Setting sales targets doesn’t have to be complicated. This article discusses five common mistakes to avoid when setting sales targets.

Mistake #1: Setting targets too high or low 

A common misunderstanding when setting sales targets is that aiming high will motivate the team to work harder, and aiming low will cause sandbagging. However, both scenarios will result in demotivation or limiting your team’s capabilities. 

This mistake can be avoided by setting SMART goals to ensure they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Here is an article that provides a complete breakdown of the dos and don’ts when making SMART goals

“Your goal should be just out of reach, but not out of sight.”

– Denis Waitley and Remi Witt

Mistake #2: Not reviewing targets

A common misunderstanding about sales targets is treating them as set in stone, therefore, not seeing the need to review them. It is essential to continuously review and align your sales targets with your team’s progress. This is also an excellent opportunity to work with your team and analyse how expectations have changed based on experience and lessons learned. 

When reviewing sales targets, it is a good idea to split them into two : what is under your team’s control and what is not. For example, the pandemic delivers many unforeseen circumstances such as lockdowns and rise in cases. Therefore, those are the best timings to consider reviewing your targets. However, if your team can moderate the change in the situation, it is best to keep the target and encourage creative problem-solving.

“Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.”

– Unknown 

Mistake #3: Targets focus on ONLY the results and not on activity

Many factors influence results. It is hard to accurately predict whether your customers will like a style, colour or that you have produced. However, you can control the activities done to meet those consumer demands. These are called activity goals, where the focus is on the actions and not on results. 

For example, after setting a sales target to increase profit margins by 10%, try diving deeper and set the target to focus on increasing units sold by researching what to produce. 

“A good archer is known not by his arrows but by his aim.”

– Thomas Fuller

Need help understanding what to produce for your next collection? Read this assortment planning guide on what to produce now.

Mistake #4: Not taking enough action

The actions taken to achieve goals are as necessary as setting them. Unfortunately, many people fail to realise that goals don’t have to be achieved to prove commitment; actions do. 

For example, if you have found the best performing price range for tops, you won’t reach your sales goal if you don’t act on such information. It is until you have taken the information and compared it with your current inventory to identify hidden opportunities that your brand can leverage.

If you need help understanding what kind of actions are required after identifying insights? Contact your Client Success Manager at

“Dream don’t work unless you do.”

– Unknown

Mistake #5: Lacking change in method

Are you increasing your sales target but do not see any changes in actual sales per quarter? Perhaps you need to reevaluate your method of achieving those sales levels or may need a better system in identifying relevant data points of opportunities. 

For example, by incorporating data analytic platforms, such as Omnilytics, into your workflow, your team is able to gather data points that identify brand potential and risky , aged inventory performance, and even unfavourable point performance. These are information that can be used to reveal opportunities or risks that your team can act on.

Here is an article on the relevant data points needed for trade monitoring and reporting.

“You cannot change your destination overnight, but you can change your direction overnight.”

– Jim Rohn

Final Note

We can all agree that setting sales goals is complex yet essential. Common mistakes when setting sales targets can cause your team to feel demotivated or even give up. Hence, avoiding these mistakes can help you develop accurate goals and allow your team to achieve new heights.

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