Very few people would go on a vacation without first planning and scheduling their time, activities and transportation.
You wouldn’t start out hoping to arrive at your destination without any preparation. You would put together a detailed plan that when followed, would allow you to arrive as planned and scheduled. Successful salespeople know from the beginning what effort and activity will be necessary to achieve the result they expect. It is simply a matter of following a prepared blueprint. There is no guesswork, only a matter of achieving what has already been planned. Goal setting will allow you to see the end from the beginning.
Anyone can set a goal, but achieving goals requires planning and a schedule. The tool that will allow salespeople to achieve their goals is a monthly goal sheet. This sheet represents a thirty-day road map detailing the course, activity and effort necessary to achieve your sales objectives. A sales goal is far more than just a number. It is a number supported by time, activity and specific direction. A monthly goal sheet is a map containing all the specific information necessary to achieve your sales objective. Here is a list detailing the eight powerful elements of a monthly goal sheet, describing how it can drive you to greater sales success.
- Set the goal. Determine what you want to achieve and write down the number. It can be written in terms of total sales dollars, profit, number of customers or any other unit that would describe achievement. If you don’t write it, then you won’t achieve it.
- Determine the time frame. Your objective is to achieve a certain result within a specific period of time; a calendar month is a typical period of time. A goal without a time period established for achievement is merely a wish. Using the terms, “as soon as I can” or “someday” are simply an excuse for lack of achievement.
- Every goal must have specific steps leading to the desired achievement. Without the establishment of these steps, time and effort will be spent doing things that are not necessary to the achievement of the goal. A monthly sales goal needs to focus specifically on those accounts or prospects that can conceivably contribute to reaching the goal. Think in terms of those opportunities that have at least a fifty percent chance of closing for the month. Write each of those opportunities on your goal sheet.
- Once you have listed the specific opportunities you plan to close for the month, write the value of each of those opportunities. Since you have listed the sales opportunities that have a fifty percent chance of closing, your opportunities will need to be twice the value of your goal. In other words, every opportunity on your goal sheet will not close. If you don’t have enough total opportunities listed, you will fall short of reaching your goal.
- Divide your goal into four weeks. By assessing where you stand each week you will be able to better determine the effort necessary to reach the monthly goal. You will also be able to make adjustments to your effort and achievement as the days and weeks progress instead of waiting until the end of the month when there is no time left to react. By setting a goal for each week’s efforts and then tracking each week’s results, you will know where you stand and what needs to be done to successfully reach your monthly goal.
- Prospecting to find more opportunities will allow you to reach your goal. If your total opportunities projected for the month are less than twice the amount listed as your monthly goal, then you need to prospect to find more opportunities. Finding more opportunity with an existing customer is the best and quickest method of building your pipeline. The next best method is receiving referrals from happy, satisfied customers.
- A picture is worth a thousand words. Most people are visual, so create a picture that represents your progress in reaching your monthly goal. A graph, chart or even a picture of a thermometer, calibrated to show your sales progress, will create the excitement to move you forward when your motivation is low.
- Review and update your goal sheet every day and then take the appropriate actions. Make contact with those opportunities listed on your goal sheet and record your success daily. Your daily concentrated focus will create the effort necessary to achieve your goals.