Does One Need Sales Targets to Achieve Results?

agency new business targets

“Does one need sales targets to achieve results?” is a question I was asked a few days back and one the answer to which I thought deserved to be shared because it is one I have come across many times.

I have been managing agency new business people since 1988 and have calculated that I have been personally responsible for more than one million new business lead generation man hours. I have managed more than 300 new business people in this time.


In that time I have come to recognise a particular type of new business person; the one who tells me that they are ‘quality’ and not ‘quantity’. “It’s not the number of meetings I arrange, but the quality of the meetings. It’s better to have one good meeting than ten bad meetings”. These people tend to leave Manifest¬†after a year or two and take the route into agency life where some succeed and some fail.

Personally I think this is a cop out. The number of meetings (or leads or whatever else you want to measure) is most definitely important if you know your KPI’s and knowing your KPI’s is, in my opinion, the key to sales success. Of course, meetings are pointless if you are not meeting the MAN, but if you are, then they are immensely valuable.

So the answer, in my opinion, is a YES. One DOES need targets to achieve CONSISTENT results. The sales person who doesn’t want to be targeted CAN be lucky and hit pay dirt every so often – but not as often as the sales person who understands the importance of being targeted.

My very best sales people have a few traits in common.

  • They work hard
  • They hit target
  • They have the lowest client churn
  • Their clients win lots of new business

The worst sales people have a few traits in common as well – but I’d rather forget them.