Measuring Sales Success: The Importance of Specificity When It Comes to Goal Setting

SMART goals

As a follow up to the article shared last month, I wanted to spotlight specificity as it relates to goal setting – whether for this year or another.

Being specific is critical to establishing your goals. When you clearly define what you want to achieve, you narrow your focus. That helps you know how best to direct your efforts. Vagueness is your enemy because it provides you wiggle room that can undermine achievement of your goals.

Insurance Sales SMART Goals

As I mentioned last month, reflecting on what worked, and what didn’t work, in the past can help you answer some key questions:

  • Where did you end the year?
  • Were you right at – or over or under – your 2023 sales goals?
  • How much did you deviate from your target for 2023?

Answering these questions will help you identify any shortcomings. It will also, hopefully, help you be realistic about your new goals.

The “S” in “SMART goal setting” is about being specific. As I’ve noted, setting a vague goal is not helpful to you. It’s critical that your goals be specific, measurable, and attainable.

Don’t settle for “increase my sales over last year” or even “increase my small group sales over last year.” Be specific about what number of groups you want to sell. Or, maybe, the percentage increase you want to achieve. Your specificity will help you develop your plan for achieving your goals.

If you’re ambitious in your goal setting, I applaud your enthusiasm. However, I caution you that you need to be realistic. Think about what could stand in the way of achieving each of your goals. Carefully consider the timeline for each goal.

You need to set your goals based on:

  • Your current book of business
  •  Your anticipated renewals
  • Your expected new business (whether through marketing, referrals, or expanding sales to current customers)

Goals that are not measurable are not really goals; they are more like daydreams. You can’t develop a winning strategy to achieve a fantasy; that’s why it’s a fantasy. Set your sights on achievable, relevant goals – with timelines – and you’re more likely to be successful.

Write It Down and Track Your Success

It may seem obvious, but it’s important to write down each of your goals. Doing so helps you keep your goals list to a manageable number. Three, four, or even five may be a reasonable target; anything greater could be problematic.

It’s mandatory that you track your progress. This helps ensure you stay on target. It will also give you a sense of achievement as the months progress. Tracking your progress – weekly, monthly, and quarterly – gives you the opportunity to rethink your goals, take corrective action, and get you back on track.

Expect changes. You may find during one of your reviews that you underestimated what’s needed to reach one or more of your goals. That could be due to time constraints, resource allocation, or for other reasons. Don’t worry; that happens frequently. Changing your goal timeframe is not a bad thing. If you need to make changes, just be SMART and follow the tips here and in last month’s blog post.

A SMART approach to goal setting is bound to yield better results.

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