This is the time of the year where many sales professionals are simultaneously sprinting to a quarter or year end, while also trying to look ahead to the next year’s sales goals. It can also be a time of reflection on what the past year has brought and what you want to create in the future.
I purposefully didn’t title this article “Reach All of Your Most Important Goals in 2022.” Too many articles (and I’ve been guilty of writing some myself) want to provide a quick-fix or a checklist, which don’t work when it comes to meaningful goals.
This article takes a different approach. Rather than providing strategies, I’m sharing questions. Questions to hopefully help you think differently about how to decide what goals get your focus.
- How do I define significance? I started with this question because it will be different for anyone reading this piece. Having a clear idea in mind of how you personally define significance can help you curate the goals you want to pursue.
- What goals have the most significance to me in the next 12-24 months? This could be a fresh brainstorm list, or a revisit of your past lists. I’m always keeping lists in different journals and it’s an interesting exercise to see what still seems significant, or goals that I’ve accomplished from those lists.
- What would my future self say about these accomplishments and their impact? As you consider your goals, look with an eye to the future. I recently had a conversation with a friend considering a major change to her business offerings. I asked her how long she would be willing to put in sustained effort because it was likely a 2–4-year endeavor. That changed her thinking on how she wanted to pursue it.
- What’s a goal I can take off the list? This is your opportunity to curate. Often, we have goals on the list that need to be removed, and for a lot of reasons. Maybe they’re an expectation of others. Maybe they’re goals you feel you should work toward, versus something you want to do. Maybe the list is too long.
- What am I willing to give up or say no to? For the “yes” in all of us, this can be easy to say and hard to do. It’s true that every time we say yes to one thing, we are saying no to others. It works in the reverse as well. When you have clarity on your most important goals, it can become a filter by which you make your decisions. If it’s not in the service of your most important goals, that request or opportunity becomes a “no,” so that you can say “yes” to what serves those goals.
- Who can hold me accountable on the journey? Am I willing to be coached and held accountable? This is a big one. In the sales assessment work I do with teams, they’re measured on how accountable and how coachable they are (yes, it can be measured as well as observed). Those two qualities and the actions you put in place will determine how successful you are in reaching your goals. When I wrote The Modern Seller, I had a weekly check-in with my publisher to report progress and review drafts. That consistent cadence helped me to stay on track to accomplishing a long-term goal.
- How can I better invest my time, energy, motivation, and discipline? Every day we have a finite amount of these important resources. How you invest them reflects what you prioritize, and the most successful individuals I know are very selective about how they invest.
- How will I celebrate successes along the way? Significant goals take time – they’re more of a marathon than a sprint. They have peaks and valleys; finding ways to celebrate your progress helps to weather the challenges.
Sales Questions for Sales Goals
- What will make me a better sales professional or leader? I work with sales teams and their sales leaders, so some sales questions make perfect sense. Take the time to think through and with the help of your leader or a mentor, decide on the one or two things that you’ll commit to making progress on that will make you better next year.
- What’s something besides “crushing sales quota” that I want to accomplish as it relates to my sales goals? I had to throw that one in there, it wouldn’t be a sales blog post without that phase. 😉 What is something that will help you get to that goal and surpass it? Maybe it’s increasing your referrals, strategizing differently on a key account, implementing a new productivity tool, or increasing your fees.
- What sales skill am I willing to be vulnerable in as I work to improve myself? High performers often hate the idea of being vulnerable. We all have a weak sales skill. It’s why I use skill data when I work with teams, to better identify the skill gaps. You might be fantastic at prospecting, but your qualifying skills need work. Or you might need help with improving how you deliver proposals. It’s a sign of strength to risk a bit of vulnerability to improve; in the end it will make you more successful and enhance your compensation.
- How can I improve my sales mindset? Up until now there have been four pillars in my strategic selling program – intelligence, relationships, compelling proposals, and commitments. I recently added a fifth pillar, focused on sales mindset. Mindset affects your sales beliefs, behaviors, and habits. Those in turn, affect your results. Improve your mindset, improve your results.
Recognize the value of strategic speed with your significant sales goals (and other goals).
Strategic speed is the balance between short-term and long-term results. Focus only on the long-term and it’s easy to lose momentum. Focus only on the short-term, and it’s easy to veer off course. With anything significant, whether it’s a big client you’re focused on, or training for a marathon, strategic speed matters. Break down that big goal in its smaller milestones and activities and check in at specific points to gauge your success and determine any pivots.
Focus on how you invest your time, energy, motivation, and discipline.
There’s a saying that we overestimate what we can accomplish in a year and underestimate what we can accomplish in five years. For me it comes down to how me manage and prioritize these resources. Giving these resources over to one or two significant goals in a year makes us more productive and happier in the short-term and it also helps us to create more significance in the long term.
I Can Help Your Sales Teams Reach Their Goals in 2022
Don’t let your competition get an advantage. We can help. If you want to know how to improve your sales coaching, or you’d like to bring in an outside perspective, let’s talk. Contact us to schedule time for a discovery conversation with Amy.