As a sales coach, I see some salespeople drift aimlessly from day to day and year to year. There is no focus on a long-term plan for their life, let alone for their sales life. And then there are those other sales executives that set highly detailed goals and conform strictly to daily to-do lists.
Most of us are somewhere in the middle.
Where do you grow from here–with 2017 sales goals that will help you grow and maybe even stand out? Here are my 5 tips for goal setting success, and how each one applies to your sales life:
Sales Goal Idea #1: Set keystone habits first.
“Keystone” is a term that goes back to the Mesopotamians, who used a single solitary stone to lock other stones in place to form an arch. So when you set “keystone” sales goals as a priority, then your other goals begin to fall into place much the same way. For example, if you want to prospect with a passion in 2017, you cannot do this if you are tired by 2pm. So, your first keystone goal needs to be getting more rest. (Experts at the Mayo Clinic will tell you that most adults need 7-9 hours of sleep to achieve peak performance.) So look at your over-arching goals and how they best fit together for sales success. If you are not sure of your keystone goals, this is a great topic to bring up with your sales coach as you set your agenda for the New Year.
Sales Goal Idea #2: Identify the “why” in the goal.
The “what” of a goal can be easier to define. For example, I want to grow my client base. The “how” is about creating mini-goals. The “why” is also a critical and often missing piece of goal-setting success. Do you have deep and profound reasons for wanting to achieve the business goals that you set for yourself? You need to attach a meaningful reason “why” to each of your goals. For example, I want to earn 25% more this year to send my kid to private school. Without the why, the what will often fall flat.
Sales Goal Idea #3: Plan for the year, not January.
Buy a big flat calendar for your wall to literally help you see the big picture. A calendar that shows all the months of the year. Then, break down your goals across the total year. Most failures happen in the first 60 days or less. By spreading out your goals you allow yourself time to actually achieve them. For example, you might set your prospecting goals for January and the creation of your new proposal templates for March. It is so helpful to see the entire year road map for your goal setting success.
Sales Goal Idea #4: Find an accountability buddy.
Researchers at the University College London found that partners who adopted a new and positive behavior together were more successful than those who tried to change on their own. Try to find an accountability buddy in a fellow salesperson. Here’s an example of how it works: Prospecting is a critical sales process. Agree on a certain time period each day that each of you will prospect. You will have more success if you and your partner do the exact same task at the exact same time. Your accountability buddy would then follow-up with you on the results. If you don’t have the option of a buddy, then use your calendar to remind you. Or you can put these important items in the Reminders app that is built into your iPhone. Another good option is hiring a sales coach.
Sales Goal Idea #5: Set a realistic time frame for success.
The time frames required to develop a new habit or new routine, depending on the complexity of the habit and your level of commitment, is usually 3 to 6 weeks. In other words, if you do your ‘habit’ consistently for 3 to 6 weeks, it should become routine to you. Kicking an old habit theoretically takes the same amount of time. For example, you may want to work on your closing skills. This is not an overnight task. You can commit to yourself each week– “I will practice with Bill this week in the office and try my new closing techniques on two sales calls this week.”
Achieving your goals takes more than good intentions. You have to take action and then systematically measure your progress. You may need some help to stay on track beyond apps, your accountability buddy or your calendar. Stay tuned for next Monday when I share 5 more of my sales goal setting ideas.
Best of luck exceeding your sales goals in 2017!
More about Ryan: Ryan Dohrn is an award winning sales coach and offers sales training to thousands of sales executives each year. He is also an international motivational speaker and the author of the best selling sales book, Selling Backwards. Ryan is the President and founder of Brain Swell Media, a boutique sales training and sales coaching firm with a detailed focus on sales training and coaching for media and technology companies. He is also the owner and Publisher of SalesTrainingWorld.com an online portal for sales training success.
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