Goals are set to encourage you to stretch beyond what is within your easy reach.  One large caution for Sales Managers this year: do not allow your team to use 2009 as a benchmark for 2010's achievement.  As a Sales Manager, now is the time to recreate the vision.  Now is the time to redefine success from a clean slate.  The most successful sales professionals have heard the mantra, "Belief, Action, Results, and Motivation."  Now is the time to readdress this mantra as you adjust expectation. 

Belief:

Your sales representatives need to believe that the goals they have set are achievable.  Typically, your team's perspective on what is "achievable" is undoubtedly skewed.  Your challenge will be to identify the number or the correct criteria that defines success for this year.  Once you find that goal, i.e. revenue number, reduce it to the ridiculous so representatives can understand the specific production expected each month/each week and what activity equates to this achievement.  In our meetings with Sales Professionals, it is shocking how many candidates don't understand their compensation plan or how they are measured.  These representatives find it impossible to run for an undefined or misunderstood target and as a result, lose belief. 

Action:

A common mistake while setting goals is the lack of plan or strategy behind a goal.  45% of American adults make one or more resolutions each year, however only three weeks into the year; 75% of those resolutions will have already been forgotten.* Without a structured plan to execute on, it is impossible to achieve goals.  A quarter of the year could easily pass without you ever really knowing, you are actually doing nothing to make goal achievement possible. Sit down with your representatives and build out a specific