It’s pretty natural for a manager to want to set objectives for their team. Managers know what they want their employees to achieve, and having one standard of success for everyone makes it easier to gauge who is performing well and who needs some improvement. But sales is an individual process that is different for each salesperson—and salespeople’s objectives should reflect that. Instead of setting standard, generic objectives for the whole team, sales managers help empower salespeople to set their own objectives. Here’s why:
Setting Individual Goals Can Work as a Motivator
According to Metal Mafia CEO Vanessa Merit Nornberg, “We asked each team member…what she thought her growth goals should be for the current year. The result was surprising. Every sales rep suggested growth goals that were higher than the ones management had set. We were worried about the higher goals, but decided to give them a try anyway.” Instead of trying to live up to goals set by management, salespeople were motivated to live up to the (even higher) standards they’d set for themselves.
People Know What’s Achievable for Themselves
No one knows better than individual employees what they can achieve in a given period or quarter. They have personal data and experience from previous quarters, first-hand knowledge of what’s in their immediate pipeline and a solid grasp on their existing accounts. As a manager, your role is to help your employees use that data, experience and their own intuition to set objectives that are lofty but still achievable. Work with them and show you’re invested in their success and figuring out how to achieve together.
Employees Will Have a Sense of Ownership Over Their Own Work
Helping employees set their own objectives will make them accountable and give them an increased sense of responsibility, which will in turn give them a sense of ownership over their work. By giving your employees that ownership, they’ll feel more integral to the team, and feel the sense of belonging that’s crucial to building successful teams. When your team feels like a family instead of an organization, you can build the kind of collegial culture that will grow your company and bring in more business.