After a roller coaster of a ride in 2020, you don’t want COVID to be one of the factors getting in the way of achieving your goals in 2021!

According to several sources such as Harvard Business Review, Objective Management Group, and Sandler Research Centre – only 43% of sales professionals achieved their sales goals in 2019. In 2020, it is speculated that this number was reduced closer to 40%.  How many of you and your sellers achieved your goals in 2020?

Only 43% of sales professionals achieved their sales goals in 2019. In 2020, it is speculated that this number was reduced closer to 40%. How many of you and your sellers achieved your goals in 2020? Share on X

Let’s rise to the challenge of achieving more goals in 2021 to increase the economic vitality.  To achieve your sales goals this year, you need to be 100% committed to doing what it takes and 110% committed to saying no to any distractions that may get in the way.

Here are the Top 7 factors getting in the way of achieving your sales goals:


#1. Your Boss!

The #1 reason why sales professionals don’t achieve their goals is their boss!

If you are a sales professional – set your own goal and own it! 

If you are the sales leader, here is what you can do: Stop being their boss and become their coach! When a sales professional is provided a goal or given an increased percentage to achieve next year’s goal, it doesn’t work. Why? Because it is the boss’ goal and not their goal – they don’t own it and therefore it’s not meaningful to them. Ask your individual sales team members what goals they want to achieve.

Reality check: Their sales goal is typically higher than the goal you would set for them!


#2. One Year Sales Goals are Not Enough!

Where do want to be in 3 ­years? What sales goal do you want to accomplish in the next 3­ years? Perhaps its doubling your sales goal, becoming a Sales Leader, or landing a big client or contract.  Think bigger and set your 3­-year vision & goals, then map out your 1-year goal from there.

Reality Check: Many one-year goals don’t get sales professionals excited and committed to their future.


#3. High Maintenance Customers who take up a lot of your time but give you very little in sales.

To achieve your goals, be proactive and focus your time on your ideal profitable customers. Calculating your return on time invested (ROTI) and analyzing your current client list and time spent with each, could really bring to light who you should be spending more (or less) of your valuable time with.

Reality Check: You are probably spending too much time with a few high maintenance clients who are not contributing enough to your sales revenue.


#4. Winging It – Not having a weekly plan that will help you achieve your 3­-year & 1­-year goals.

How many customer meetings do you have scheduled for the next week or the next two weeks? Pre-­COVID, it wasn’t unheard of for a salesperson to spend multiple hours travelling to see a customer face-­to-­face, usually aiming to stop by to see other customers or prospects that are nearby. Now in the age of virtual selling, salespeople should be making the most of their saved travel time by dedicating this time to research and preparation for virtual customer meetings or prospecting. Turning those chunks of time that are typically spent in the car into productive time should increase your strategic, proactive, and even brave time.

Reality Check: Most sales professionals are more reactive than proactive with their time.


#5. Pipeline is not Robust Enough

With no tradeshows, events, or conferences during most of 2020, pipelines are getting thinner.  Sales Professionals must be strategic, proactive, and brave to consistently prospect to ensure there is enough in their pipeline to achieve their goals.

Reality Check: Most sales professionals don’t know their closing ratio.


#6. You Fall Down & Don’t Get Up Fast Enough

Sales is a roller coaster and there are many highs and lows, some even forcing us to fall when customers blow you off or reject your proposal – sending us in a downward spiral.  COVID forced many sales professionals into a downward spiral in the past year, the only thing that matters is how quickly we can break that spiral, get back up, and keep trying.

Reality Check: We all fall; the difference is whether you get up faster than your competitors.  

We all fall; the difference is whether you get up faster than your competitors. Share on X

#7. Excuses

There is no shortage of excuses you can make as to why you can’t achieve your goals – especially after the whirlwind of a global pandemic. Other excuses can be the economy, customers not returning your calls/emails, a competitor having a better price, or not being able to meet F2F with customers. Identify your biggest obstacles then create strategies and an action plan to overcome each obstacle.  When you encounter these obstacles, you’ll be ready to tackle them…no excuses.

Reality Check: Many sales professionals are more creative to create excuses than create strategies to achieve their goals.


The past year has been full of adjustments and experiments, goals are no exception. As a sales community, being aware of these top 7 factors will help you be strategic, proactive and brave to achieve your 2021 goals.

Download our complimentary 3-­Year Goal Planning Template here to help you and your team set meaningful goals that motivate and excite you!