As the economy continues to regain strength, sales managers are still struggling to get the most out of their current sales staff especially after the many cutbacks of resources during the recession. After research of over 1000 sales reps over a 2 year period, only slightly more than half of the group admitted to having their own specific goal development plans. This is astounding as sales people more than anybody should know the importance and value of setting goals; after all, they usually have to meet them on a monthly basis.

Companies of all size and multiple industries have failed to buy the sales reps into the overall good of the company. Sometimes sales reps are operating as separate individual units and not as part of one big cohesive unit on a joint vision. Organizations need to see the importance of aligning their reps individual goals including their quota responsibility along with that of the entire organization. Sales teams are like sports teams, the manager just as a sports coach must get everybody bought in and ready to give their all for the team. The average sales force has multiple personalities just as sports teams do, you will find that the best sports coaches learn to deal with each player in a different way. All people have different motivating factors, organizations should look for other opportunities to increase the scope besides monetary rewards as the only incentive.

Managers would be best served to understand each of their rep's individual goals. They can then tailor different incentive programs that can bring out the passion. There's something definitely lacking if a sales rep is not setting his own specific goals. It suggests a lack of focus on themselves internally, they may be making their quota consistently, but imagine the even more incredible results if they had some kind of plan. Most organizations could boost the results of their sales teams significantly by focusing on goal development.

Even with solution selling and all the technological improvements in customer relationship management, we still have the top 10% of most sales staffs doing the bulk of sales production. If organizations would focus on improving the lower performers with a slightly different rewards system, then they could see their sales numbers take off. Obviously the current system is working for the top reps who are already producing month after month, so there's no need to rock the boat there. However uncovering creative opportunities to jolt the lower performers based on their individual specific needs, outside of money would be an important step to improved results.

Author's Bio: 

Henry Okwo is the Founder and CEO of SalesGymUSA, a Targeted Sales Training company. Henry is a graduate of University of California, Berkeley where he was a 2-time National Champion. He has over 15 years sales and management experience and has developed a specialized sales training program based on sports performance development to boost sales. Find out more targeted sales strategies to increase your sales results at Henry also conducts a daily mental workout on his blog,