Setting and Achieving Sales Goals
Typically, early in the week you will receive your department sales numbers from the previous week. In some cases you may even find out at the end of the seventh day of the week after running a register report if you happen to be working a late shift on Sunday.
How you manage and respond to your weekly sales numbers is a critical part of the job of a produce manager or director. There are basically two approaches to weekly sales reports. One is to eagerly await the numbers, hoping that they will prove to be strong and perhaps you will receive accolades for a job well done. The other approach is to actively participate in the outcome of your numbers throughout the week.
As you might expect, the active participation method has many advantages over the wait-and-see strategy. The more opportunities you create to affect what is happening in your department, the more likely you will achieve the desired results! The weekly sales reports are not just random numbers that reflect a lucky or unlucky week. These reports reflect the culmination of the entire produce team's efforts during a particular time frame. As the leader of your team, how you manage, excite and direct these efforts is critical to the success of your produce program. Here are a few suggestions for setting and achieving sales goals:
Set Goals - First and foremost it's important to actually set goals for your weekly sales. Considerations for these goals should include sales figures from the same week of the previous year, as well as the previous four weeks of sales leading into the current week that you are tracking. The key is to set reasonable goals. If they are too high, then you set yourself up to fail; if they are too low, even though you may succeed, the success is not nearly as sweet as if there is a strong effort needed!
Get your team involved - This entire process tends to work best when everyone on your team feels involved. Having a weekly department meeting (preferably early in the week - Monday or Tuesday) will prove vital to your team building efforts. At each meeting you can discuss how the previous week went and then set a new target for the upcoming week.
Create excitement around these goals- As leader of your team, a primary responsibility in achieving these goals is to generate excitement around the targeted numbers. The good people working in your department are going to want to know how the week is progressing on a daily basis. Make sure that each day you post the previous days produce sales and let them know how this number stands in relation to the target. Generating excitement and momentum towards accomplishing your goal is a key role for the produce leader.
Devise strategies for achieving your targets - This is perhaps the most critical responsibility of the entire process. Pointing to the top of the mountain is quite different than getting to the top of the mountain. Take advantage of your weekly meetings to not only set your goal but to lay out your game plan for arriving there as well. Quite often it may be as simple as breaking down the targeted number into reality based scenarios that everyone in your department can understand. For example, let's say that for the past three weeks you have been averaging $12,300 in weekly sales, and your target for the upcoming week is $13,000. Where will that extra $700 come from? How you answer that question can be the difference in the success or failure of achieving your sales goals. A simple and effective method for describing the increase is to break the numbers down into how much more product needs to be sold during the week in order to hit the mark. Often times, it is easier for people in your department to actually measure increases in volume of product rather than increases in dollars. In order to get that extra $700, let's imagine that you need to sell 12 extra cases of apples this week. Breaking it down further you realize that this amounts to 1 1/2 cases per day, or about 120 actual apples per day. If you keep going with this thinking, you find out that 350 people per day walk through the produce section in your store. Therefore, if you could at least get 2 out of every 10 customers who are in produce to buy 2 extra apples per day, you arrive at an extra $700 dollars for the week. This is just a hypothetical example, but the point is that if you can entice shoppers to buy a little more of their favorite seasonal item your goal is attainable! Salesmanship and hard work will be the key. By having everyone in your department focused and excited about the sales goal, you will typically find that it makes it much easier to keep your team focused on their regular duties.
Of course, always a great method for increasing sales each week is to put forward a department that exemplifies excellence in merchandising, operations and customer service! Good luck with your sales goals.