2016 has just begun and we are already back to work: after all, a good start is half the battle won! This saying is true, but it leaves out an important element: if we don’t clearly know what our goals are, how can we evaluate our results? So before rushing headlong on the first sales of the year, let’s take a couple of hours to define what we want to achieve in 2016 for our business.
In order for this exercise to be really useful, we should not limit ourselves to define generic objectives, written in some forgotten agenda. Our goals should be our guide for the whole year and be always in sight, providing us a benchmark for evaluating our actions. Here are some simple steps to create goals that we could actually achieve:
1. Review what you achieved in 2015.
How much did you sell last year, month by month? Write all your results on a sheet of paper or on a spreadsheet, adding also the sales opportunities that you lost. Then, write down critically all the things that you think have gone wrong and that you should improve.
2. Write your sales goals for the year and for each months.
Don’t be generic: writing goals as “increasing the number of customers” or “sell more” do not help you to be focused on the outcome, nor to keep track of your improvements. Write clear measurable goals like: “increase sales by 15,000 Euros”, or “acquire 15 more customers.” To define the goals, start from your 2015 performance and increase them lightly, so that to stay challenged.
3. Write down all the activities to achieve your goals.
List all the open negotiations you have at the moment, calculate their potential value and forecast when you plan you close them. Then, what strategies do you have in mind to find new contacts and close more deals? Brainstorm with your colleagues, thinking of new ways to increase your results. Then make a plan over time, with clear deadlines and milestones.
4. Create reminders for the different activities.
For example, if you have to contact again a customer next month, put a reminder on your calendar to call him on a specific date. Similarly, if you intend to start seeking for new prospects on Twitter at least once a week, choose a day and add a weekly reminder to be sure you be committed to actually do it.
5. Keep your goals always in sight.
Write or print your goals on a piece of paper and stick it on the refrigerator or on your office wall; shot a photo and put it as a screensaver on your phone or your laptop. Only comparing yourself with your goals every day you can internalize them and work consistently to achieve them.
6. Measure the results.
The motivation is high at the start, but it takes little time to return to the usual routine and go back to how you have always worked. But if you want 2016 to be different, you need to stay motivated every day, accepting the day-to-day problems and constantly working to improve. At least once a week, better on Friday evening or Saturday morning, compare the last week results with your goals; if you work in a team, benchmark your achievements with your teammates’ ones, not in a competitive way, but to understand if you could have done better. Try to find out what went wrong and think of an action plan for the following week. It may seem hard, but it will slowly become a routine you could not live without it.
7. Let Sellf help you!
We at Sellf know how important it is to have clear goals, and we are experts in helping you achieve them.
- Instead of writing your goals on a spreadsheet, add them on Sellf: as a fitness tracking application, Sellf starts from what you want to achieve and works with you every day to help you get there!
- Before starting selling, plan your future work on Sellf. Upload your sales forecasts for each month, then add all your work-in-progress deals at the time and the activities you want to do over time. Sellf allows you to organize all your to-dos and reminders quickly, having them clear in sight thanks to a calendar, and it will also help you carry them out, offering shortcuts to call your customers, send them email, etc.
- To have an eye on how you’re going, Sellf shows your goals every time you open the app, letting you see how far you are from achieving them. Get the habit to open the application every morning, maybe while you are having breakfast, to start the day knowing where you are going!
Do not waste any more time, stop the sales work you are doing and start immediately thinking about your goals. This way 2016 will be a sure success!