“Come on” you say, “summer has just started.” Agreed. But it’s also mid-point in the business year and if you’re smart, you’ll take notice. It’s been almost 6 months since you set those New Year’s resolutions or goals and even if you’re one of those people who doesn’t set them, I’ll bet your employer, partner, or organization did. So how are you doing? I hope the answer is that you’re perfectly on track, but you’re definitely not in the majority if that’s the case. Studies have shown that less than 25% of people actually stay committed to their resolutions after just 30 days, and only 8% accomplish them. Now of course there are folks who will ascribe those stats to resolutions and go on and on about why you should set goals instead, but let’s just forget all that minutia and put resolutions – to-do or stop doing something, in the same bucket as goals. So yes, again most normal humans miss our goals. But there are things you can do so you’re on the positive side of the statistics. And keeping in mind that tic…toc…the clock is in perpetual motion may help.
The key is to have a short list of goals combined with consistency and pick only one at a time to focus on. Too many goals make us crazy. We are really bad at selection and prioritization so therefore, that’s the first thing to get good at. It’s what will help you stay in it for those more long-term goals, the ones that are the toughest because the reward is harder to envision. We know for sure that when we work on our goals sporadically, they tend to become as elusive as the horizon and it’s tough to get results. So here’s the good news, our odds of success improve when we have fewer things to focus on enabling us to direct more energy and attention on only the carefully selected stuff! So here’s a list of “selected” goals that should make your mid-year review help insure you’re ready to enjoy the holidays, come December.
Goal 1. Know your numbers inside and out.
You have numbers to hit. Review and document the past opportunities you were successful on and make sure you know the following:
Average conversion rates between steps of the sales process.
Average deal size.
Average length of your sales cycle.
If you know these three metrics, you’ll be able to work backwards from your quota and calculate exactly how many discovery calls, prospecting activities, product demonstrations, and closing activities you’ll need to complete to hit your goal. There’s only one way to do this…stay true to the daily, weekly, monthly, quarterly tracking! It’ll provide comfort that you know how to adjust course and still make the mark.
Goal 2. Review your lost and won deals for commonalities. You might have to go back in time a bit for this, but it’s crucial. You need to recognize and work on your bad habits. Ask yourself…
What characteristics did the opportunities have in common?
What were your best moments when you and the client “clicked?” What were your worst?
What worked as you prepared for the opportunity?
What was the ratio of you talking verses the prospect talking – How did you measure and track engagement?
Goal 3. Make a to-don’t list. It’s vital to be great at sorting. To do so means you’ll want to know your personal work habits. Pick your worst three months from last year and examine your calendar/activities during those months. Were you overloaded with meetings? Did you neglect prospecting? Compile a list of your “oops, I got off track.” This builds your “to-don’t” list. Quite eye-opening. Keep it handy.
Goal 4. Reach out to lost competitive deals from last year. Check in to see how they’re doing. Usually, a year is enough time for buyers to fully implement a product and realize a return on investment or decide they made the wrong choice. Either way checking in shows that you care about them, not just selling your product. If they let you know they’re happy with their decision, great. If it turns out they’re not, you may be able to help them save face and make the necessary change.
Goal 5. Call your best customers. They are your ambassadors. Don’t ask for referrals. Just ask how they are doing. Keep it social. This will ensure that if and when you ask about a specific introduction, they’ll want to help.
That’s it! If you can make these goals, it might feel like Christmas in July. At the very least the tic…toc… might not cause you so much angst. And assuming you’re really good at goals, you’ll have set yourself up to crush the last half of the year and feel really good about yourself!