Shooting for the Moon: 7 Ways Good Sales Goals Can Help You Achieve Success

Few things feel as good as achieving a goal. And sales goals for your company are no exception. When you set good, effective sales goals your business can benefit in these seven ways.

Goals are used successfully by individuals and organizations to achieve a desired level of performance or obtain desired outcomes. Goals, when used effectively, can purposefully align the behaviors, actions, abilities, energy and resources of individuals and groups. Some goals, however, can demotivate and lead to flat and even lower performance.   

So, what do good goals look like?

One of the best and most used examples is the Moon Shot.

“I believe that this nation should commit itself to achieving the goal, before this decade is out, of landing on the moon and returning him safely to the earth.” John F. Kennedy, Joint Session of Congress, May 25, 1961.

A little more than eight years later, NASA achieved the first part of the goal when Astronauts Neal Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin landed and walked on the moon. Three days later, NASA completed the second part as the Crew of Apollo 11 was recovered in the North Pacific Ocean by the USS Hornet. Goal achieved!

“We choose to go to the moon! We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard; because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one we intend to win, and the others, too.” John F. Kennedy at Rice University, September 1962.

•             RELATED: The importance of effective goal setting for small businesses.

Think of the aligned action that was needed to achieve this eight-year goal: New budgets had to be approved; mindsets had to be changed as critics and resistance had to be overcome; new companies had to be created to develop the new materials and new systems that did not exist; men and women had to be recruited, screened and trained. Much had to be done to achieve this big and audacious goal.

Here are seven ways good sales goals can help you become more successful.

No. 1: Good sales goals provide you with a revenue growth trajectory over a period of time.

Your trajectory starts with where you are and where you want to be. The revenue trajectory should be based on the current and future net income goals of the company. It is harder to achieve personal success if the organization does not desire higher levels of performance.

A good formula for building your individual and company sales goals includes:

•             your prior year revenues;

•             deduct your expected losses/churn;

•             an estimate of your retention numbers;

•             addition of your targeted growth at existing customers/markets;

•             addition of targeted revenue growth at new customers/new markets; and

•             addition of sales growth of new products/services to be offered to the market.

No. 2: Good sales goals keep you aligned and focused on key deadlines and milestones.

“I think goals should never be easy, they should force you to work, even if they are uncomfortable at the time.” Michael Phelps, who has earned 23 Olympic gold medals over a 16-year competitive swimming career that includes five Olympics.

The more challenging the goal, the higher your commitment and discipline need to be. Your goals should help you identify where you need to be and by when with skills, knowledge and resources needed to achieve key deadlines. What needs to change in your behaviors and your decision making over the horizon you have chosen?

No. 3: Good sales goals motivate you and build your confidence as you achieve levels of success along the journey.

Positive attitude, enthusiasm and growth mindset are a personal choice and, for many, come from positive winning experiences and success overcoming challenges. Attitude and enthusiasm stick with us regardless of our roles.

Negative attitudes about any aspect of the sales role can undermine motivation and strategies and can be infectious and spread.

What do you need to do so you are able to approach every challenge with confidence and enthusiasm and to love what you do?

No. 4: Good sales goals help you recognize and accept the need to overcome challenges and set-backs.

"I need to understand how to re-evaluate my goals, how to reset my goals, how to deal with everything.” Justin Thomas, discussing the new burdens he faces as the 2017 FedEx Cup Champion as he prepares for the 2018 season.

As in Michael Phelps’ career, professional golfers must plan out a whole year to be the FedEx Cup Champion. If you Google Justin Thomas’s interviews after he won the 2017 FedEx Cup, he showed his goals for the whole season that ran from October 2016 to 2017.

Have you broken down your goals into smaller chunks so you can measure your progress on your “season” or your personal journey?

No. 5: Good sales are supported by solid metrics and KPI’s to provide a feedback process so you know your status, what is working and where you need to adjust.

Align everyone behind your key drivers of growth, get the right people making good decisions at the right time, and hold people accountable for execution using good metrics and KPIs.

What are your personal sales goals for the year? Are your goals broken down by quarter, month, week or day? Are your metrics and KPI’s broken down by sales strategy, territory/geography, customer or product?

No. 6: Good sales goals help you identify the improved skills or resources you need to develop to achieve new or more challenging future goals.

Are you open to learning? Are you coachable? Do you have a fixed mindset or are you open to the feedback, the lesson of failure, the learning of new skills and the adapting needed to achieve your sales goals? What are you doing to continuously develop yourself?

"Training with Bob is the smartest thing I've ever done—I’m not going to swim for anyone else." Michael Phelps’ comment on his coach, Bob Bowman. Bowman and Phelps have been together since Phelps turned 11.

No. 7: Good sales goals provide a sense of personal pride as you achieve milestones and personal bests.

Enthusiasm is a powerful force to help you prepare to be your best every day. Preparation increases confidence. Positive attitude and mindset allows you to be positive and proactive as you execute opportunities, overcome challenges and recover from setbacks and failures. Are you feeding your inner sales beast?

So, what is your sales Moon Shot?

What is your sales trajectory that will take your personal beliefs to another level, take your performance to another level and help you achieve the business results you may never have thought were possible?

•             RELATED: Read more on sales by Wayne Bergman.

Wayne Bergman is a business and executive coach and founder of Consistent Business Growth. Questions or comments about this piece? Email him directly at wayne@cbgrowth-gfm.com.

Share
  • Email
  • Next up: Show Your Support for the GCP's Small Business Tax Deduction; Sign GCP's Letter Now

    Show Your Support for the GCP's Small Business Tax Deduction; Sign GCP's Letter Now

    Recent changes made by the Ohio House of Representatives to the state budget bill would substantially reduce the small business income deduction. Under the proposal, the amount of business income entities may deduct from their Ohio taxes would be reduced from $250,000 to $100,000. In addition, the proposal eliminates the flat 3% rate for qualified income above $250,000 and increases that rate to almost 5%.

    GCP has long-supported the small business tax deduction as an important way for smaller business owners to reinvest back into their companies and workforces. Beyond this support, GCP has been an advocate for a sustainable and predictable tax and regulatory environment. The proposed changes to the small business tax deduction put both in jeopardy. In an effort to preserve the tax deduction in its current form and protect small businesses, GCP will submit a letter to the Ohio General Assembly that calls for the following:

    1. Preserve Ohio’s current small business tax deduction, which is utilized by members for reinvestment back into their companies and workforces. Reducing the maximum deduction for business income by 60% is significant and would seriously jeopardize future planning and investments.

    2. Maintain the 3% flat tax rate that pass-through businesses pay on earnings over $250,000. Because most businesses are set up as pass-through entities, they pay taxes on business income at the income tax rate of their individual owners. Ensuring the proper treatment for a variety of business types, expenses, and investments made by business owners—to support the growth of their businesses—is a critical focus in deliberations on tax policy.
     
    We are calling on our small business members to consider signing the letter in partnership with GCP to show your concern, too. To show your support of the preservation of the small business tax deduction,  opt-in to sign GCP’s letter here. Your voice matters in the fight to preserve both the tax deduction and a predictable tax environment.

    Share
  • Email
  • Next up: Slay the Impromptu Dragon!

    Slay the Impromptu Dragon!

    Has this ever happened to you? Emma arrived at work early, got a cup of coffee and settled into tackling her highest priority task of the day. When, out of nowhere, her boss Bob approached her cubicle and asked the question that strikes fear in the hearts most employees, 'Hi Emma ... you busy?'

    Has this ever happened to you? Emma arrived at work early, got a cup of coffee and settled into tackling her highest priority task of the day. When, out of nowhere, her boss Bob approached her cubicle and asked the question that strikes fear in the hearts most employees, 'Hi Emma ... you busy?'

    Without waiting for an answer, he indicated that some of the executives from Glitztronics were in for a project status review meeting. Andy, the team lead, had just called in sick, so Bob asked you to fill in and do a five-minute quickie overview for them … right now. ‘After all’, he said, ‘you’re the senior member of the project team anyway.’

    Instant stress, panic and fear would overtake most people in a similar situation. They couldn’t say no, but would be terrified that they’d blow it and look foolish in front of their clients … and their boss. Not Dragon Slayer Emma … she’s a real pro at workplace presentations.

    Impromptu presentations can be the workplace communicator’s worst nightmare … if you let them. But, having a ‘what if’ plan for just such emergencies can save the day. Here’s what Emma did to slay the dragon:

    • First, she took a deep breath, smiled at Bob and told him she’d be happy to help out with a tone of confidence and even appreciation.
    • Emma then asked him what three or four brief talking points he wanted her to discuss and who specifically would be in the room.
    • She jotted down some quick notes and followed him down the hall.

    Bob briefly introduced Emma, indicating she was filling in for the absent Andy and turned the meeting over to her. And she had them at ‘hello’.

    • She welcomed the clients, said she was delighted to give them a brief project status and discuss its background, current activity and next series of milestones.
    • Then, Emma did a very smart thing … she asked them if that agenda worked for their needs and if anyone had any specific questions they wanted to make sure got addressed.
    • Since she hadn’t even seen Andy’s slides, she didn’t use any.
    • She simply did a brief review of the project and asked if they had any other questions.
    • In her quick summary, Emma thanked them again for the opportunity to work with Glitztronics and said she looked forward to their next meeting.

    So, you can all learn from a pro like Emma and Slay your Impromptu Dragon. Have a basic structure in mind that can quickly adapt to most any topic and quickly decide on content points and support facts as you walk down the hall. Project confidence, enthusiasm and enjoyment, especially if you’re faking it, and never let them see you sweat.

    Hey … it worked very well for Emma. She got applause from the clients and glowing comments from Bob, who didn’t forget her stepping up at performance review time.

    Share
  • Email
  • Next up: Small Budget, Big Content

    Small Budget, Big Content

    We’re hungry for information, and we consume it with a fast food mentality. We fly in, grab a bite and if there’s a wait or we don’t find what we’re looking for, we’re over it. Our attention span for blah content is zero. It better be interesting and different—it must matter to us personally or professionally. Otherwise … Goodbye.

    We’re hungry for information, and we consume it with a fast food mentality. We fly in, grab a bite and if there’s a wait or we don’t find what we’re looking for, we’re over it. Our attention span for blah content is zero. It better be interesting and different—it must matter to us personally or professionally. Otherwise … Goodbye.

    Content rules, but not just any content.

    “Content marketing is not a brand-new arena, but the terminology is. The concept of generating high-quality, valuable information targeted to an audience to entertain, teach, help—this is not a brand-new arena. We call it content marketing today, but the principles have been in practice for generations,” points out Joe Pulizzi, founder of Content Marketing Institute, a training and education organization for content marketing.

    “Think about Poor Richard’s Almanac, which was created to promote Ben Franklin’s printing business,” Pulizzi relates. “Content marketing has evolved with the onset of Google Search and social media, and it took off in 2010 and 2011. Now it’s a de facto term for an approach where you create value; relevant, compelling information on a consistent basis in order to build an audience.”

    Ah, that’s the catch: consistency and quality. Oh, and content marketing will not produce an overnight success story. It requires a commitment.

    The problem is, as small business owners you might be strapped in the time department and budgeting to outsource high-quality content could break the advertising bank. But with content marketing, there’s real opportunity to deeply connect with potential customers and nurture relationships with existing clients.

    “There has never been a greater opportunity than right now to build an audience online because you can reach people today,” Pulizzi says.

    Technology makes information delivery instant and easy. But you’ve got to cut through the clutter. How do you do all of this on a tight budget and limited time? It is possible to leverage content as a marketing tool without creating a second job for yourself. So how do you do it? Well, you’re going to have to keep reading. (Hey, we spilled a lot of ink on this story, we want you to read it!)

    Who Cares?
    Save time (and money) with content marketing efforts by targeting your efforts. Who are you trying to reach? Where is your audience hanging out? “See the Internet through the eyes of your consumers,” advises Joe Kubic, CEO and co-founder of Adcom Group.

    Search your company name and industry. Find competitors. “See where you show up and where the conversation is, then decide if it’s important for you to be part of that conversation,” Kubic says.     
        
    The point is, your business does not have to be everywhere and that’s a costly mistake many small business owners make. “The average small business communicates in 10 channels and that’s probably too many,” Pulizzi points out.

    “You need a home base,” he emphasizes.

    Set Up Home Base
    So, about that home base. It could be Facebook or a blog housed on your website. It could be Twitter or YouTube. Decide how you will deliver information: text, audio, video, images. Then select a platform that aligns with the type of content you’ll generate.

    Content marketing doesn’t automatically translate to white paper reports and long-form blogs. Take Matthew Patrick, who started a YouTube show called Game Theory. “He doesn’t have a blog; everything he does is on YouTube,” Pulizzi relates.

    Patrick’s effort grew in a couple short years into a multi-million dollar company and a social media following of 5 million-plus. “He is one person,” Pulizzi says.

    One person who identified exactly what made him different from competitors. Content Marketing Institute conducted research looking at entrepreneurs who succeed in content marketing. What they had in common was a differentiated message, Pulizzi says. “That’s not an easy thing to do: You have to find something that is of supreme value to your customers and deliver that on a consistent basis.”

    In other words, don’t waste resources by spreading yourself too thin. Your content does not need to live on every platform. Do you have a radio voice and a knack for talking out problems? Are you adept at writing and can you entertain and keep readers interested? Do you have images and photographs to share that your audience will appreciate? Do you want to show people “how” (solving their problems, offering tips) with video?

    Figure out what works for your voice and the information you plan to deliver.

    Stand Out
    The glut of information available online creates constant noise for consumers. How will you grab your audience’s attention? Again, going back to the time-is-money reality: focused efforts will save your schedule and your budget.
    “Figure out your differentiating characteristics so your voice doesn’t sound like everyone else’s,” says Halle Eichenbaum Barnett, partner in Media Schmedia. “People have zero attention span, so if you expect to engage someone you have to stick to their terms and meet them in a space where they might have room for you.”

    A helpful exercise is to create customer personas. You’re basically character sketching the people who loyally buy from you. “You can create a granular picture of what their needs are,” Barnett explains.

    What frustrates or concerns your customers? What is daily life like for them? Are they decision-makers in their households or businesses? What information do they look for online?

    “The more you know your audience, the better you will be able to connect with them through content,” Barnett says.

    Be Consistent
    Content marketing is not a one-shot deal. Even if you keep efforts rolling for six months, you might see little return. Building relationships takes time. Cultivating a following is a long-term endeavor. So what do you do?

    Be predictable.

    Decide what you can do and stick to it. “Pick a frequency you can actually commit to, and work ahead with an editorial calendar,” Pulizzi advises. He suggests preparing content at least two weeks in advance.

    Planning is key to achieving consistency and not getting overwhelmed by your content marketing efforts. What can you reasonably accomplish? Writing one blog? Posting a few status updates per week? Creating a podcast monthly? “Figure out what you want to do and what you’re good at,” Pulizzi recommends.

    And, the reverse, determine what you do not want to do and delegate those tasks. Perhaps you enjoy writing raw content but not editing or posting. Maybe you enjoy delivering a podcast but the technical side is not your thing. Or, say you love strategy and prefer to oversee the execution.

    “Figure out what you’ll do with your time and employees’ time, and how much it will take to outsource the rest,” Pulizzi says of budgeting and staying on task.

    Keep It Simple

    In some ways, the thought of content marketing is far more daunting than actually doing it. In fact, you’re already generating content for your business. (How about those helpful email replies, informational presentations, etc.) You’ve got an arsenal of information on hand and the expertise to be a resource. Now all you have to do is put yourself out there.

    Kubic shares that Facebook can be extremely effective for delivering content to a targeted audience and building a network. “For small business owners, it can be a great content management tool,” he says.

    If you do just one thing, consider putting out an e-newsletter so you can culminate the messages you put out on social media and in other formats, Pulizzi suggests.

    “With platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, you don’t ‘own’ or control those algorithms and followers; we have the most control with email subscribers, so focus on that,” he says.

    “You have content,” Pulizzi says. “You just have to distill it into a story.”

    Share
  • Email
  • Next up: Small Business Heads to the Columbus on April 26

    Small Business Heads to the Columbus on April 26

    On April 26, small business owners from around Northeast Ohio will get the opportunity to have their voices heard and advance small business-friendly state policies. That’s when the annual COSE Day at the Capitol is scheduled to take place at Capitol Square in Columbus.

    On April 26, small business owners from around Northeast Ohio will get the opportunity to have their voices heard and advance small business-friendly state policies. That’s when the annual COSE Day at the Capitol is scheduled to take place at Capitol Square in Columbus.

    This free event allows COSE entrepreneurs and small business owners to have some one-on-one time with policymakers to discuss the issues and challenges faced by smaller enterprises every day. The day includes visits with legislators, presentations from public policy leaders, as well as a networking and cocktail hour with legislators.

    In addition to the meetings with elected officials, participants also get the chance to meet and share with colleagues throughout the day as well.

    Want to learn more? Watch this video, which provides background information on the event and explains the importance of your involvement in COSE Day at the Capitol.

    Save the date; additional details are on the way.  To register today, visit www.cose.org/events, e-mail events@cose.org or call the events hotline at 216.592.2390.

    Share
  • Email
  • Next up: Small Business Input Wanted Regarding Ohio Business Gateway

    Small Business Input Wanted Regarding Ohio Business Gateway

    Do you have 10 minutes to participate in a simple online survey that will help make Ohio more business-friendly? Ohio’s Lieutenant Governor wants your feedback and it’s crucial the voice of small business is not lost in the shuffle.

    Do you have 10 minutes to participate in a simple online survey that will help make Ohio more business-friendly? Ohio’s Lieutenant Governor wants your feedback and it’s crucial the voice of small business is not lost in the shuffle.

    Lieutenant Governor Mary Taylor is leading an effort to modernize and upgrade the Ohio Business Gateway, a portal for Ohio businesses to access information, pay taxes, and complete other required transactions with the state. To facilitate this process, your help is needed to ensure that any changes and improvement made to the Gateway is focused on making it easier to do business in Ohio. 

    Your time will be an investment in making sure the Ohio Business Gateway of the future is optimized to meet the needs of Ohio small businesses as state government forges ahead towards more of an online presence. It’s critical that the Ohio Business Gateway meet the needs of small business owners like you.

    By taking this survey, our members will help Ohio plan for the future of the Ohio Business Gateway and how small business owners use this application. We encourage and appreciate your participation.


    Share
  • Email