Why you should set sales goals

More than likely, locked away in your mind, you have some sales goals of what you want to achieve in your business. Those numbers may be even more top of mind as you look back over the past year and survey what you did – or did not – accomplish.

The New Year just weeks away, are those numbers going to stay locked in your head? Or… is this the year you get serious about making them happen? The following steps will guide you in setting a healthy sales goal for your business.

First step

Do you know what the first step is? Write your sales goals down!

You need a written plan. And no, scribbled on a napkin or post-it somewhere does not count.

I recommend to my clients that they create a 5-year plan. That might sound daunting if you have never written a plan before, but a five year view has real value. It forces you to look at where the company is and where you want to take it. Think short term and long term goals. Your goals over the next 5 years should be a bit of a “stretch” – set just outside your comfort zone.

Once you have the goals in view, start writing down the actions needed to get there. I know, more homework, but it’s important because without action, goals are nothing more than daydreams.

Take Action

Action Examples might be:

  • more marketing (or start marketing)
  • expanding or limiting your services
  • replace or upgrade equipment
  • create better processes
  • hire more staff
  • a combo of some/all of these examples

Next step, focus on the first year.

Use your yearly goal to split into smaller monthly goals that make sense for your particular situation. Do you have a seasonal business? Do you have a “gorilla” client that needs to be addressed? Do you need to network more? Does your staff need more training? Is there a trend in the marketplace that poses an opportunity or challenge? Take factors like these into account when setting up your monthly benchmarks.
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Controller-OnDemand TIP!:

“It’s best to create a bar chart in Excel (like the ones you see for fundraisers) with one column the goal and the other column the year to date sales. It gives everyone a visual of where you are and where you need to go.

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Third step…

Then repeat this exercise for the next 4 years. Granted, these goals and actions are subject to change. The purpose of planning for the future is to give you a baseline by which to track your progress towards that bigger 5-year goal.

Recap steps 1 -3

Why should you commit to paper?

It creates accountability. Simple – when you write out your plan you have made the goal visible and tangible.

It creates a vision. Plan for five years at a time. It keeps you focused short-term and long term.

It creates measurable progress. Monthly reviews are crucial. It’s how you know what impact your actions are having on the bottom line.

Final step…

After you complete steps 1 – 3, it’s important to put your goal for this coming year somewhere you will see it often – like every day. If you have employees, put it where they can see it, too. They are part of the plan after all.