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9 Sales Goals Examples for Entrepreneurs

When you work for an employer, the sales goals are already laid out for you. Oftentimes, sales targets are set based on the previous year’s revenue targets as well as a reasonable expectation of growth. Larger companies usually have an entire department that helps to identify the right sales targets for their salespeople. However, when you are an entrepreneur, you have to create those targets yourself. This can be somewhat challenging if you have never set sales goals before.

Many entrepreneurs don’t want to set goals so high that they are setting themselves up for failure. They also do not want to set goals too low when they are capable of driving more revenue. There is also the challenge of setting the right goals that are relevant to their business. 

While every business will have different goals, we will give you some examples of goals and goal types that you can set for your business.


1. Increase Average Transaction Size

One critical sales goal for entrepreneurs aiming to maximize revenue without necessarily expanding their customer base is to increase the average transaction size. This goal involves encouraging customers to purchase more items or higher-value products at each transaction. Strategies to achieve this include bundling products, offering upsells or cross-sells at the point of sale, and creating incentives for larger purchases such as volume discounts or free shipping thresholds.

By focusing on increasing the average transaction size, businesses can significantly boost their revenue and profitability. This approach requires a deep understanding of customer buying behavior and preferences, enabling tailored recommendations and promotions that resonate with the target audience.

Training sales teams to identify upselling and cross-selling opportunities and leveraging data analytics to personalize offers can also play a pivotal role in realizing this goal.


2. Improve Sales Forecast Accuracy

Improving sales forecast accuracy is another crucial goal for entrepreneurs. When done right, it directly impacts strategic planning. It also helps with resource allocation and inventory management. An accurate sales forecast helps businesses anticipate demand. This way, they can make sure that they do not run out of best-selling items when the demand increases.

Once sales forecasting improves, it can also help manage cash flow more efficiently. The leaders of the business will be able to make more informed decisions regarding marketing, staffing needs, and product development.

To achieve this goal, entrepreneurs need to evaluate historical sales data and market trends. This information will give them a good starting point for improving the way they forecast future sales. They should also take a look at economic indicators and customer feedback.

Business leaders who are already good at evaluating that data can focus on more advanced forecasting techniques. Things like predictive analytics and machine learning models can further refine forecasts.


3. Boost Online Sales

Increasingly, consumers are preferring to shop online. According to a recent survey by Forbes, 59% of consumers prefer to shop online. For retail stores, establishing a strong e-commerce presence is no longer optional. Now, it may be considered a necessity for business growth. Once the first step (finding a method of selling online) is done, the next goal is to boost those sales.

Although selling online is now one of the best ways to reach customers, the online sales space is competitive and crowded. Because of this, businesses will need to invest in reaching their target market and pursue the goal of having them purchase online. This could be either through their website or a marketplace like Amazon.

One strategy for boosting online sales is building an audience and a community around your brand. The easiest way to do this is to find an online platform that will help your brand connect with your audience. For products that are visual or can be demonstrated using video, TikTok and Instagram are the way to go. However, products that aren’t necessarily visually appealing but can solve customer’s problems can see success through platforms like Facebook and LinkedIn.

Keep in mind, before attacking social media to drive sales, you will need to set some good social media marketing business goals. This way you will not waste resources trying to find and appeal to an audience that may not be interested in your product.


4. Improve Upsell and Cross-sell Strategies

Implementing upsell and cross-sell strategies is a nuanced approach toward enhancing the value of each customer interaction. Upselling encourages customers to purchase a more expensive version of a chosen item. Cross-selling suggests, on the other hand, trying to get customers to purchase complementary products.

One of the best examples of upselling is the file-hosting service Dropbox. Their strategy includes constantly reminding customers of the limitations of their current plan and the benefits of upgrading their accounts. This will encourage customers to choose a more premium package to take advantage of the benefits and perks.

A great example of cross-selling is none other than Amazon. If you shop at Amazon you’ve undoubtedly seen their well-placed banners titled Customers Also Bought” and “Frequently Bought Together”. When Amazon presents these options, they are attempting to persuade customers to buy items that may complement the item they are thinking about purchasing. This is driven home by mentioning that other people have already bought the item along with other items.

Entrepreneurs wanting to improve upselling and cross-selling should utilize both these strategies as well as others. They should try to show customers the benefits of premium products. They should also let customers know that other customers bundle purchases. This will spark the idea of purchasing items they may need later, now.


5. Increase Monthly Revenue

Setting a goal to increase monthly revenue compels businesses to focus on short-term performance while laying the groundwork for sustained growth. Achieving this objective may involve a combination of increasing sales volume, implementing upsell and cross-sell strategies, and optimizing pricing models.

Promotional campaigns targeted marketing efforts, and seasonal offers can drive immediate sales increases, while efforts to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty contribute to revenue growth over time.


6. Boost Seasonal Sales

Not all businesses see sales increase during the holiday season. However, many businesses experience seasonal highs and lows throughout the year. While it is a great sales goal to increase sales during the slow season, it is probably more important to boost sales during the business season.

One of the best ways to boost seasonal sales is to start early. During the busy end-of-year holiday season, consumer-facing businesses often earn 50% of their annual revenue in Q4. In order to capture the opportunity to be top of mind of your customers before the space gets too crowded. Most consumers will finish their holiday shopping within 4 weeks of the season. Many begin shopping during the early days of November.

Businesses may need to increase advertising spend as well as increase touch points with current customers. They may need to also offer once-a-year sales that their customers cannot say no to. These strategies will help businesses maximize the short window to boost their annual revenue.


7. Reduce Sales Cycle Time

Reducing the sales cycle time can help reach operational efficiency goals. It can also improve customer satisfaction by streamlining the process. The goal is to shorten the time from initial contact to final purchase. Shorter sales cycles enable businesses to close deals faster. This can free up resources to pursue additional opportunities.

For business-to-business (B2B) companies, this is particularly important. The sales cycle for businesses whose customers are primarily other businesses is typically longer than businesses that sell mostly to consumers (business-to-consumer B2C). The timeframe for closing sales in B2B models can span from weeks to months. This is because there are usually multiple decision-makers involved in the process of purchasing. On the other hand, the sales cycle time for a B2C company can be around 5 minutes.

Still, it is possible to shorten the sales cycle of either B2B as well as B2C companies.

Here are some ways to shorten the cycle:

  • Offer limited-time promotions: Creating a sense of urgency through limited-time offers or discounts can motivate consumers to make quicker purchasing decisions.
  • Make purchasing easy: The less resistance to purchasing you create, the quicker customers will buy. Making purchasing from you easy can dramatically reduce the time it takes for customers to make a purchase.
  • Provide multiple payment options: The easier you make it for customers to pay, the quicker the sales cycle. Offering a variety of payment options can cater to different preferences and reduce checkout abandonment.
  • Leverage social proof and case studies: For B2B companies, detailed case studies highlighting ROI for similar clients can be compelling. For B2C, positive reviews and social media endorsements can influence purchasing decisions quickly.


8. Improve Sales Conversion Rate Above 2%

Conversion rates across industries vary greatly. However, according to most studies, the sales conversion rate across all industries is between 2.46%–and 3.26%. This means that if your business is falling under 2%, you are most likely underperforming. That is why a great sales goal to have is to improve that rate so that it falls within the average range.

The way you improve the sales conversion rate depends on the industry you are in and the method you use to sell to your leads. However, there are a few ways that help no matter the method you employ.

One way is to narrow down your leads. Salespeople should be focusing on customers who are most likely to buy. Using time and energy to communicate and serve these customers will most likely lead to more sales.

If you or your salespeople are calling customers to close sales, persistence may be one of your best strategies for increasing conversion rates. According to Marketing Donut, 92% of sales pros give up after the 4th call, but 80% of prospects say no four times before they say yes.

This persistence can also be translated to online sales with the use of pop-ups to capture online visitor’s attention. The pop-up may offer a special promotion or a “last chance” message to remind customers of the deal they are clicking out on.


9. Increase Revenue by 20% in the Next Fiscal Year

One of the most straightforward yet ambitious goals an entrepreneur can set is to increase their revenue by 20% in the next fiscal year. This target not only quantifies the growth ambition but also sets a clear timeline for achievement. To reach this goal, entrepreneurs might explore various strategies such as expanding their product lines, entering new markets, enhancing marketing efforts, or improving sales processes.

Achieving a significant revenue increase requires a comprehensive approach, including market analysis to identify growth opportunities, investment in marketing to reach new customers, and optimization of the sales funnel to improve conversion rates. This goal encourages entrepreneurs to think strategically about growth and to allocate resources efficiently to areas with the highest return on investment.

Ralph Paul on Twitter
Ralph Paul
Ralph is the Managing Editor at StartUp Mindset. The StartUp Mindset team consists of dedicated individuals and is designed to help new, seasoned, and aspiring entrepreneurs succeed.

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Ralph is the Managing Editor at StartUp Mindset. The StartUp Mindset team consists of dedicated individuals and is designed to help new, seasoned, and aspiring entrepreneurs succeed.

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