Before starting any project or making a sales plan (whether monthly, quarterly, semi-annually or annually) it is paramount to set goals, which will later help in defining courses of action. This task is an extremely important aspect of business management and should therefore be especially taken into consideration. In order to improve and accomplish defining these goals, using the right technology and including SMART goals in your sales method will be of great help.
Companies constantly reconsider certain goals in order to always maintain a clear corporate vision and make sure that all of their employees are working toward a same goal. They also do this with the purpose of making the whole team aware of the importance of their work and the common goal.
In the case of the sales department, the main goal will always be to increase sales. To accomplish this, one should not consider generic answers, but instead perfectly specify why we want to achieve this increase in sales and focus on how feasible it is, how measurable, and how long it will take us to accomplish it. As we will see below, this is the way to apply the SMART methodology, which will greatly facilitate accomplishing these goals (as long as it is properly applied and with the help of the right tools).
What are SMART goals
The SMART technique is a way of smartly establishing and accomplishing business goals. Many companies work without objectives or with very abstract goals. This leads its workers to get distracted and prevents them from performing their work in the most efficient way, since they are unaware of the road to follow to accomplish goals, and what obstacles they will face.
Establishing SMART goals will therefore help not only to learn what we are working on, but also to foresee and deal with certain problems that may emerge along the road. In order to optimally fulfill sales goals, reports and data analysis will let us know the state in which each goal is; what is working and, ultimately, what is not working in order to make decisions.
Before delving into the way in which data should be used as SMART indexes, let’s go over the definition of “SMART goals.” The term ‘SMART’ was coined by professor and researcher George T. Doran in 1981 in his document “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. Way to Write Management’s Goals and Objectives,” published on the Management Review magazine. In the article he defined the five characteristics that define a smart goal.
Characteristics of SMART goals
SMART goals are a reference to each acronym:
S – Specific
What do we want to accomplish and how will we accomplish it? In order to answer these questions we will have to be as specific and clear as possible, since this decision will guide the rest of the way and future plans of action.
M – Measurable
What KPIs or indicators can be used to measure their efficiency?
If we set measurable sales goals we will also be able to analyze them and make better decisions in relation to them or any unforeseen situation that may emerge along the way.
Establishing success indicators as part of our goals and objectives will let us know how far we are from accomplishing them and obtaining tangible results.
A – Achievable
The goal should be ambitious, a challenge for us and our team, but doable. It is important to be reasonable, discerning and analytic in order to define goals and establishing them in a way that can make accomplishing them possible.
Realistic goals area also a good way to maintain and strengthen the sales team motivation.
R – Relevant
Company goals should be relevant for our customers, but above all, to the company itself. Time should not be wasted in secondary aspects; we should always act in accordance with the company strategy and attempt to target goals that can add value.
T – Timely
How much time will it take to accomplish these goals? It is paramount to schedule them, set a deadline for their accomplishment. Otherwise, the goal may be pushed back and never get accomplished.
Measure SMART indicators to maximize their effect
The importance of SMART indicators lies in that they are reachable and measurable (both in time and in relation to certain business indicators). Monitoring this process through an app that offers sales process automation, such as inaCátalog, boosts its effects and allows for a greater efficiency in their accomplishment.
Combining SMART goals with technology helps the Sales Director manage them in an optimal and integrated manner. This monitoring will also provide the sales force with a series of advantages:
Efficient data management
All of the sales force information will be available at all times on any tablet (whether there is an Internet connection available or not). In addition, inaCátalog allows for reports to be made on-site and to know where they are being made (whether the customer’s home, a car…), avoiding delays or losses of relevant information.
Improved decision making
With inaCátalog, data will always be updated, and it is possible to design and incorporate personalized dashboards and statistics, as well as set up our own indicators. All of this improves the strategic decision making process.
Optimization and sales management
The app makes it easy to link the sales organizer with the reports by each representative and the entire customer spreadsheet. In addition, any need or indicator can be defined and parameterized. As a result, the whole team will know whether goals are being met or not and will have relevant data to help accomplish them on each visit.
Enhanced customer relationships
The management of customer databases allows customer service to be optimized to identify and nurture those with a greater potential.
Adapting to changes
inaCátalog’s technology, which is being constantly updated, allows for your business to always be up-to-date and to stand out among competitors.
SMART goals are essential to focus on what is really important for our business strategy and to determine which areas should be addressed more urgently. This said, it is important to review and update them as necessary.
When companies, their teams and employees work with clearly defined and established goals, with the support of technological tools such as inaCátalog which help tracking them, productivity improves exponentially.
Now that you know how to define sales goals using the SMART technique, you can apply them to your next strategic sales plan. On the other hand, we invite you to discover what the benefits of adding mobility to your 2018 sales plan of action are.