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.
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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 firstname.lastname@example.org.