Do sales targets have a negative effect on sales performance?

One of the questions I am frequently asked by Sales Managers and Sales Directors is ‘why is it that when my salespeople reach their sales targets, they slacken off or sometimes even stop working altogether?’

If you are a sales manager or sales director, maybe you have noticed this phenomenon amongst your sales team? If you are a salesperson, do you do this too?

It’s my view that the challenge could be in the use of the word ‘TARGET’.

What’s the first thing that springs to mind when you hear the word ‘target’? What’s the picture that you conjure up from your subconscious mind?

I’ve asked this question of many salespeople, sales directors and sales managers. In over 85% of cases, the answer is this:








Q. So what happens when an arrow or a gun is fired at that target?

A. It usually stops dead!

And when someone hits their sales target – they very often stop dead too.

The solution could therefore be just a simple change of terminology. If you are a sales manager or sales director, instead of using the word ‘target’, how about setting your team a ‘Minimum Sales Performance Level’ or some other more appropriate terminology.

If you are a salesperson, how about setting yourself a really exciting target that is massively higher than that which the company expects from you?

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