We all ‘know’ that setting goals is important. Setting goals allows you to work toward successful outcomes. Yet we often fall short, for a variety of reasons.
The act of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals incorporates five essential steps, which allow you to focus more effectively on what you’ll need to accomplish to get you to your destination.
These five elements are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-bound.
What is so smart about the process of S.M.A.R.T. goal setting?
At Custom Direct we run short sessions with clients and key stakeholders, online or in person, to apply the technique in a straightforward, no-nonsense manner.
A specific goal has a desired outcome that everyone on your team can clearly understand. This might be a sales number or a specific amount of RFQ inquiries. No matter what it is, the goal should be clearly defined, so your entire team is on the same page with the objective in mind.
These are the numbers - the data - you will use with each goal. Having a quantifiable objective allows you to track your progress toward reaching your goals. You must first define the numbers you will use to measure your goal and set a method for collecting the data.
Goals need to be reachable in order to maintain the team enthusiasm required to achieve them. Setting a goal, for example, of increasing your sales by 200% in one quarter is likely a recipe for failure. Setting goals that allow you to grow in that direction, quarter-by-quarter or year-by-year, will help you understand what you are doing well and what needs to be changed to make progress.
If the process of setting S.M.A.R.T. goals is designed to help your team achieve incremental success, then everyone on the team must be aligned with the objective. The goal should incorporate a key benefit to your team and your organization, one shared by all team members.
A goal without a deadline is just wishful thinking. By setting a final date, upon which to evaluate your progress, (not success or failure) you’re actively setting a ‘date’ to improve what is working and set new goals, iteratively moving you forward.
For many firms a goal of ‘Generating More Leads’ is common - and important - because a company that isn’t growing won’t be around too long.
But what does lead generation really mean, and how might you go about achieving this goal? There are many channels you can use to generate leads. A S.M.A.R.T. goal may be developed for each channel or method, for example:
Example of a S.M.A.R.T. Goal: “We’re going to increase the number of qualified leads we receive, outside of our standard channels (word-of-mouth and referral).”
“We will use LinkedIn Organic Brand Building practices to increase the number qualified leads, or High Value Conversions [HVC] we receive through our website.”
“The metric will be to increase the number of HVCs from our current 5 per month to 10 per month, within the next quarter.”
“We believe we can do this by leveraging our network of 700 followers and our employees, by repurposing the valuable content we already have on our website into a series of organic posts.”
“We believe using LinkedIn, as a sales development tool, is a good choice, as many of our clients, prospects and competitors are active on the platform - and our entire team will benefit from being active on the site as well.”
“We will create a content calendar, begin posting, sharing and liking within 2 weeks and see the results of our efforts over a 3-month period - a total of 30 HVCs - or marketing-qualified leads in our system through LInkedIn.”