Planning To Set OKRs For Your Sales Team?

by Chandler Barr Sep 5,2020

The People Strategy Leaders Podcast

with Srikant Chellappa, CEO

Have you ever wondered what separates a high performing sales organization from an average or low performing one? The answer to this question is easy; employees in a high performing organization have well-defined goals. But is having well-defined goals enough? No, having goals alone does not lead to success. Organizations must have strategies in place to manage them. One such popular approach is ‘Objective and Key Results’ or popularly known as the OKRs. Before we learn more about OKRs for your sales team, let us take a look at ‘What Are OKRs?’ and ‘Tips To Set OKRs’.

What Are OKRs?

OKRs or Objective and Key Results consist of an objective – a clearly defined goal (the what) and 3-5 key results – measurable steps (the how) to achieve the objective. OKRs are a great way to align individual goals with team and organization goals. They help in setting an organization’s vision and mission, thereby improving employee engagement and helping in prioritizing tasks. Moreover, they help increase productivity, track regular progress towards goals and increase employee accountability. Let us take a look at some tips on how to set objectives and key results.

Also Read: Goal Setting Processes: KPI VS OKR

Tips for Setting Objectives

  • Plain Language – Use a language that everyone understands, avoid using specific jargon and acronyms. The intention here is not to make things sound fancy. The right intention here is to convey the goals with clarity
  • Start With A Verb – Begin with a verb to describe the action and the desired direction. It helps in understanding a clear target to achieve and gives direction to the employee
  • Challenge the Status Quo – Objectives should be  set in such a way that it challenges your current way of working otherwise it would be ineffective to move your business forward
  • What’s Holding You Back? – Understand what problems are holding you back from moving forward and executing your strategy
  • Clarifying Questions – Use the Questioning method  to move from abstracts to specifics of your OKRs. This will reduce confusion and help everyone understand the true objectives
  • Use Simple Rules – Use simple rules while drafting your OKRs. Have your own set of key criteria for objectives which are straightforward and simple to follow
  • Limited and Time Bound – Set no more than three objectives per quarter so that they remain impactful. Having too many objectives takes away focus from the priorities.

Also Read: The Essential Guide To OKRs: Your Ultimate Tool To Setting Winning Goals

Tips for Setting Key Results

  • Keep Them Simple And Clear – Make them simple and easy, so that they can be easily communicated understood by others
  • Assign Owner – Assign an owner who takes the responsibility of creating and achieving the key results and is responsible for updates on the progress
  • Use Positive Language – Use positive language while creating your key results as it will enhance motivation and increase commitment
  • Limit the Key Results – Set a minimum of three and maximum of five key results for every objective. Setting few will not be challenging, and setting too many will be difficult to achieve

goal setting guide

Also Read: Goal Setting: A Guide To Help Organizations Succeed Using OKRs

Like all other teams, setting effective OKRs for the sales team provides them with a structure and a way to stretch their goals. It leads to employee and organizational success. Read on to know some examples which will give you an idea on how to start framing OKRs for your Sales Team.

1. Organization Level Objective:

To lead in Performance Management Software sales in South East Asia

Key Results:

  1. Make up for more than 60% of performance management software sales in the region
  2. Generate 200 leads a month
  3. Reach a 35 percent conversion rate on all leads received

2.Team Level Objective

To improve inbound lead processing by 40% by Q4 2020-21

Key Results:

  1. Website enquiries answered within 24 hours
  2. 50% signups given product demonstration within first 2 days
  3. Minimum questions on landing page to prevent customers from losing interest

3. Manager Level Objective

To recruit the best members for the sales team

Key Results:

  1. Hire Inside Sales Leads from South East Asia region by the end of first month of the next quarter
  2. Hire 3 Inside Sales Executives for each Sales Lead appointed
  3. Publish job opening notifications on popular job boards

4. Sales Lead Objective

To improve quality of sales approach

Key Results:

  1. Make sure at least 40% of signups are called within a day
  2. Attend 10 product demo of other team members
  3. Create standardized sales process document
  4. Ensure sales team attends at least 3 monthly trainings and get certified

OKRs were introduced at Intel in the ’70s by Andy Grove and were made famous by John Doerr when he introduced it in Google in 1999 as a “management methodology that helps to ensure that the company focuses efforts on the same important issues throughout the organization”.

Now multiple industries across different domains such as Amazon, LinkedIn, GoPro, Salesforce, Target, Duns and Bradstreet have adopted OKR methodology as their goal-setting framework.

Also Read: Wondering How To Set OKRs For The Engineering Team?

Have you implemented the OKR methodology yet? Get in touch with us to know how we at Engagedly have helped organizations transform with our Goals and OKRs module.

schedule demo with okr expert

Chandler Barr
VP of Sales

Chandler Barr is the VP of Sales at Engagedly and is focused on driving a culture of progress over perfection in a no-fault environment where employees are secure and encouraged to think creatively to solve problems. Chandler is a seasoned leader that has scaled sales teams for SaaS startups and multibillion-dollar publicly traded tech companies, as well as, led Marines to accomplish the mission during hardships overseas.

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