Let’s get this out of the way right now — this will not be the sexiest blog you have ever read. Not at all. The topic is goal-setting. How sexy is that?
Not sexy, but necessary. We’re 6 weeks away from 2018. If you haven’t thought about what 2018 will look like, good luck making it happen.
You might be shocked to learn that we see many sales organizations & salespeople that spend a hell of a lot more time planning their winter-breaks or summer vacations than they do their sales careers. It’s ridiculous. Think about it. It’s a “risky proposition” to put yourself out there & have a sales goal. Most people shy away from it for fear of being held accountable… thinking things like, “If I don’t have a goal, then I won’t have to achieve anything.” (actual thought in career salespeople’s minds). Most people would rather not be held accountable.
Common but not right. You have all seen the Harvard Business School study that documented an entire graduating class. 10 years after graduation the 3% of the class that had both written goals & a plan were making 10 times as much as the rest of the 97% of the class. 10 times. Probably just a coincidence…
Time after time, study after study, it is proven — goal-setting works. Don’t believe it? Try not setting goals. Forget the plan. See how far you get. Wait, most of you are already doing that. How’s it working?
The problem is, most salespeople “think” they have goals. They say things like, “I want to sell more next year.” Or “I want to earn more money in 2018.” And that’s it. That’s their goal. NOT! That’s a wish. A dream at best.
When does a wish or a dream become a goal? When it becomes SMART.
There’s a good chance that most of you have seen & heard the S.M.A.R.T. goals acronym. Well, you’re about to see it again. Question is, what are you prepared to do about it?
We put a subtle spin on the SMART Goals acronym (the R). Check it out here:
1. S pecific
Sales goals must be specific. I will sell more or I will increase my sales in 2018 are not SMART Goals. They become SMART when you add specifics. I will sell $750.000 in 2018 is SMART. I will increase my sales by 20% in the calendar year is SMART. They have “meat.”
2. M easurable
Sales goals are measurable. This is the easy part. They’re numbers. It’s easy to see & compare what you did in 2017 & compare to 2018. Enough said.
3. A chievable
Sales goals must be achievable. Not too easy & not too hard. How many people do you know that hit their sales target by September & take the rest of the year off (coast)? Dangerous. Equally as dangerous is a sales goal or quota that is too far & reaching. If you have been clipping along at $500,000 in sales year after year how much sense does it make to have a goal of doing $1.5 million next year? Sure, it could happen. But unlikely. The mere thought of that daunting task turns many salespeople off & they often shut down before the year even starts. Dangerous. Think it through & determine what is possible. Stretch, yes. But don’t “pie in the sky” for the sake of impressing people. Be real.
4. R ewarding
Here’s the spin. R often stands for “realistic” in some SMART Goal acronyms. Realistic & achievable mean the same thing. We’ll go with REWARDING. You should reward yourself for hitting your sales goal. The reward should be in addition to the compensation (commission or bonus) you will earn anyway. We have seen people reward themselves with trips, cars, fun “toys,” etc. Make it something separate — something fun to work for. The money will come as a result of hitting it.
5. T imely
Sales goals must be timely. We are all for a 5-year plan or a 3-Year goal. Problem is you can’t manage a 5-Year or 3-Year goal. You can’t even manage a 1-Year goal. But you can break that year into chunks. A 1-year goal has 12 months. 12 months have 4 weeks each. What are the manageable activities you will do to hit your weekly number (resulting in your monthly number) & ultimately your annual number? Back into it. Start with the annual goal & work backwards to determine what you need to do monthly & weekly to hit it. These “sales activities” are completely under your control (dials, emails, etc.). This activity leads to meetings, demos, quotes, proposals & closed deals.
Sexy? No. Necessary? Yes.