It's that time of year....no I'm not singing the Christmas song...I'm singing about goal planning.
You've probably been asked a dozen times what your New Year's resolutions are. Have you stuck to them? Or are you already off the path? Only10% of people actually keep their goals. According to a survey from Sundried, 43% of those surveyed expected to give up their goal after one month. ONE MONTH!???!
Less than 20% of people write down their goals according to Forbes. It's been proven that people who write down their goals, review them regularly AND have an accountability partner (or team) have a MUCH higher success rate. Which leads to how we plan our goals.
There are different ways people and companies "plan" their goals. I've been in sales for over 20 years. I've worked for several fortune 100 companies over the years. The one thing they all have in common is planning. The interesting part, is that most, either outright use the SMART technique or a variation of. On a side note, those that actually work the SMART plan, and keep an eye on their plan by the way...are usually the highest performers of any sales team I've ever been part of.
So what is the SMART plan technique?
SMART goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. The acronym SMART is used to help guide the development of clear, actionable goals that are more likely to be successful.
Here is an explanation of each of the five elements of SMART goals:
Specific: The goal should be clear and specific, so that you know exactly what you are trying to achieve.
Measurable: The goal should be measurable, so that you can track your progress and determine whether you have achieved it.
Achievable: What steps are you going to take to achieve the goal? Be specific.
Relevant: The goal should be relevant to your overall objectives and priorities. (I sometimes substitute Realistic for Relevant. Are you going to realistically be able to do the steps that need to be done to achieve the goal?)
Time-bound: The goal should have a specific deadline or time frame, so that you have a sense of urgency and stay motivated to achieve it.
Here's an example:
Make 50 prospecting calls per week
Measured by CRM entries
Set aside 30 minutes per day for prospecting time
This will support making appointments with potential new clients and new sales
Weekly, done by Friday afternoon
By setting SMART goals, you can increase your chances of success and make progress towards your objectives. So what are your goals? Where do you want to be a year from now?
BONUS TIP: If you're saying you're going to "set aside X amount of time" on your SMART goal, make that row a specific color. Then, go actually block that time aside on your calendar. If you don't chances are you won't end up doing the activity. Color code the appointment to coincide with the goal. If you don't actually do that activity that day, then take it off your schedule. At the end of the week you'll be able to see if you're actually on your plan or not much easier. Adjust for the following week to get your goals done. It will help you be accountable to yourself and at the end of the month you won't be looking back to say "hmm...why am I where I am at?"