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How to Set Quarterly Goals You Can Achieve


A successful sales year relies on good planning and smart strategy. Any plan for success requires that you create goals for yourself and your sales team. But no amount of planning or strategy sessions are effective if the goals are unrealistic and can't be met. Setting and achieving realistic goals are critical to meeting sales quotas or any other benchmarks of success. Learn how to set quarterly goals you and your team members can achieve to help build your client base and strengthen your business.

Steps Toward Creating Achievable Quarterly Goals

1. Start with the Big Picture. You can't dive in and create quarterly goals without approaching them as part of a bigger picture. To ensure that your goals for each quarter are practical, achievable and in-line with your overall company goals, you must start out by planning for the entire year. By what percentage would you like to increase your sales in the coming year? How many more customers would you like to add to your customer base? In what ways does your business want or need to branch out in terms or sales, service or customer service? These topics should be considered when meeting with your team to establish one-year goals.

2. Think Quarterly. Once you've got the Big Picture for the year you can form a strategy for tackling those long-term goals one quarter at a time. Take each year-long goal and break it down into four steps that will help you achieve success by the end of the year. Each of these four steps represents a quarterly goal. Now, instead of having huge one-year goals looming large over your head, you've got manageable tasks that look and feel achievable. At this point, you're ready to take the next step toward achievable plans that will boost sales and increase your bottom line.

3. Break Three-Month Goals into Monthly and Weekly Bits. These ‘bits’ aren't as overwhelming and create the satisfaction of achieving them within shorter time periods, which can keep people motivated. To accomplish this, continue the pattern established in step two— take apart your quarterly goals breaking them down into the three months of each quarter. Next, break each monthly goal into four smaller increments equating to weekly mini-goals. A critical element of the goal setting at this point needs to be also capturing the behaviors required on the daily level to achieve these weekly/monthly goals.

For example:

Quarterly sales goal = $500,000

Monthly sales goal = $166,666

Weekly sales goal = $41,666

Now, what are the behaviors you have to execute in order to achieve that weekly number? Based on what you know about your services or products, how many daily sales calls or meetings do you need in order to close enough business to meet that weekly sales number? Now you have a daily roadmap, and as long as you follow it, the goals are a given.

4. Set Benchmarks. Regular meetings with your team are necessary to discuss the current goals and how progress is going. These benchmark meetings will ensure that everyone is on-track toward their quarterly goals and provide ample time to course-correct when necessary. Which leads us to the next tip....

5. Make Room for Flexibility. The best plans and strategies always leave room for change. Although many factors in the business world can be predicted to a point, change can and will happen, and it may cause your goals or roadmap to change, too. Additionally, a goal that initially sounded good might turn out to be a dud. For these reasons, flexibility is important if you want your quarterly goals to remain achievable.