Setting goals can be tough and there is a lot of good (and not-so-good) advice out there, but it can still be confusing. It’s important to set SMART goals and important to set achievable goals, but how do you determine your goals?
There’s no perfect formula, but there are some methods we use to make the decision-making process easier.
1) You should have more goals than just sales goals.
Sales goals, pipeline goals, or any other quantitative goal – they’re all incredibly important. After all, how do you stay in business if you aren’t selling? But the sale is about more than just the closing.
To create good, achievable goals that set you up for long term success, you need to evaluate the factors that led to the sale. Look at what contributed to the process and how they contributed.
- What marketing efforts were there and what impact did they have?
- Did you attend any trade shows and how many people did you talk to?
- Where did your leads come from?
- How long have you been engaged with that prospect?
- What were your stumbling blocks?
- Where was your time spent and were you being efficient?
This is where data can help – in any properly set up CRM, you’ll have a lot of this information. Even better if your marketing platform and CRM are integrated.
2) You should be tracking data.
Data is king, data is the new oil, data is the future – you’ve heard it all, I’m sure, but it isn’t for nothing. How can you even begin to evaluate success and efficiency if you aren’t capturing the information above?
If you don’t have a system set up already, it’s not too late to set one up and input the data you do have into it. And you do have data – more than you might think.
Take your sales figures and put the companies you sold to into different buckets – which types of companies did you sell to the most? Is there a geographical region that you’ve had more success in? The data is there – you just have to uncover it.
3) Take time to outline what success looks like for you.
Beyond just sales numbers, what else does it take to be successful for your company? Is it getting out a certain number of newsletters a quarter? Making regular social media posts? Define what ‘regular’ looks like. Think creating and sticking to processes – does that help define your success as a company? At BDPros we are super process focused as it keeps us and our clients on track and ensures nothing falls through the cracks.
Review the past year and the things that didn’t go as well as you’d like and think about how to improve in that area specifically. What tactics can you take and how do you know when you’ve succeeded?
It’s also important to remember to set realistic goals. Sometimes that means establishing milestones to work towards, whether in regard to sales, number of followers, email campaigns deployed, or whatever it is you’re looking to improve on this year. Other times it just means making sure the goal you set is actually achievable. If you only did $200,000 in sales last year and growth has been steady, don’t set $1,000,000 as your goal for this next year (unless you reasonably think you can hit this!)
A goal is something you and your employees can work towards, and it can be demoralizing if impossible goals are set that employees are measured against.
4) Be honest with yourself.
This kind of harkens back to the $1,000,000 sales goal if you only just hit $200,000 in sales last year, but it goes for everything else as well. Be honest with where you’ve had challenges and the impact it has had. Be honest with what you could have done but did not do. Use that honest reflection to help you set your goals.
Something we look at as a company at BDPros is ways in which we’ve failed in the past. As painful as it is sometimes, we look back on our mistakes and our successes alike and evaluate ourselves truthfully.
Could we have communicated better?
Did we not follow up on something we should have?
Who was responsible?
Sometimes it’s not us – sometimes we did everything we could have done and circumstances that were out of our hands had the biggest impact – but it’s important to evaluate closely and see where you could have done better regardless.
Every failure and challenge is an opportunity to improve and if you hide from it, you’ll stagnate.
5) Onward and upward!
Once you’ve set your goals, done an honest self-assessment and review of your data, it’s time to go out there and do it.
Put your goals up where you can see them every day to remind yourself what you’re working toward and consciously work towards those goals every day.
Make sure you don’t forget to track the data. 😉
If you need help figuring out the best way to tackle making your marketing, sales, and operations work in harmony, here at BDPros we’ve perfected that collaboration. Let us take a look at what we can do to help you – whether it’s in sales support, marketing support, or operations support, we can help you improve!