Getting SMART with Your Sales Goals
Achieve Results by Setting the Right Sales Goals
Sales is all about achieving results, but how are you going to get there? Reaching a destination requires directions, and achieving results requires goal-setting. After all, how can you track your progress or celebrate success if you don’t know what you are hoping to accomplish?
Goal setting improves performance: One 2015 study by psychologist Gail Matthews at Dominican University revealed that participants who actually wrote down their goals performed 33% better than those who did not. The world of psychology is filled with similar findings which emphasize the connection between goals and performance. And while this statement rings true for pretty much anything in life, it is especially relevant for sales. Setting the right goals will motivate and engage your sales team. It will also help them track their success, and keep them aware of and accountable for their progress.
But setting the right goal can often be just as difficult as achieving it. Goals that are unrealistic or unclear will potentially have the opposite effect of what you hoped for: They are great for discouraging and disengaging team members. Luckily, the SMART goal-setting framework makes it easy for you and your team set clear and effective goals that will continue to motivate, inspire, and improve performance.
The S.M.A.R.T Goal-Setting Framework
Below is a breakdown of the characteristics SMART goals consist of, and some SMART vs not-so-smart goal examples.
Specific: Objectives should be clear and concise.
Measurable: There must be some operationalized way of measuring success in achieving said goal.
Achievable: Goals should challenge the individual, but need to be kept realistic.
Relevant: It is important that the individual is able to see the connection between this goal and their current position, as well as their long-term goals/plans.
Time-bound: Due dates and a well-thought timeline are a must.
A SMART Goal Example: The Right Way
Picture this: You’ve just been hired for an exciting new sales position. Upon being hired, you meet with your sales team leader, and the two of you sit down to talk goals. Luckily, your new boss knows about the SMART framework. The goal you agree on is this:
In the next 3 months, you aim to close at least 5 deals within your dedicated region that are worth $1,000 to 5,000 each in net profit. You and your sales manager will hold intermediate progress reviews each month.
Let’s walk through what makes this a SMART goal:
- Specific: 3 months, 5 deals worth $1,000- $5,000. You can’t get more specific than quantitative figures.
- Measurable: Another great thing about quantitative goal-setting, it’s already operationalized. Money makes an easy metric.
- Achievable: This is a general example and we don’t know the reality of this particular company, however in most companies across industries, 5 deals in 3 months seems like a realistic and achievable goal.
- Relevant: This goal is completely relevant to a salesperson’s field of responsibility: It is a direct duty of the position, you are not being asked to do something outside of your scope of responsibilities.
- Time-bound: The timeline is made clear: …read more
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