Some business owners have a great idea but do not realize how hard it is to communicate the business to others. Communicating your purpose, your goals and your business to others is just as important as the good idea.
Setting SMART Goals
To be effective during communication with investors, employees or even yourself, ensuring your goals are clear and specific is very important. In order to set achievable goals, many use the SMART method. The SMART method was one set forth in 1981 by Gorge T. Doran, a consultant and former Director of Corporate Planning for Washington Water Power Company. The original definition of the acronym was:
Step 1: Target a SPECIFIC area for improvement
Step 2: Quantify or suggest a MEASUREMENT of progress
Step 3: ASSIGN who will do it
Step 4: State what can REALISTICALLY be achieved given attainable resources
Step 5: Specify the TIME in which results can be achieved.
These goals have molded over time to fit various environments. Many have misunderstood this process. The general idea is that goals must be set, executed and then measured after a specific time frame. Be sure to come back to the goals to evaluate success even if things get busy. Coming back to each goal allows you to adjust for inevitable change.
Building Your Foundation
What does this have to do with overcoming sales problems in your business? Setting goals for your team will keep everyone focused and is the first step to developing a successful sales strategy. Reliant Funding’s Chief Sales Officer, Matt Price, says that having the right people in the right positions will determine if your businesses’ foundation is built on sand or concrete.
Once you start to build your team, retaining them might be difficult. Be sure to uncover what you can do as a small business owner to maintain your team. Furthermore, when you have maintained a certain number of sales people, but reach a point that the leads incoming are not being fully maximized, it may be time to expand the team. Matt Price explains the life cycle of an effective sales team through a bell curve example. At the beginning, you may not be getting enough leads into your funnel. You learn through goal setting and implementation of new process what works and what doesn’t.
The curve then peaks to a point where you have a great ratio of leads to people and skill set. This is when your investments are being maximized. If you start to see that the curve moves in a downward slope it is likely because you are in-taking more leads then your team and you can handle. This is when it is time to hire more people.
The struggles you will face as a small business owner are not to be taken lightly. By setting measurable goals, with a time limit, you can give yourself a light at the end of the tunnel. Matt Price used goal setting when making a large investment into the Reliant Funding business. When asked what the real benefit was, he said, “If you don’t achieve anything or develop in that time, then that is when you know whether something is going to work. If something does work and you accomplish your goal, you must re-evaluate and set another goal. Some people give up too soon.”
SMART goals are not just a framework for management but a great way to keep sales teams focused. They can also remain intentional and in line with the direction of the company. You can also uncover what motivates your sales people to use those motivators as ways to find their daily actionable items.
Whether you are selling the business or managing your sales team, there are a lot of resources available to small business owners. By setting actionable goals and developing your sales strategy around the data you uncover over time, you can ensure the success of your business.