Is Overachieving the Sales Target the Best Indicator That You're Doing Well?

Is Overachieving the Sales Target the Best Indicator That You're Doing Well?

By Peter Heredia Managing Director

Peter has been involved with sales for over 2 decades, dealing with multiple industries and diverse sales team cultures. He knows how to get the best out of any sales team and has the experience and results to back it up.


This is a very interesting topic that I discuss with sales people a lot. Yes, revenue is king. Targets are everything. However, in regards to indicators for what is going to happen in the future, it is not great, and maybe even dangerous. Most sales consultants in Dubai will tell you this.

So what can you look at to gain a health check? Firstly you can investigate many areas but to keep things simple here are some observations that I’m keen to review if I want to see if I’m doing well.

Over Target

Yes of course, although as we will see it is not everything, we will always review this. It gives you a great feeling and you can pat yourself on the pat if you are hitting your key goal which is extremely motivating.

Are deals being closed?

This will differ from industry to industry, but in most cases, deals are being finalized or are even closed but just not on the figures as yet. You don’t have the revenue in the back but you can safely say 80 – or 90% this will get over the line.

Do you have a Healthy Pipeline?

So outside of the deals being closed, are you happy with your current active pipeline? DO you have a healthy number in there? Are opportunities progressing? Are they of the right value? Do you basically get a good feeling when reviewing your pipeline?  I’m sure many people have some pipeline KPI’s that can take the emotion out of this check but either way, are you happy?

Are you able to identify your target audience?

Basically, do you know what activity you need to do to find the right opportunities to fill your pipeline? Is there a marketing activity? If there a sales activity knocking on the right doors? Have you nurtured future prospects? Are they in your client base? Whatever it is you are dong, are you happy with it?

So here is your checklist


Now, when I ask people if they are only concerned with being over the target, they say YES. We discuss other areas of the business to be aware of. It makes them think a little but being over target for them is most important.

So, then I draw the following diagram and ask them if they would like to be A or B. I get the same answer every single time.  What would you prefer?


Why is this so important? Well not only do you want to know if you are on track, but also what I have experienced many times in my career are salespeople who are happy at just being over the target and who then tend to ‘relax’ their activity.

What happens next is scary? If they are over target this month and start relaxing, what happens to the revenue for next month? Nothing, it may even continue to go higher. That doesn’t sound too bad, does it? Well, it is. Because now the salesperson will be thinking that hey, I’m not trying as hard and the business is still growing.

Depending on what business you’re in, the lag between activity and revenue will vary, but there will be a lag. So if your activity decreases eventually your revenue will. And when that is realized it is going to take a lot of hard work and determination to turn it around again without any reward for the near future.

So, don’t rest on your laurels, remember the most important points in this article; identifying targets, a healthy pipeline, closing deals and over the target. I hope we can all see why measuring all these key areas are so critical. These are some of the high impact sales coaching programs’ tips that I have shared above.


Managing Director of MaxSale Solutions, Peter Heredia is Passionate about Developing Successful Sales People. Sales Speaker, Writer & Global Traveler. Englishman living in Dubai


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