When Goal Setting Is Worthless

Here we are PAST the midway mark of the year… How’s it going?

Better question, do you REALLY know?

Goal setting has a bad reputation with many because they only do it once a year while imbued with alcohol, watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. Those aren’t goals but wishes, much like a letter to dear old Santa the month before, hoping what you want will just show up under the tree in the morning because you wished upon a star. They confuse the setting of the goal with the actual accomplishment, when it’s merely the start.

I asked a client recently where he was in terms of revenue, growth and income this year vs. last year. He said unapologetically, “I don’t know. I’ve been too busy to look.” He’ll wait for his final report card next year, when his accountant sends the bill. Dumb. I take that test monthly, and monitor daily.

You cannot course correct if you don’t know where you are in relationship to your set goals, or at least where you’ve been. The last time I took a long drive, I can assure you I didn’t just jump on any road and start driving in the “general” direction of where I wanted to go. I decided upon a specific destination (goal), create a plan on how to get there (road map) and worked backwards to when I had to leave in order to get there on time. As I drove, I monitored my pace against the estimated arrival time and knew, if I stayed on pace, could stop for a lunch – and if not, would have to make it a quick Starbucks and bathroom break to keep truckin’ in order to arrive ON TIME.

All goals are achieved that way. If you’re not setting a specific goal, to be accomplished at a specific date/time, with a plan on how you’re going to get there, complete with “mile markers” and time estimates, monitoring your progress frequently on your journey to determine if you’re on track or off track and adjusting your approach accordingly, you’re wasting your time.

If you know general numbers (top line) and income (paycheck) but have no idea of true profitability and where the money is coming from, you get a failing grade. In marketing, you need to know how many leads you’re getting, what percentage are qualified, what percentage move to an appointment, then a proposal, and what the average client is worth to you in TOTAL, not just in monthly MRR, so you can work backwards to hit your growth goal.

Sales quota aren’t hit with random acts and hope. You need to know and pay attention to how many people your team is prospecting, how many they are connecting with, productively turning into first-time appointments and moving through to the proposal stage. You also need to know average sale, what percentage take the upsell (you do have an upsell package, don’t you?) and, of course, close rate and time to close. Without these definitive numbers, you’re guessing – and these numbers need to be monitored in ADVANCE, not looked at when the rep has failed to hit quota several month in a row. I know today what’s going to happen, within a reasonable margin, three months, three months from now, based on TODAY’S sales activity.

There’s a stupid concept sold to businesspeople all the time: Pay attention to just the “big rocks” and don’t sweat the small stuff. There’s even a popular book by that title. While there’s a margin of truth to it, don’t forget millions are made out of single dollars. If you’re not looking at, monitoring, measuring and adjusting the micro-movements of money and opportunity in your business (sales and marketing), the big dollars don’t magically show up. You manifest the “big” numbers by managing the micro numbers.

In general, popular ideas like this are failure ideas. That’s WHY they’re popular. Easy buttons are dead simple to sell because nobody wants difficult and complicated, but that, folks, is where all the money is made.

Do you want more leads, more clients, more profits now but don’t know where to start? Click here and watch a quick video about the three biggest problems IT Service Businesses face and how to solve them.