The best sales professionals respond well in the moment. Still, adjusting as you go works best when you start with a framework designed to guide you to success. Setting up effective quarterly goals is one of the most important steps you can take to get to the next level of sales success.
Know What You Want
Before you start, know that quarterly goals are part of your career success plan, and not separate from it. Before you set these goals, know where you are trying to go. Figure out your vision for who you want to be, and the position you want to be in. Identify what you will need to learn to get there. Once you have a sense of your big picture, you can start to map out the road ahead of you.
Increments and Milestones
Your quarterly goals are the milestones on the path toward your ultimate career success. Think of them as the goals you want to hit over the course of the year, but also as points that show you are going in the right direction.
To get to each of these goals, you should be able to lay incremental steps that will let you get there. To achieve a certain number or dollar volume of sales, you may have career education to get in, and a set number of leads identified. To grow into a new position, you may need to achieve a certification or educational level. Outlining those steps is key to turning one quarterly goal into your starting point toward the next.
Measure for Success
There is no point in setting goals if you can't measure whether you are achieving them. Set measurable metrics that define success for each step along the way. These can include qualitative metrics like knowledge achieved or quantitative metrics like the number of calls to quality leads. Lay a goal that you can measure, and track your metrics. By the end of the quarter, you should be able to understand not only whether you met your goal, but where the key inflection points occurred to either push you to success or hold you back.
Revisit and Recalibrate
Your goals should not be easy to achieve. No one ever grew by taking the easiest path forward. That said, if you miss a goal for one quarter, you may need to reassess your goal for the next. At the end of each quarter, take the time to look at where you are, and whether your next quarterly goal is on point, too aggressive, or not aggressive enough. Everyone has adjustments along the way, so don't be afraid to change course a little over the course of the year.
Setting goals is part art and part science. The beauty of a quarterly approach is that it lets you react to what comes. Don't be afraid to revisit and revise those goals over the course of the year.