Successful Sales Goals

Setting successful sales goals

Before a salesperson can start prospecting and selling, they need to set clear commercial objectives. These targets help salespeople stay on track and measure their performance as they work. 

Whether you’re a salesperson, a team leader, or a CEO, defining these goals is the first step in developing projects. Objectives can be short-term or long-term, quantitative or qualitative, individual or collective. Whatever the project, they will need to follow the SMART method, and you need to make sure that you can continuously monitor your results.

Why should you set sales goals?

What is a sales goal?

A sales goal is the result you want to achieve in order to ensure a company’s long-term success. It is a milestone and an indicator of success. 

There are many different sales goals you can set, and they can cover a variety of sectors: finance, marketing, human resources, PR, etc. 

The benefit of setting sales goals

If salespeople don’t set goals before prospecting, they might not know where to start, which could make them lose their motivation. 

On the other hand, precise goals boost salespeople’s morale. Goals can also strengthen team spirit, if they are defined collectively. Traditionally, the big picture is defined by management and the sales teams help define sub-goals. 

What are the different types of sales goals?

Short-term and long-term goals

Goals need to be defined over time. The ideal strategy is to first list long-term goals that describe the overall projects (annual sales, number of new clients each year, etc.).

A salesperson can then break down the long-term goals into sub-goals (monthly sales, number of calls each week, number of emails each day, etc.).

Individual and collective goals

Some goals are set for an entire team. Team goals can help pass on the company’s values or improve the brand’s image. These collective goals ensure team building and solidarity between employees.

At the same time, there are personal goals, which are set according to a salesperson’s experience and personality. It is necessary to tailor goals to employees, in order to avoid demoralising young salespeople, for example. Some goals could set unattainable targets for them.

Also, some goals must be individual, set according to geography, for example.

Quantitative and qualitative goals

A quantitative goal refers to a measurable result at a set date. These goals are defined units, ratios, growth and decline rates, or proportions. Such a goal can be, for example, the number of clients signed throughout the year.

A qualitative goal is harder to define. It generates value as it focuses on customer satisfaction. This goal doesn’t look at the number of sales, but at a salesperson’s behaviour and practices. Determining qualitative goals helps measure a salesperson’s engagement.

Unlike quantitative goals, qualitative goals aren’t influenced by external factors (economic situation, routing and delivery, stock management, new competitors, etc.). It only depends on the salesperson and their attitude. When you focus on qualitative goals, you can make sure to develop each salesperson’s potential.

There are a variety of qualitative goals that depend on the sector, the proposed service, and, most importantly, the salesperson’s personality. Here are a few examples:

  • Quality of reporting
  • Integration within the team
  • Collaboration with other services and departments within the company
  • Development of technical skills
  • Listening skills
  • Representation of the company’s values

Although qualitative goals help improve a company’s results, managers sometimes struggle to use them. It is very difficult to define a qualitative goal and to precisely measure it, as it is subjective.

However, a qualitative goal can be assessed with a survey at each step of the sales process. If, for example, the goal is to better share the company’s values, a survey can ask customers the following question: “based on your conversations with our salesperson, what do you think are our company’s key values?”.

A qualitative goal can also be linked to a quantitative goal, making the former easier to measure. If the goal is to improve customer satisfaction and you have noticed that sales have increased, then you can say that clients are probably more satisfied. 

Lastly, qualitative goals aim to improve the quality of sales, and, in the long-term, the overall performance of the company. 

The SMART method to define sales goals

The SMART method is the ideal way to set sales goals. It defines 5 fundamental criteria to follow when defining goals:


The goal must be specific and linked to a context and to the person who must reach this goal. For example, you can decide to follow up on prospects in less than 48 hours if they ask for more information about your product or service.


This criterion makes results more tangible and helps follow each salesperson’s progression. You can follow with simple calculation tools that are adapted to each person’s needs.

Goals need to be quantified (quantity/frequency): 45% customer satisfaction, for example.

Achievable and Ambitious

Goals need to be ambitious to ensure progression and to stimulate the sales team, but also achievable in order to keep morale high. For example, a company can set a goal for a 12% increase in sales, if there was an 8% increase the previous year.


To set realistic goals, you should use the “Bottom to Top” method. It consists in taking certain things into consideration, such as your employee’s time constraints, your customers’ financial situation, etc.

No salesperson should have an unattainable goal, as that would immediately demoralise them. Each goal should thus be personalised according to the experience of each salesperson (junior or senior, for example).


Goals need to be set in time. The aim is to not set a goal that is too long-term, as it could make your salespeople less engaged. You should set multiple short-term steps so that your team does precise and guided actions.

Monitoring your goals

Why should you evaluate your goals?

Periodic evaluation of your results help reinforce certain successful actions and improve the others.

Rather than setting goals around turnover, most companies set activity goals: calling 50 prospects each week, meeting 35 of them, sending 60 emails, etc. The more precise the goals, the easier they are to evaluate.

Using the right tools

Goals should be monitored each week. This is time-consuming, but it can help identify when a salesperson is behind or if another is successful in real-time. It is thus easier to alter goals that are not ambitious enough.

Some tools make monitoring less time-consuming. noCRM’s tool to define sales goals lets you create individual and collective goals and monitor them directly on the platform.

noCRM’s tool has many benefits, including:

  • Consulting your goals and results;
  • Splitting goals into sub-goals;
  • Having both short-term and long-term goals.

You can define goals for all your salespeople, setting some goals for the junior members and the others for the senior staff. noCRM’s software lets you create and assign goals for each salesperson, and then monitor their performance. Everything is centralised, simplified, and digitised.

Goals set guidelines for salespeople and help monitor their progress in real-time. This ensures a company’s optimal performance.

Goals need to be precise, however, with constant evaluation thanks to digital tools.


What is a sales goal?

A sales goal is the result you want to ensure a company’s long-term success.

What is a qualitative sales goal?

A qualitative sales goal focuses on customer satisfaction. This goal doesn’t look at the number of sales, but at a salesperson’s behaviour and practices.

What is the SMART method?

This method sets criteria when implementing sales goals. Goals have to be specific, measurable, ambitious and achievable, realistic, and time-set.