Working S.M.A.R.T. – How Creating Goals and Following Through on Them Will Boost Your Business

Smart_Goal_Setting_helps_You_Run_a_Business-_without_being_a_Slave_to_itHow to stop wandering aimlessly through the game of lead conversion by creating realistic goals and following through on them.

A marketing team without a series of realistic, actionable goals is like a surgeon without a scalpel. How can they possibly hope to do an operation if they can’t make the first cut? Though you might think of goals as a less important step that happens further down the line, let us invite you to think of goals a little differently.

Goal setting sessions with your marketing team can not only help generate ideas and goals, but they also help bring your team closer together and enhance your existing camaraderie. When the whole group knows what you’re working on together, every player feels invested in something larger than him or herself. That’s the kind of passion that compels your sales reps to work on closing.

So, if you’ve been “operating” without your goal-setting scalpel, let’s take a few moments to sharpen your blade so you can cut through the static and start taking charge of your marketing goals.

Why Do We Need Goals?

Without clearly defined goals, your team is without a coherent, comprehensive strategy. A basketball team wouldn’t take the court without a coach having taught them plays and coaching them through them in the moment. Without goals, your marketing department and the business as a whole can actually be self-destructive if competing concerns are being pursued. Your company wouldn’t exist without some type of business plan (including goals) and a clear mandate for its presence. The same is true of your marketing department. Without goals, you’re aimlessly wondering what might work and hoping something sticks.

It’s important to remember that top-level execs and middle management want to see proven results for their marketing investments. That means you need to show them proof of ROI. This is yet another reason you need clearly defined goals so you can show proof of what you’re accomplishing when investing more in upgrading your marketing efforts. The Content Marketing Institute’s 2014 Benchmarks report found that 66 percent of content marketers running effective operations say they have a clearly defined content marketing strategy, including goals.

What Kind of Goals Should We Set?

When working with your team to create new goals for converting leads into paying customers, consider these criteria of successful goals. The S.M.A.R.T. goal system is defined this way:

  • SPECIFIC – Be sure your goals are specific. Include the who, what, where, when, and why of your goal.
  • MEASURABLE – You can’t achieve a goal you can’t measure. Make sure you choose measurable goals, like number of new leads converted each month or percentage increase.
  • ACHIEVABLE – Setting an impossible goal does nothing for your business or for your team’s self-esteem. Make your goal setting sessions focused on finding realistic goals that are still challenging.
  • RELEVANT – Your goal setting sessions shouldn’t be focused on increased profits or decreased loss in production; those results aren’t relevant to marketing. Focus on marketing-specific goals for the greatest success.
  • TIME-BOUND – Each goal should have a timeline or target date, the “Payment Due Date” on your goal-setting account.

Conversion Goal Primer

Wishy-washy, dumb (because they’re not S.M.A.R.T.) goals such as “tripling sales” or “boosting traffic” aren’t useful to your team. Once you get your whole crew onboard with a set of S.M.A.R.T. goals after which the whole group can chase, you’ll starting seeing real results of the kind you can measure: increased conversions.

In your goal-setting sessions for increased lead conversions, make sure you consider:

  • Your current conversion rates (so you know where you came from and where you’re going)
  • How other firms in your industry and your specific competitors are performing – know your industry standards
  • Specific deadlines for both longer-term and more immediate goals

Are You a Convert?

If we’ve just made you a believer in the value of goal-setting sessions for your marketing department as you pursue your efforts to convert more leads into paying customers, then it’s time to start scheduling those sessions. Don’t waste any more time lollygagging around in the field while your competitors are ratcheting up the action. For more information on solid marketing management strategy, check out our eBook.

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