With a new year, many people set resolutions. These often list things they can do to better themselves, such as joining a gym, reading more books, eating vegetables. While these are all great for self-improvement, they are typically not geared toward elevating professional performance. But doesn’t the new you deserve new success? For many salespeople, it’s helpful to set new sales goals along with personal resolutions. After all, you want to start fresh, create goals that are challenging and achievable. Even more, you need goals that motivate you to do more and go further. Here are some simple steps to ensure that you’re setting realistic, attainable, and motivating sales goals for 2022:
Organize Your Goals
First, select a long-term goal for the upcoming year. It may be an income amount, a new position, or joining the Presidents Club. Next, list all the minor steps required to reach that sales goal. Write them down. Take the time to think about what would bring you closer to your long-term sales goal. List every step and mini-goal you can think of (hint: they don’t have to be income-related).
These can be revenue or activity-based goals, or both. Don’t worry if they will be easy or hard to accomplish. Write them all down. Then, prioritize them based on how important they are to achieving your overall goal. Rank each one as high, medium, or low priority based on its importance toward meeting your long-term goal.
Clarify the Vision
Setting goals is one of those obvious things no one wants to do because it’s difficult. As such, many people don’t set any. But in a very literal sense, goals are road maps—they get you where you want to go.
It’s not always easy getting there, but most leaders will agree that setting targets and striving toward them helps focus energy on moving forward. That’s why goal setting is an often-undervalued leadership skill.
As with anything else in life, goals aren’t worth much unless they can be tracked. Great salespeople know they need measurable objectives each quarter to hold themselves accountable and provide something tangible to review at the end of the year.
Plan With Precision
To set goals correctly, you must ask yourself some specific questions, such as:
- What are my biggest weaknesses?
- Where do I see myself 12 months from now?
- How can I start building a plan that will help me achieve my goals?
Thinking about these questions not only helps set more realistic and manageable goals. It also leads you toward success. The best part is, it’s not too late to start setting goals right now. Just pull out your pen and paper and start writing today. It’s said an unwritten goal is often just a dream.
Break Goals Into Manageable Parts
While setting goals can be a great way to motivate yourself, it’s also easy to get so caught up in your ambition that you lose sight of what’s realistic. To avoid overwhelming yourself and becoming frustrated, break down your goals into manageable parts.
For example, if you want to increase topline sales by 15 percent, target a 5 percent increase per quarter, and try to meet that goal every year. The result is that you spend less time worrying about whether you hit a specific number and more time looking at whether you are meeting your longer-term goal. And who knows? Maybe reaching smaller goals will motivate you to make bigger strides with each successive step.
A bonus tip: There are plenty of new apps that can help you keep track of your goals and build positive habits. Use some new goal-setting tools—or ones you’ve been meaning to try—to help. Below are some examples to get you started:
- Streaks (build daily good habits)
- Strides (track goals and milestones)
- GoalsOnTrack (goal tracking for high achievers)
Experiment until you find a solution you like, then just do it.
Keep It Real
Writing down your goals is a good start, but it does not do any good if they are unrealistic. Build your plan around realistic, attainable goals. In other words, make sure you have a strategy that works. These should be in concert with your manager’s priorities and, if possible, even the company’s initiatives for next year.
Obviously, you don’t want to dump goals onto your manager that he or she has never heard of before. Instead, start with a conversation about what you both want to accomplish. This is a great way to come up with relevant and attainable targets together. Be as specific as possible. Some examples could include:
- Increase leads by 10%
- Sell five more machines per month
- Increase current customers’ sales by 15%
Have at least three to five goals that you can bring to your supervisor or manager. This sets the table to proactively demonstrate that you are focused on your career and improvement.
Execute the Plan
Setting a goal can be one of the most effective ways to ensure you hit your sales targets. However, it’s also where many people fall short. A recent study from Harvard University found that only 19% of people achieve their goals over two years.
Writing it down not only gives your goals power. It also helps organize your thoughts and account for each factor. In fact, when surveyed about what was holding them back from success, many professionals cited a lack of clarity as one of the most common obstacles.
By writing down your goals, you create order in what can feel like chaos. Clarity breeds confidence, which drives results. Before starting new endeavors, jot down all your goals so they are clearly defined. Then, you can tackle each individual step.
Instead of wasting time winging it or adhering to an ever-changing set of post-it notes on your monitor, create a hard copy and revisit it weekly. This will keep you focused on hitting those numbers next year.
You’ll have increased motivation, focus, and less anxiety knowing exactly where you stand at any given moment and how close (or far) you are from accomplishing your desired result.
Reviewing how your goals have changed over time is a key element of goal setting. Don’t be surprised if some of your goals look completely different the following year. In fact, this should be expected. Don’t let that discourage you; it just means you’re thinking about what’s best for your ever-changing sales career.
If there’s anything sales has taught me, it’s that planning, perseverance, and passion are necessary to succeed. Set goals now that will help guide you through the next year. But don’t be afraid to reevaluate them 12 months later. This way, you can make sure they align with where your company needs to go to reach its full potential. Here’s to crushing those numbers in 2022 and beyond!