Setting goals for each sales call is a crucial part of the sales process. A goal helps you prepare for the sales visit and gives structure to your entire presentation, but it is important to set “S.M.A.R.T.” goals. In order for a goal to be a useful tool in preparing for a sales call, it should follow the “S.M.A.R.T.” method.
This means that a goal should be:
Specific: The goal should not be too broad, but rather, it should be focused in on something. In sales, for example, it should be “I want the prospect to agree to another meeting” or “I want the prospect to agree to use our services for 3 months” rather than just “I want to earn this client’s business.”
Measurable: Similar to a goal being specific, it must be able to be measured in some quantitative or concrete sense. This goes hand in hand with the next component, which is achievability of the goal.
Achievable: It is important to make sure that your goal is realistically achievable in the parameters you set for it. If you goal is to make a specific number of sales to this client (thus making it both specific and measurable) you should also make sure that it is a reasonable, achievable goal, and not something like 1000 sales in 2 weeks. Otherwise, you are setting yourself up to fail, and that can be very disheartening.
Relevant: A goal is relevant if it is worthwhile to a larger plan and to your own personal job duties and planning. Additionally, it should be something that makes sense for you to be working towards. If you are supposed to work in an accounting capacity, then a goal for a number of sales calls will be less relevant to you. You should also consider if the timing is good for this particular goal in your overall business plan as well as in the current economic, social, and business climates.
Time-Bound: If you do not have a set of parameters in which your goal should be completed, you don’t really have a planned goal. It is easy to say “I want to be a successful sales person one day” but unless you start adding timelines, like 6 months, or 1 year, or even 5 years, you won’t actually have any frame to work towards achieving that goal. The time component of a goal is essential to finding the proper motivation to achieve it and also to keeping it in line with the other components of smart goals.
Setting goals according to the “S.M.A.R.T.” method can help you to achieve more, make real progress towards success, and reduce stress.