Goals are part of successfully focusing on the most important things in your AccountPlan. Everything comes down to priorities, and what you would like to accomplish in your account strategy.
Without setting goals or objectives, sales activities become a series of chaotic happenings you don’t control. You become the plaything of coincidence. Accomplishments like sending someone to the moon, inventing the iPod etcetera were the result of a goal that was set at some point. A vision that was charted and realised.
What is SMART goal setting?
SMART goal setting brings structure and trackability into your goals. Instead of vague resolutions, SMART goal setting creates verifiable trajectories towards a certain objective, with clear milestones and an estimation of the goal’s attainability. Every goal can be made S.M.A.R.T. and as such, brought closer to reality.
SMART goal setting is one of the most effective and yet least used tools for achieving goals. Using a SMART checklist you can evaluate your goals and bring clarity. Is it Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.
What exactly do you want to achieve? The more specific your description, the bigger the chance you’ll get exactly that. S.M.A.R.T. goal setting clarifies the difference between ‘I want to be a millionaire’ and ‘I want to make €50.000 a month for the next ten years by creating a new software product’.
Questions you may ask yourself when setting your goals and objectives are:
- What exactly do I want to achieve?
- With whom?
- What are the conditions and limitations?
- Why exactly do I want to reach this goal?
Measurable goals means that you identify exactly what it is you will see, hear and feel when you reach your goal. It means breaking your goal down into measurable elements. You’ll need concrete evidence. Measurable goals can go a long way in refining what exactly it is that you want, too. Defining the physical manifestations of your goal makes it clearer, and easier to reach.
Is your goal acieveable? That means investigating whether the goal really is acceptable to you. You weigh the effort, time and other costs your goal will take against the other obligations and priorities you have.
If you don’t have the time, money or talent to reach a certain goal you’ll certainly fail and be miserable. That doesn’t mean that you can’t take something that seems impossible and make it happen by planning smartly and going for it!
There’s nothing wrong with shooting for the stars; if you aim to make your department twice as efficient this year as it was last year with no extra labour involved, how bad is it when you only reach 1,8 times? Not too bad…
Is reaching your goal relevant to you? Do you actually want to run a multinational, be famous, have three children and a busy job? You decide for yourself whether you have the personality for it, or your team has the bandwidth.
If you’re lacking certain skills, you can plan trainings. If you lack certain resources, you can look for ways of getting them.
The main questions, why do you want to reach this goal? What is the objective behind the goal, and will this goal really achieve that?
You could think that having a bigger team will make it perform better, but will it really?
Everybody knows that deadlines are what makes most people switch to action. So install deadlines, for yourself and your team, and go after them. Keep the timeline realistic and flexible, that way you can keep morale high.
Being too stringent on the timely aspect of your goal setting can have the perverse effect of making the learning path of achieving your goals and objectives into a hellish race against time – which is most likely not how you want to achieve anything.
Hopefully this helps you to be SMART when setting your AccountPlan goals. Good selling.