2018 Goal Setting - Professional, Personal, Charitable

Goal SettingSR
2018 Goal Setting

It's 2018 and time to reset. Setting your annual goals is a critical aspect of success. It has been proven that setting goals, visualizing the steps it takes to achieve each and putting timelines on your actions will dictate trajectory.

Goal setting should be personal and done in a manner of complete clarity throughout the process. Bill Gates wrote many years ago about his annual "Think Week", where he would check out and spend 3 days in confinement determining his goals for the year. If this is something that can be achieved we would highly recommend the process.

Many only look at their professional goals as with many roles this is a requirement for your job. We recommend a more well-balanced diet of goal setting focused on not only professional but also personal and charitable objectives to be set.


Setting your professional goals should be about working backward from where you see yourself next December. The top sales professional, business growth, monetary objectives... All should be selfishly created as a starting point to the "How".

Your goals may span much farther than three targets, but it's important to ensure trackability of the steps it takes to achieve each with a quarterly check-in to self-regulate. We recommend setting a top 3 and from there creating sub-goals or other objectives with less priority can also be leveraged. This will help you stay focused on each with little room to deviate.

Focus on what is in your control, whether its lofty career aspirations or detailed revenue objectives think not only about the end state but the process to achieve your target.


Carol Dweck the famous author of Growth Mindset said: "Change can be tough, but I've never heard anybody say it wasn't worth it". Setting your personal trajectory for growth should be filled with new aspirations you would like to set out to achieve, experiences and moments that will last far beyond 2018.

Focusing on personal growth whether reading a book a month, learning to cook or spending more time with your family. It's the personal balance that will give you the success in all areas of your life that is important. Most people who set personal goals take their achievements with them for the rest of their life. This is an opportunity to take a small step towards a long-term objective you have always dreamt of accomplishing.


The act of giving back is essential no matter what you have. Whether it's your time or money, setting goals to do more to benefit others is the soul to your goals. A favorite quote of Zig Ziglar's "You can have everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want". This is often seen as a mindset to sales, but also should be your objective in life.

Determine a set of charitable goals that elevate you as a person with purpose. Create a nonprofit, serve the homeless, coach a recent college graduate... Just a few ideas to help determine where you spend your time and money to raise the tide for all boats. These goals are often the most fulfilling of them all.

After you have determined the list of goals in all areas of our three pillars, it is critical to keep a regular rhythm to review each. Do monthly reviews to see what has been accomplished and what adjustments need to be made.

One last recommendation that we use in addition to the written goals is to create a vision board to complement those goals. Our brains are visual and creating a board of visual goals you hang in your office will plant those images into your subconscious which will work with you throughout the year.

Its only through structure and discipline can any goal be achieved. Set the trajectory for your year and launch your 2018 goal plan now!

Sales Rake

Looking for a template?:  Free 2018 Goal Setting Template

3 Areas of Sales Initiative Development

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Sales Initiative Development

Sales has always been a team game. The ability to lay the corporate foundation for sales success is critical. Your sales planning should include not only execution based initiatives but also address critical gaps in the business that is hindering sales effectiveness.

Creating a list of corporate objectives aligned with the feedback from your sales teams means that all pipeline and opportunity calls should allow for open discussion. What are the critical next steps, how can I support and what business issues need to be addressed?

There is a simple framework we leverage to determine how best to set the objectives for the organization. It is important to create a specified plan around each area of focus with deadlines to create accountability.

Operational Initiatives

Develop a set of operational initiatives that help to advance or simplify the internal sales process. This can be addressed by technology, legal or governance requirements.

Simplifying the way we leverage technology whether an internal tool like CRM, customer-facing tools, or operational tools that allow your customers to establish the business requirements for your product or services. Look for ways to simplify your process and tool dependencies to create a higher sales and customer satisfaction. If there are roadblocks that can be addressed leveraging technology, provide those as an initiative for your business.

Legal constraints can often be the longest and most pivotal aspect of your sales process. Many businesses require legal support to make any changes to your standard documentation. By educating your sales organization and empowering them with alternative language or areas for negotiation will help streamline the amount of legal work that needs to be accomplished. One initiative we often promote is to determine which sections of your legal documents get the most push back and ask legal to create alternative language (2 or 3 proposed language changes) that the sales rep leverage to streamline this process. Let your sales team be the first line of defense and push your legal department to empower your sellers to minimize the time your legal team needs to be involved.

Governance is usually determined by the empowerment levels for various roles within your organization. Changes such as price or structure of an opportunity should be held at a level that works directly with your sales team on a regular basis. Create governance rules that allow your sales teams to directly negotiate terms and conditions to the "80%" of opportunities and set thresholds for management that does not hang up the sales process.

Sales Process Initiatives

Creating a "Sales Culture" often means simplification of the process to engage and onboard a new customer. Strict requirements around solution teams or business requirements before a seller can close an opportunity should be evaluated in granularity.

Address these potential hang-ups in a pragmatic fashion starting with prospecting. By making it easy for your sales team to identify prospects they target with defined segmentation of your highest opportunities will ensure your sales teams are effective every minute they are at their job - Sales is always an ROI measurement of time. How your salespeople chose to spend their time to generate revenue for the company is critical to maximizing your opportunity set. Find ways to simplify management of all areas of the business including customer support.

Create initiatives that move the needle of productivity and help your sellers manage as close to 100% of their time in an external client facing role. By establishing an expectation around your sales process will give you the greatest visibility to sales constraints that need to be addressed.

External Customer Initiatives

From demand generation to account management, I can assure you your sales teams are looking for help. By aligning your inside sales teams with a marketing function will help you align campaigns to follow-up. Cross-train your inside sales teams with your outside sales teams creating a harmonious demand generation engine that is codependent.

Simplify your messaging, create a customer playbook, ensure rebuttals are in sync with all functional teams. Create initiatives that simplify your sales organization and demand generation efforts to maximize effectiveness.

Products and services that your company offers most often can streamline or simplify their business units. Ensure that customer-centric initiatives are created to ensure customer satisfaction and retention is a core focus for the business. Its always easier to upsell existing customers, so aligning with the needs of your revenue generating accounts is your easiest route to success.

From customer support to sales enablement these areas are essential to running a high performing sales team. Develop your initiatives with deadlines and accountability to show your sales teams you are in the trenches with them.

Creating a culture of teamwork will always build the sales culture every organization needs to grow.

Happy Selling

Sales Rake