Sales is goal driven. It always has been, and probably always will be. Most salespeople begin each month by setting goals for themselves — they sit down with their manager, commit to the number they plan to hit, lay out a few personal development goals they want to complete, and then set to work trying to achieve them.

You’d think sales teams would be good at setting goals for themselves by now, but the reality is only 67% of reps hit quota — which means that either their goals are way off, or they aren’t doing the right things to hit them.

When you begin looking into why so many salespeople fall short, an answer pops up quickly — most goal setting frameworks don’t help you plan effectively. Frameworks like S.M.A.R.T. are effective for defining a goal, but they lack an essential component — the steps you need to take to hit the goal, or in a sales context, the plan for getting from $0 bookings at the beginning of the month to full quota at the end.

Jill Konrath, author of Agile Selling: Get Up to Speed Quickly in Today’s Ever-Changing Sales World suggests that sales reps resolve this problem by using personal bests.

To avoid getting off track on the road from 0% quota attained to 100%, total sales goals should be broken into measurable increments. You make iterative improvements by measuring specific metrics (such as sales cycle, connect rate, and win rate), and striving for a daily “personal best” on those metrics.

This approach resolves two major problems that sap sales performance:

  1. It breaks down the psychological weight of bearing a quota by reducing the problem to achievable daily goals for sales reps. Daily call quota suddenly has meaning when each dial can be connected directly to your bookings results.
  2. It helps reps to identify the specific steps in their sales approach that cause them to lose deals. This prevents them from continuously losing opportunities and missing their bookings goal for the same reason, while simultaneously helping to keep track of their performance towards goal.

On top of that, a recent study showed that the highest performing sales organizations consistently measure individuals against their quotas, and each rep is held responsible for their results. Having a clear process around goal setting and progress will help to promote this culture of accountability that leads to greater team success.

Here’s how to use the worksheet (and, more importantly, how your reps can use it to improve their sales performance):

-Enter personal quota (for the month) in cell B2

-Enter Average Sales Price (ASP) for individual reps in cell B3. If they don’t know it (or you have new reps on the job), get the team’s ASP and enter it here. If reps struggle to win enough deals to hit quota, work with them to find target bigger opportunities and increase their ASP.

-Once your reps enter their quota and ASP, the Input and Daily Activity Goals will populate automatically. The logic of each of these numbers is as follows:

  • Calls: Calls are simply the number of times they will need to pick up the phone over the course of the month to hit their number. The formula included in the worksheet assumes they connect on 20% of their calls.
  • Connects: Connects are defined as a conversation with the target prospect — not a gatekeeper or someone else at the account the rep is calling. The worksheet assumes 30% of connects result in new opportunities.
  • # New Opps: New Opps are defined as sustained contact with a company with a chance to earn a new deal. The worksheet assumes 20% of the connects reps make convert into live opportunities.
  • Daily Activity Goals- The daily activity goals are calculated by dividing the call, connect, and new opps totals by the number of working days in the month.
  • Daily Tracking- Reps enter the number of Calls, Connects, and New Opps they create each day, and the worksheet will automatically fill in their progress towards daily activity goals.

By encouraging reps to monitor each of these metrics they progress towards quota, they can quickly identify where they need to improve performance and focus their energy on the areas that will have the greatest impact.

Constantly monitoring performance metrics and understanding the impact that one number has on the rest will both make your reps better salespeople and keep them on track to hit your goals, month after month.

As your team gathers more data, each rep can customize the worksheet to their own connect rate, opp conversion rate, and win rate to reach an even more accurate number. Work with your reps (or your friendly neighbor Sales Ops) to help them get to the right numbers.