January can be a tough month. The holidays are past us, winter won’t end, and there is a good chance our quotas have gone up. For me, it’s my busiest time of the year, which is why I rely on goals to keep me on track.
Without goals you get lost
I’m a shiny object guy, meaning I easily get distracted. It’s fun to try new things and test stuff out but without writing down goals, it’s way too easy to get off course. Your goals are the guiding light that shows you where you’re going and what you need to do to get there. For example, if you know your equation, you know you might need to make a minimum of 50 dials a day to hit the number you want to hit.
Another example would be attending conferences. It’s easy to go to a conference and feel like it was productive but come home with nothing tangible. But if you set goals like getting a minimum of 10 leads that turn into 3 follow up meetings with prospective clients, then you have something to focus on and measure yourself against.
Goals give you something other than quota to work towards
Quota is the main measurement of a sales rep’s success but it shouldn’t be the only measurement. If we only focus on quota then when we miss it we feel like a complete failure without anything to fall back on. Setting additional goals helps us have something to fall back on and feel good about.
I write down daily, weekly and annual goals and hold myself accountable. These can be as simple getting 4 meetings with key prospects this week or A/B split testing two different approaches to handling a specific objection to see which works better.
Goals also give you something tangible to work towards. Maybe you want a Maserati, or a vacation to Bali, or to pay off your debt. For me, I want to spend more time with my family. This means traveling less but bringing in the same amount of revenue.
If you know what you’re working towards it’s much more motivating and rewarding than just working towards hitting your number and it helps you stay focused.
Goals motivate you to work through the bad days
Without knowing where you’re going you won’t know how to get there. Sales can be a brutal grind and it can feel like there is no end in sight. Many reps start their careers in sales and focus on the short term without thinking of the bigger picture.
I used to roll my eyes at the question “where do you want to be in 5 years” but now I think it’s a pretty important question for all of us to answer. I don’t mean this in terms of the company you are working for, I mean where do you want to be in your life in 5 years and what kind of lifestyle do you want to be living? Do you want to be married, have kids, own a house, buy a car, etc? Once you have a vision and goals of what kind of life you want to live then you can determine what kind of money you need to be able to live that life and then what kind of job will allow you to make the money to live that life.
With this approach, you can deal with a shitty job for a while, as long as you know that it’s getting you to where you want to go. Without that bigger picture vision and goals then you tend to focus on the short-term and dealing with a shitty job is almost unbearable.
Goals let you control your momentum
Sales is about momentum. When things are going well they seem to keep going well. You close that deal then the other prospect you were trying hard to connect with finally responds to your e-mail, you hit every green light driving into work, you get the “free beverage” alert on your Dunkin Donuts app.
It’s the same with negative momentum. You lose that deal, the prospect responds with ‘take me off your list,’ you hit every red light and your Dunkin app doesn’t work. When the negative momentum hits goals can help you get back on the right track. When things are going bad you need to stop the momentum and get yourself on the winning track again. Setting short-term, attainable goals allows you to have small wins that start to build in the positive direction.
Be SMART and DUMB with your goals
I recently read this article on being SMART and DUMB with your goals. SMART goals allow you to stay focused and execute in the short term while DUMB goals allow you to think big and go for it. Set SMART and DUMB goals to achieve greatness and stay focused.
Make It Happen!