The beginning of the New Year means many things. Gyms will be crowded for the month because everyone is determined to change their unhealthy lifestyles. Your smoker coworkers are sure to be a little more on edge than usual as they try to kick that nasty habit. And your boss is going to be nagging you about your upcoming goals for the year. Sure, every salesman wants to get better. Of course, we all want to sell more this year than we did last year, but having generalized goals like “get healthy,” “save money,” and “sell more” are actually part of what is keeping you from succeeding. Until you take the time to formulate some truly SMART goals for the upcoming year, chances are you are no more likely to succeed than before you actually made the goal.
S – Be specific with what you hope to accomplish
Your first step should be creating a specific goal. “Selling more this year” is great and all, but it raises the question of how much. Will you make one more sale or ten? Does the size matter? How much revenue should this equate to? In order to track your progress towards your goal and encourage you to keep progressing, it is important your goal be highly specific.
M – If you can’t measure the goal, it isn’t helpful
The reason we set goals is to keep us focused on what is ahead. If looking forward didn’t matter, we would instead be focused this time of year on reflecting on what we did last year. The problem with that is you have no real ability to affect change based on what you saw. We look forward so we can measure our progress along the way. That helps us determine how we are doing and alerts us when we need to correct the course. So instead of simply aiming to sell "more," make a more specific goal by adding a specific monthly value. Instead, it can be “Sell three deals each month.”
A – Every worthwhile goal must be achievable
Being optimistic and aggressive is good when it comes to formulating your annual sales goals, but if you are doing so at the expense of reality, it won’t help you succeed. Sure, the boss will be happy at first when reviewing your aggressive goals for the year, but he or she will be much less so when you keep failing to reach your goals every month. So go back and determine what you were doing each month on average last year. Is your business seasonal? Should you expect peaks and valleys at certain times of the year? Paying attention to all this will help you determine what an aggressive and realistic goal should be.
R – Keep your goals relevant to the team’s goals
When determining what activities to track or what numbers to hit, it is important to begin with your team’s goals in mind. Make sure that your personal goals will help the team succeed. If your personal result doesn’t affect the team's, perhaps there is something more important that you should be focused on.
T – If your goal isn’t time-based it isn’t doing you any favors
Every smart goal, be that for sales or something else, should be time-based. You need to know exactly how long you have to reach that goal in order to be able to effectively evaluate how on or off-track you are to hitting it. So instead of pledging to “sell more this year,” instead, word your goal like this: “Increase new sales from one a month to two new deals each month in 2016.” This way you will have the ability to every week see whether or not you are on pace to succeed for the month and for the year. If you are halfway through the month and yet to close a deal, you know that you need to pick up the pace for the next two weeks.
Utilizing the SMART method for creating your annual goals will put you in the best position to succeed this year. Sure it may be a pain to think through all this stuff, but it will pay you back tenfold in your ability to track our progress and thus affect change moving forward. If you need some help determining a SMART sales goal for 2016, or if you simply want to learn more about how you can improve your sales this year from the best Denver marketing company around, please feel free to reach out to the Revenue River team at any time.