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.
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.
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
Make up for more than 60% of performance management software sales in the region
Generate 200 leads a month
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
Website enquiries answered within 24 hours
50% signups given product demonstration within first 2 days
Minimum questions on landing page to prevent customers from losing interest
3. Manager Level Objective
To recruit the best members for the sales team
Hire Inside Sales Leads from South East Asia region by the end of first month of the next quarter
Hire 3 Inside Sales Executives for each Sales Lead appointed
Publish job opening notifications on popular job boards
4. Sales Lead Objective
To improve quality of sales approach
Make sure at least 40% of signups are called within a day
Attend 10 product demo of other team members
Create standardized sales process document
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.
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.