Four super simple steps to a powerful sales plan
The New Year is the beginning of new goals and resolutions, new plans and new directions that fuel your success. If you haven't already done so, you should start thinking about your sales goals for 2011. You can't just set them and forgot them.
Planning and achieving sales goals for your business are the biggest challenges owners face. Goals are tricky things. They definitely motivate, but only for a while. If you really want to be successful at sales, you must learn to be motivated by the process of goal setting. A process that is monitored and modified strategically throughout the year.
Goal setting is the cause and success is the effect. Knowing what you want, having a clear path to get there and taking action is the only way to expand your success. The flip side of goal setting is waiting for a stroke of luck, crossing your fingers and hoping next year will be different. That's a risky business strategy that guarantees failure.
Goal setting is a positive, powerful practice when it ignites your enthusiasm and provides a clear direction. When practiced poorly, goal setting has a serious downside which can undermine your success. Poor goal setting makes people cynical, wastes their time and fosters confusion about where to concentrate actions and energy.
A business owner or salesperson without goals is like a ship without a captain. The ship may be seaworthy and have state of the art equipment, but without a captain to take the command and guide it to a destination, it goes nowhere.
Some assembly is required when putting together your goals, with this understanding of the importance, here are the four pillars:
1. Your goals must be achievable. Why push and strive toward a goal when you know it's beyond your reach? Set your goals high, but be sure they are realistic and attainable by pushing yourself to your limits. You should be constantly editing, tweaking, removing and adding goals to your list. Building momentum and confidence is the secret to making achievable goals.
2. Your goals must be believable. Goals must reflect realism, not idealism. Goals must be something you are convinced you can reach. The term Big Hairy Audacious Goal ("BHAG") was proposed by James Collins and Jerry Porras in their book "Built to Last." A BHAG encourages business owners to define visionary goals that are more strategic, emotionally compelling and believable.
3. Your goals must be measurable. Establish concrete criteria for measuring progress toward the attainment of each goal. When you measure your progress, you stay on track, reach your target dates and experience the exhilaration of achievement that spurs you on to reach your goal.
4. Your goals must have deadlines. A goal should be grounded within a time frame. Few people know what they want; still fewer know when they want it. Time is your most precious commodity. It can never be replaced. If you are to use your time most productively, you must commit yourself to a plan of action and you must give that plan a deadline for completion.
Your plan of attack might change throughout the year, but you'll feel a whole lot better if you have guideposts, activities, and accomplishments to help you along the way.
Finally, this might look too simple or too basic. I agree. But I would rather have someone tackle these simple steps than do nothing. Doing nothing keeps you exactly where you are. The choice is yours; do you want the same results as last year? If you want more out of your business, than you have to do more in your business. Remember, it's not what you sell, it's how you sell.