While every business sets goals for sales, a personal goal will go much further in reaching company goals. The goal set by someone else is rarely as motivating, in a positive way, as one you set for yourself. It’s personal and internal, something you control and you want to achieve. As you achieve it your business thrives because personal goals tend to be fought for and reached more often and more enthusiastically. “I want to” rather than “I have to.”
And in today’s economic climate, recovering though it is supposed to be, money for training and patience for results is still pretty low. Setting a personal goal takes care of you while still benefitting the company.
The first place to go to determine your personal goal is the company revenue numbers. Revenue is more understandable and less ephemeral than margins or other metric that isn’t directly related to how customers buy. Everyone understands revenues.
Take the revenue number and use it as a starting point for your personal goal. But you need to sweeten the deal to make it personally competitive; set your goal higher. Reaching higher than the requirement helps you put more muscle in the jump, plus if you don’t quite make it, you will still likely make the company goal which will still translate into higher sales.
Always Aim beyond the Mundane
Now that you have your number, don’t think of it in one big lump. That way lays madness because it will look like an impossible mountain to climb. Break that number into smaller buckets and start thinking about the ways you will fulfill the goal.
Filling the Buckets
You aren’t starting from scratch unless this is a new business. You should have a number of existing faucets from which to fill your buckets.
You probably have some deals in the pipeline that had not yet closed when the fiscal year ended. Take stock of those and find the ones most likely to close and work them. This will fill out the first quarter numbers.
Along with those still in the works, take a look at how many service contracts you have that will be automatic sales that won’t take a lot of effort. Your existing customers are your best customers because they bought from you before, are familiar with you, and will not leave unless forced to.
New Sales to Existing Customers
Are your customers taking full advantage of all your products and services? Identify areas where you may be able create additional revenue as well as deepen the relationship. This helps you keep up with changes in your customers’ business and be ready to offer solutions as new problems arise.
If the customer is large enough, can you get contacts within another division or department that could use your products? By building a relationship with the first contact there you may have a foot in the door for other areas.
If you can pin realistic numbers on this bucket you can subtract sales to existing customers from your personal goal.
See? It’s shrinking already!
Before proceeding, give yourself a little leeway by adding 20% to the number you now have. Just like your personal goal is more ambitious than the company goal, this gives you a target to aim at and if you miss, you can still make your original goal. If you make it you have a new personal best. Yay!
Now you are ready to plan out your strategy to generate new leads. You have the remainder of your personal goal to reach, how will you get there?
Again, don’t overwhelm yourself. Look to your historical lead close rates and the number of accounts you needed to meet your last revenue goal. This gives you a good estimate of how things went in the past.
Now take the rest of your personal revenue goal and determine how many accounts it will take to meet it. Now, how many leads do you need to generate to reliably close that many accounts? And what type of lead generation strategy will best bring them in?
Plan out on your calendar what lead generation activities you plan, how often, and when. An example might be to plan an email every week and a white paper offering each quarter. In one of the months where there is no white paper, plan a webinar. Do you appear at an annual trade show? How many leads do you anticipate from there?
Take your time setting this up. It is a larger upfront investment that will pay off fantastically at the end of the year. The better you plan, the more sales you will close.
Don’t Forget Personal Development
Just as you set goals for revenue, take stock of your current skill set and start ferreting out educational opportunities to expand on it.
- Go to a sales training seminar each quarter
- Learn 3 new lead generation techniques
- Carve out time to get some in-depth learning about new and old products
Those new skill can help with increased sales and makes reaching your personal goal even easier.
A personal goal will always resonate better than one someone else hands you. You have more knowledge of how you, personally, have prospered in the past, what is likely to work and what hasn’t. By taking care of your own goals and development you make yourself more valuable to your company and keep things fresh for the daily grind.
Goal setting doesn’t have to be overwhelming if you know how to break that big ol’ number down to manageable buckets and go into the new revenue year with a plan.