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Sometimes goal setting is measured on what management would like to see; rather than what is a reasonable increase or numbers that your sales staff can accomplish.

Start with checking what the sales goals are for the current and for past years. Have you consistently been able to meet your goals? In the year/years you didn’t meet your goals, were there extenuating circumstances.

  • Terrible weather (The California fires greatly affected wine sales.)
  • A shortage of wine
  • New sales personnel
  • Do you have more competition than you had last year?

There are lots of reasons for not meeting goals, some you may have forgotten about since then. Also look to the future. Is there anything in the coming year which would stop you from meeting those goals? For example:

  • You are going to be closed for construction during the year.
  • The harvest did not produce as many grapes this year so you will have less wine.
  • You lost some of your high sellers in the tasting room.

Additionally, every year there are more wineries opening their doors. This phenomenon is not going to change. Making wine and having it jump off the shelves into the arms of waiting customers who are willing to pay full price is not as easy as many new wineries think it will be.

Setting achievable goals is important as your sales staff will get discouraged if you are asking for higher sales than they think they can achieve. It is important to discuss sales goals with your sales staff why you set those particular goals and why you believe that you can reach those goals. No-one likes to believe that they have failed, so make sure your sales team is on board with your numbers.

Quoting the Harvard Business Review: “When 10%–20% of salespeople miss goals, the problem might be the salespeople. But when most salespeople miss, the problem is their goals.”

Know that the goals you are setting makes sense based on research, and let your salespeople be a part of the process. When salespeople are a part of the process, they are much more likely to achieve what you want them to change.

A tip of the glass from me to you.           

Elizabeth SlaterE Column
by Elizabeth “E” Slater, In Short Direct Marketing

A recognized expert in the fields of direct marketing and sales in the wine marketplace. Slater has taught more wineries and winery associations how to create and improve the effectiveness of their direct marketing programs and to make the most of each customer’s potential than anyone in the wine industry today.

Follow E on twitter @esavant and facebook.

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