Goal setting is such an important part of the work we do in business and especially in sales. The best way to set goals is to start by using the SMART principles of goal setting.
SMART goals is a simple method that gives you a proven format and a much better chance of following through and achieving them. SMART principles of goal setting also work extremely well when setting goals within a company, department, or sales team.
Setting SMART Goals
S – Specific
When setting your goals, the more specific you are in your description, the better chance you’re giving yourself and your team to reach those goals. It’s the difference between stating that you’d like to bring in more revenue and bringing in $50,000 in new business a month.
M – Measurable
Because your goal is more specific, you can now monitor and, more importantly, measure your progress. With the example used above, a salesperson could have brought in a smaller one-off purchase and according to those loosely-defined goals, that’s still success because revenue is still coming in but we’re unable to measure it. Using a more specific goal of $50,000/month, we’re able to see how much that new business adds to our salesperson’s monthly goal and what is still needed.
A – Attainable
It’s great to measure something but it doesn’t necessarily make sense to set specific targets that nobody can reach. Not only does this not help you in understanding how your processes work, it demoralizes everyone involved. Make sure the goals you set for your team are realistic. No one likes consistently falling short and feeling like their effort is futile. Once attained, the next, loftier goal won’t seem so out of reach.
R – Relevant
Set your team up for success by making sure your goals relate to your internal and external environments. You may want that $50,000 in new business/month but if a recession or slow season is looming and three new competitors opened in your market, then your goals aren’t relevant to the realities of the market. Also, do these goals relate to your team members as individuals? Is it relevant to what is coming down your company’s pipe?
T – Timely
Wrapping it all up, goals need a time frame tied to them. There’s no sense setting goals if there aren’t deadlines associated with them. Keep these deadlines realistic and flexible to keep your team’s morale intact. Being tough and rigid on deadlines can have an adverse effect on your team and detract from what you’re trying to achieve.
SMART goals are essential to your growth strategy for sales. We always advise clients to set annual goals and then break them down to monthly or quarterly bites. This will help you make sure your on track to hit your annual goals. Review progress to your SMART goals monthly and make adjustments to your tactics based on marketplace feedback.