67% of salespeople fail to reach their budget

Table of Contents

The three levels of goals to help you break new barriers and blow your budget

According to the study by The TAS Group and Salesforce in collaboration, two-thirds of all salespeople fail to reach their individual budgets.

Failure is a common occurrence in sales and many would call it a learning experience, which is absolutely true. When we learned to walk we fell a lot in the beginning, when we learned to ride a bike we crashed and banged up our knees and elbows.

What if we look at failure in the wrong way? What if it just leads to more failures and creates behavior in the person that leads to lower performance? It may sound extreme, but research shows how missing sales targets can prevent salespeople from being successful.

Dr. Michael Ahearne and his team at the University of Houston conducted a study of several salespeople over a period of 6 months to measure their success.
One of the key insights that emerged from the study was that salespeople who began to experience poor performance, such as not achieving their personal goals, quickly began to change their behavior towards customers.

The more failures they experienced, the more they shifted from customer-focused behaviors to sales-focused behaviors. In other words, they started selling and stopped really trying to understand each customer’s unique needs in order to customize a solution. They went from being a consultative advisor to a persuasive salesman and the results were even worse.

When we set targets, we often make the mistake of setting only one level of the target. This will mean that you will be the third to succeed or the two-thirds to fail.

In this article, I want to inspire you to start setting three levels of goals. It will lead to more successes, better behaviors and most importantly, you will start stretching your own potential.

Level 1: The safety level

Setting goals based on what you KNOW you can do! Most people start at this level! They set new goals based on something they know they can do or achieve. This is based on their past experience and their current performance.

The problem with this is that there is no inspiration and growth. The goal doesn’t make them stretch or grow in any way. I also say that this level of goal should be in line with the budget the company expects to keep you in your job.

Level 2: The realistic level

Setting goals based on what you THINK you can do!

At this level, some brave people set goals based on what they think they can do. They are a bit more adventurous, however, the challenge at this level is very similar to level 1 – what they think they can do is also based on what they have done in the past.

I usually say that goals at a realistic level should feel like there is a 50% chance of success. To succeed at the realistic level, you will see that you change a number of areas from what you have done in the past.

Level 3: The barrier-breaking level

Set goals based on what you dream of and what you really want!

This is the level for daring to dream, for real. This is for the people who work for what they really want to succeed. They don’t know how they will achieve their goal but they know they will. Going after what you really want requires courage and faith in the unknown. It also requires you to be open to changing the way you work.

The purpose of setting goals

If a goal you have set does not make you grow and develop, it is not a goal. The purpose of setting a goal is not to achieve or get something. It is to use more of your potential in the process of achieving the goal. You will not be the same person when you reach your goal. You will increase your awareness of what you can do.

Action plan

Review your goals and determine if they are challenging you and making you grow. If not, decide if these particular goals are still important to you.
Start by setting goals based on level 3, a true barrier-breaking goal. What is it that you really want to achieve?

A question you can use to set goals that are really important: If time and money were not an issue, what would you choose to do, create or achieve?

The most important thing now is to break down your goals into concrete activities you need to do to succeed. Break the activities down by month, week, and day.
Make sure you know what activities are required for each level of the goal.

Then the awesome journey begins, focusing each day on achieving the activities for your barrier-breaking goal. Sometimes you will succeed and when you don’t, you will certainly have succeeded with the activities required for level 1 or level 2. This means that from now on, no more failures, it’s all about which level you succeed with today.

Good luck!

Picture of Simon Blanche

Simon Blanche