To be a successful salesperson, one needs to be aggressive and goal-oriented. While important, these competitive traits can lead to a one-track mind and give sellers tunnel vision. If this goes unchecked, salespeople will ignore the pursuits of their team members and their organization. The sooner salespeople realize that fostering an environment of mutual success is the most advantageous approach, the better.
Below I reference three ways that individual goals can improve team and business performance.
1. Aids the growth of accountability.
When multiple team members race toward their personal goals while still operating in a team-based system, accountability grows organically. It’s natural for team members to check in with one another while still focusing on their own objectives. This is also where the competitive spirit comes into play. When salespeople see how well their peers are performing, it’s natural for them to have the desire to excel as well.
A system like this allows for maximum performance without unnecessary pressure from leadership. In the same vein, operating with individual goals and team accountability allows team members to feel untethered, but remain in a comprehensive system.
2. Allows for individual evaluation.
Individual goals are just as important to each team member as they are to the overall team. By setting individual goals for each member of your team, you can more easily determine who is and is not performing to their ability.
Everyone has different strengths and areas for improvement, so individual goals are important to put into place. For example, one team member may be financially motivated, while another may be motivated by increased responsibility. Therefore, different goals are necessary in order for each individual to be successful, and the team’s success is dependent on each individual’s success. Working with your team members to set individual goals will also help to identify positive attributes and gaps when it comes time for monthly check-ins or performance reviews.
3. Allows you to diversify risk and encourage failure.
In an ideal world, everyone would accomplish the goals they set for themselves. However, we know this isn’t a reality. Tasking individuals with unique goals gives you a security blanket if one of your team members doesn’t reach the desired level of success. And, it allows you to promote failure as an opportunity for growth within the organization.
Allowing your team to be comfortable with failure lets them operate without fear of a complete meltdown if something goes wrong. If an obstacle does arise, having separate and measurable goals allows you to pivot strategically and react dynamically. If your team can move forward knowing that it’s okay to fail, it will develop a stronger, more cohesive unit. Your team will be more willing to learn, try new strategies and techniques, and build better relationships with one another which will lead to an effective team.
While accomplishing individual goals is important on a personal level, it is also advantageous to link those individual goals into an organization’s comprehensive strategy. Doing so can aid accountability, allow for analysis and evaluation, and diversify your risk. The best team is one that is fiercely competitive as a unit, and supportive of each other internally.