Sales Expectations Vs. Goals

Expectations vs. GoalsSales goals are carrots created by salespeople and organization that everyone strives to meet. Typically goals are set higher than expectations.

Expectations are a list of measurable criteria and behavior policies creating a basic performance benchmark.

Goals and Expectations are unique from each other, they are not the same.


One of the best actions an organization can take to is to create a clear list of basic sales expectations.
This list should include the following:

  • Sales revenue
  • Start and Stop date to achieve revenue
  • Record keeping practices
  • Marketing actions
    • Calling
    • Partner development
    • Meetings
    • Sales presentations.

By implementing expectations everyone in the sales group has a clear benchmark of performance. Because sales management can be a fire drill new hires are often left to wonder. “Am I falling short, meeting, or exceeding expectations?”  Your list of expectation will allow them to see for themselves how they measure up.


Goal setting is an action for salespeople to look internally, placing the “bar” higher than the company expectations. Salespeople should set their goals so that they move well beyond basic company expectations. In addition to setting individual salesperson goals every sales group should develop an overall sales goal. Management needs to view goals as upside and expectations as must have levels of performance.

Company budgets should work off of expectations!

This means that you should never set goals and expectations at the same level. I look at expectations as my “Good Enough” watermark. When a salesperson meets expectations they earn the right to stay on the team! When a salesperson achieves their goal they receive a bonus.

When setting quotas (budgets) should you look at expectations or goals?

The only quota that matters to salespeople is the one they carry around in their head. This is the one which holds the amount of money and recognition they want to achieve in their own lives and is completely independent from anything the company publishes.

I find a good policy is to set sales quotas at your “Good enough” expectation level and then implement a commission plan that highly rewards salespeople that help your service bureau achieve the overall sales goals. Here is an example for a retail salesperson (50 and under employees focus.)

Sales Quota:

  • 120,000 Annual payroll sales
  • Quarterly quota 30 – 45K depending on quarter
  • Base Salary + XX% annual payroll revenue

Sales Goals  Bonus considerations: Quarterly Bonus Considerations

  • $100 for every  five opportunities developed by one business partner
  • $250 bonus for every $5000.00 sold above quarterly quota
  • $500 for adding five work comp clients
  • $500 for adding 10 HRanswerlink clients
  • $50 dollars for each demonstration hosted in our office

In developing a sales bonus program look beyond revenue and bring in overall business goals. The more services you deliver to customers the more likely it is they will not leave your service bureau. So, you should tie your sales expectations and bonus structure to drive sales habits which deliver more than just payroll business.

In summary expectations will keep everyone on task and leave no mistake as to who needs to “up” their game. Goals guide your team past expectations helping salespeople reach their full potential. Sales budgets should be set according to your service bureaus expectations with bonus gates/programs clearly defined rewarding salespeople that perform at a high level and deliver on company sales goals.


Drum up more business with a Sales Blitz!

Drum up more business with a blitz.The payroll selling season is in full swing. Salespeople are busy closing out the year, following up on all of the accounts that asked for a call back in the fall. Is there anything else you can do to get the most out of the upcoming selling season? Yes, call a BLITZ!

A sales blitz is a focused effort to uncover new business using simple sales actions in a very short period of time. A well run sales blitz will uncover new business opportunities and help your entire team become hyper focused in the push to the end of the year.

To run an organized blitz preparation is the key. A blitz needs to be very easy on your sales team. Here are some items you will need to create prior to running your blitz:

  • Targeted list of 300-1000 prospects/leads
  • Tracking sheets
  • Call themes
  • Goals

Because a blitz is a focused effort in a short period of time you must create a clean call sheet to speed up the process. Call aversion can kick in at anytime, to help your sale team it’s very important to take the thinking out of the calling action and create a “Just do it!” environment that allows their sales skills to rise to the top.

To stay organized simple tracking sheets should be used so that every salesperson can gauge their success and quickly identify areas for improvement. In our End of Year Sales Blitz sessions we cover a very simple to use conversation method to help salespeople seamlessly enter into payroll sales conversations. Using tracking sheets you and your team can better see what is working and what isn’t working. Meaning don’t continue running down the wrong path, know what you’re doing well, measure it and make the appropriate adjustments.

Calling themes will help your team be well prepared to begin conversations with contacts. Before beginning your campaign take time and review what works for your service bureau and talk about this with your team. At MCC we find these group discussions always yield new information about what is important to the customers so that everyone on the sales team can perform at a higher level on calls
Goal setting can be very effective in improving sales performance. When planning your blitz be sure to examine your goals from multiple angles. There is much more to success than just appointments. In our blitz program we look at goals for updating your sales database, setting appointments, qualifying buyers for non-buyers and partner leads.

If you are looking for more guidance in running your next sales blitz consider registering for one of our upcoming online sales blitz sessions, learn more here.