This time last year, we ran an event about developing elite level sales ability and as part of the day, talked about the motivation behind achieving targets. Yes salespeople all have sales targets and yes on the whole, salespeople are typically the type of people who are highly motivated to achieve them. However, research shows that peak performance is closely allied to a strong personal connection to goals and targets and while sales targets are obviously a strong driver of action, they are set by the company and therefore the personal attachment is not as strong as it could be.
We therefore thought we might be onto something if salespeople could combine their innate ability to fixate on and achieve a target with making that target grander and even more personally galvanising that the one their company sets for them.
So I was very pleasantly surprised to hear from one of the attendees from that day talking about how he put this idea into practice during 2013. As a sales director in a global technology company, he started a ‘250 club’. The club had only one objective, to reach 200% of target and earn £250k. It was made optional to see who was inspired to succeed. They started with the key question of “What would need to happen for us to earn £250K?”. They then came up with creative possibilities and built their plans and actions around this. There were clearly challenges however the motivating force of such a highly personalised, audacious target drove the team on to address these challenges. The result: significant over-achievement across the team, the biggest deal in EMEA closed during the year and an $8m deal sitting in Q1.
The moral of the story....if you shoot for the moon, you might get to the moon however if you shoot for the stars, you might or might not get there but even if you don't, you will in all likelihood get way beyond the moon. So set yourself a grand target. Make it big. Make it bold. Make it something that would be highly desirable and do what you have to do to achieve it. As William H Murray - the esteemed Scottish Mountaineer once said “When you set your heart on something and you commit, even providence moves”.