There's a lot of focus on annual goals among employees and quarterly goals among departments and monthly goals among sales staff. This seems to be the habit that the corporate world has fallen into. It works… but could it be improved?

Recently I heard about one company that has a very clever goal. Their staff has to drum up sales through phoning leads. While hourly goals are not always practical (because of appointments, walk-ins, or the disparity between long conversations or no answers), they found that a daily goal (25 contacts) was a struggle to reach and staff was only achieving the bare minimum. Now, they encourage their staff to start around 8:30 and have 10 good conversations with prospects by 10 am. This is promoted as the “10 by 10” rule. They've found that their staff kicks off the day in high gear, and it really promotes their success throughout the week, by using the 10 by 10 rule. Prizes are given out every two weeks for employees who manage to do 10 by 10 for 10 days. What they'd found is that it once took the whole morning for sales staff to make 10 calls: They'd start at 9 and work till noon. But the promotion and the change in hours turned it from a 3 hour exercise into a 1.5 hour exercise… and yet no one feels rushed; just motivated.

Can you use this as inspiration to find your own successful way of encouraging sales staff to get motivated?