Is your organization setting unrealistic sales standards?

Setting standards too high might lower employee morale

By Brian Thompson,

When managers meet with employees about their most recent quarter or sales period, they are likely to score workers based on productivity levels, ability to connect with customers and other qualities. Although managers may not doubt their employees are giving 100 percent, they may hold their staff to unrealistic standards that could actually bring down productivity. 

Crystal Spraggins, an HR consultant, wrote in TLNT that setting incredibly high standards might backfire and may become counterproductive on the job. The main reason for this? It is impossible for one person to be perfect, let alone an entire salesforce held to the same standard. 

Managers deservedly want employees to smash quotas and increasingly challenge themselves in the workplace by measuring sales effectiveness metrics that show them that workers are meeting performance objectives or even surpass them. But setting impossible standards might be detrimental to the performance of the whole organization if workers feel as though they are not appreciated for the work and effort they put and are expected to continue to chase a seemingly unattainable goal.

Hazards of unrealistic standards
In raising the bar even higher, managers could structure incentive compensation plans to include these lofty goals. When workers are working toward incentives that are not achievable, they may feel as though they are running a rat race with no where to turn.

Having high expectations is good to maintain a strong level of performance in the workplace, but when some workers may feel as though they can never satisfy their employers' standards, this could bring down morale. 

Employers might ask themselves how do they balance making challenging goals that are both rewarding and attainable? In order to craft goals that are achievable, companies should begin by looking at their existing employee data that is accurately measured by sales performance management solutions - and determine how the top, middle and bottom workers perform. 

They can also base their assessment of employee performance on how they handle key sales tasks in the company - from meeting sales forecasts to selling up to their quotas, according to Business2Community. 

Their productivity levels can be analyzed through various sales effectiveness metrics and allow managers to more easily determine which workers are deserving of certain rewards and recognition. Through the insight they gain from these software solutions, managers can set realistic goals for their workers. They can also know the best ways for managing these employees to effectively boost productivity among the workforce and performance within the organization as a whole.

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Brian Thompson