As we enter a new year, it’s important for sales professionals and leaders to set goals for the upcoming year. Setting clear and measurable goals not only helps to keep you motivated, but it also helps to align your efforts with your overall career and personal objectives.
In this blog post, we’ll discuss why goal setting is important for success, and provide tips for setting effective goals and staying on track throughout the year.
Before we get into my goal setting framework, let’s review how to get into the proper mindset to truly think about setting your goals correctly.
Getting into the Goal Setting Mindset
Goal setting is important for success. In order to meet that success, you have to buy into the process. Goal setting isn’t just something your manager makes you do. It is something that is essential to your performance.
Goals provide direction and purpose. Without clear goals, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks and lose sight of the bigger picture. Setting goals helps to keep you focused and on track towards achieving your long-term objectives.
Goals help to measure progress. Having measurable goals allows you to track your progress and make adjustments as needed. This can help to identify areas where you’re excelling and where you may need to focus more effort.
Goals help to stay motivated. Setting and achieving goals can be a great source of motivation, especially when you’re facing challenges and setbacks. Having something to work towards can help to keep you motivated and engaged throughout the year.
Tips for Setting Effective & Smart Sales Goals
Make sure your goals are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. This will ensure that your goals are clear, actionable, and achievable within a specific time frame.
Also be realistic. While it’s important to set ambitious goals, they should still be achievable. Setting unrealistic goals can lead to disappointment and demotivation.
Break down large goals into smaller, manageable tasks. Large, long-term goals can seem overwhelming. Breaking them down into smaller tasks can make them more manageable and help to keep you motivated.
How to Continually Work Towards Meeting Your Sales Goals
First and foremost, create a plan of action. Once you’ve set your goals, create a thorough map that outlines the steps you’ll need to take to achieve your goals. This will help to keep you focused and on track.
Next, review and adjust as needed. Regularly reviewing your goals and progress will help to ensure that you’re on track to achieving your goals and that they remain relevant and achievable. If your company goals shift, your sales goals may need to adjust as well.
Throughout it all, staying motivated can be challenging. Stay motivated by reminding yourself of why you set your goals in the first place and celebrate your progress and successes along the way.
Without those celebrations, your days can end up feeling like you’re sprinting on a never-ending hamster wheel.
4 Key Steps to Setting Up Your Goals
How Personal Goals Tie into Professional Goals
While all sales professionals have business goals, they should also consider personal goals and how both tie into each other. Your personal goals will most likely determine your success and satisfaction with your professional goals.
These four steps are amongst the most important things that I do every year. In fact, I spend 2 days every 4 months on my goals. This should be a standard for sales professionals to achieve success.
Step 1: Start with a Keystone Goal
The keystone goal is your ultimate objective. It’s the one that all of the other goals surround.
Professionally, you can meet with your colleagues and manager to discuss what this goal will be.
Personally, I usually sit down with my wife to decide what this will be because this is where my time, energy, and thought will go for the rest of the year. It’s very important to have alignment at home for this goal because achieving it means something big.
For many, the keystone goal is increasing closed won deals and conversions. For others who have personal goals, keystone goals can be material milestones like buying a house, getting a job that pays $$$, or starting your own business.
Regardless of what you decide, make sure it means something to you and is worth dedicating yourself to. A keystone goal could easily be something you work towards for multiple years.
Step 2: Identify Your Bucket Goals
There are 5 buckets that most people create goals in that can be both personal and professional:
- Health Goals
- Financial Goals
- Mental Goals
- Experience Goals
- Spiritual Goals
The reality is that not all of these buckets will apply to you and work directly alongside your professional sales goals.
What I have found that works best for me and other sales professionals I’ve worked with is to choose two buckets from your personal goals that marry your professional goals bucket.
For example, if you have a personal financial goal to increase your salary by 20% within the next year, your other goal bucket should align with your professional sales goal to make this happen.
This may be solidified by meeting your determined closed won to closed loss ratios for the year—a professional sales goal—while also meeting an experience goal of moving into a supervisor position within your sales department which equals your personal financial goal of increasing your salary.
Notice how all of these work together. This is how you build intentionality into what you’re planning to focus on for the rest of the year. What 2 buckets accompany your professional sales goal bucket all comes down to what you want to prioritize and work towards.
Just remember that the buckets need to add up to your keystone goal and personal goals almost always tie into professional goals.
So, let’s say you’ve written all of your goals down.
What do you do next?
Step 3: Build a Plan
I’m not going to lie. This is the hard part. This is where your discipline and commitment will be tested the most.
Here’s a framework that you can use to set yourself up for success in 2023:
It’s called the 3×3 Routine:
- What are 3 daily things you will do to reach your goals?
- What are 3 weekly things you will do to reach your goals?
- What are 3 monthly things you will do to reach your goals?
Write these down and make them your religion. This is where the magic happens.
Just think to yourself, what will happen if I stick to this routine? And more importantly, what will happen if I don’t?
Step 4: Make It Happen
A key part of achieving your goals is to make them visual. “Out of sight, out of mind” is a very real thing, so do yourself a favor and make this visual. Make your goals and 3×3 routine something that you see everyday. It can be a mini-poster you put up in your office or something as simple as a drawing on your fridge. Either way, make it a part of your visual reality.
This will help you stick to your routine and achieve greatness.
I want to make sure you have all the help you need, which is why my friends at RocketReach and I have made a goal setting playbook that you can use to keep track of everything that you’ve read today.
Click here to access it.
How Personal Goals Set You Up for Professional Success
At the end of the day, goal setting is an essential part of the sales success. It provides direction, helps to measure progress, and keeps you motivated. By setting SMART goals in your personal life, it will help you more easily set SMART goals in your professional life. We spend the majority of our days working when we aren’t sleeping. Because of this, our personal goals and professional goals are more closely intertwined than you may realize.
By being realistic, breaking down large goals into smaller tasks, creating a plan of action, reviewing and adjusting as needed, and staying motivated, you’ll be on your way to achieving your sales goals for 2023. Remember that goal setting is not a one-time task but a continuous process, so keep revisiting, revising, and readjusting them to align with the situation as it changes.
About the Guest Author: KD loves scaling sales teams. He’s built teams from 0-150+ sales reps, and revenues from 0-100M+ ARR (and counting). He believes in processes and systems, paired with skill development, as the code to success.