Strategy # 1 – Setting Goals: Revisit & Repeat

We are wrapping up the holidays and will soon be saying “buh-bye” to 2016! Whether you are ending 2016 with a bang or a fizzle, it’s time to set goals and create a 2017 action plan.

Before setting next year’s sales growth goals, take stock in what you accomplished in 2016. Understanding what worked and what didn’t is essential in formulating strong and specific goals for sales success in 2017.

Let’s look at 3 key areas to evaluate as you revisit 2016 and reset for 2017.


1. Your Sales Numbers

It’s important to take a hard look at your overall numbers, but don’t forget, the real story is revealed when you take a deeper dive.

Did you exceed quota? Did you fall short? Did you realign when faced with setbacks? Which sales channels moved the needle most? Which lead source produces the most qualified leads? Which initiatives aren’t worth your resources moving forward?

2. Your Assumptions

It’s comfortable to assume that since you’ve always been successful, you will continue to prosper. The reality is the selling landscape changes continuously. Long-held beliefs must be challenged to ensure they are viable.

Has your competition changed? Recent mergers or acquisitions change the competitive landscape. Niche markets may be tightening or opening new opportunities.

Is your “best” customer REALLY your best customer? It’s easy to assume that the bigger the contract, the better the customer. How profitable are your “best” customers? Do you know when to say NO because there isn’t a good fit, or there is little value to your business?

Who are your most valuable customers? What value do you provide? Have buying motives or decision makers changed?

3. Your Power Statement

What is your power statement? Has it become stale? Do you speak your customer’s language? Do you communicate strong value? Do you answer their specific needs?

A valuable power statement is simple, evokes emotion and stays with prospects long after you are gone.

2017: RESET

Now that you know where you’ve been, it’s time to establish where you want to go.

1. Your Quota Numbers

Whether you are a team establishing 2017 objectives together or an individual who has been handed a quota, the process is the same – know where you are going, your path to get there, and your milestones along the way.

Establish your target sales quota and any revenue benchmarks in as much detail as possible. Benchmark examples can include:

  • Customer types and sizes
  • Monthly/quarterly targets
  • Targeted Products / Services
  • Key Vertical Markets

2. Your Sales Prospecting Activity

We have all heard the terms leading and lagging indicators. Sales performance is often referred to as a lagging indicator. This is the result of all the work put in thus far. If your goal is to hit or exceed a $1 Million quota, that is your lagging indicator.

A leading indicator is the action or execution of necessary steps to meet your goal. A strong sales rep measures both their leading and lagging indicators consistently and often. We recommend the following:

  • Create a detailed 12 week sales prospecting plan. Who? What? When? Where? How?
  • Review your execution of that plan each week. If you are consistently executing at least 85% of your plan, then you are on track. (Reference material – The 12 Week Year by Brian Moran)
  • If your execution performance is below 85%, STOP and understand why. Identify and deal with your performance blocks before moving forward. Get help if necessary.

3. Your Power Statement

You’ve already done the hard work of questioning your assumptions and evaluating your power statement. Now it’s imperative that you can tell that story with conviction and can handle any curveballs thrown your way.

People buy from those they trust. If you don’t believe your story or seem less than enthusiastic about your company, it WILL affect your performance. Get passionate. Get excited. Get going.

To be continued…

Watch for Strategy 2: Prospecting with a Purpose.

Until then, set your 2017 sales goals, create your Prospecting Plan and share your own tips on effective goal setting in the comments section below!

Christie Walters, iCore Strategy in conjunction with Tracy Larson & Katie Curtin, WeSuite