Tuesday, 20 June
Today's Topic
Goal Setting


There’s a big difference between setting goals and keeping a daily To Do list; the latter is important, but consistent dedication to the former will position you with sustained success.

You love goal-setting!? Great. That’s what the TOP 10% say too! There’s nothing better than setting up the pins and knockin’ ’em down.

There’s a difference between goal setting and creating daily task lists. Here’s a typical To-Do list item, "Research delivery schedules for prospect Kai." The Kai task differs significantly from "Grow Acme Inc. by 20% YOY by upselling two extensions." That’s a goal. "Get a meeting with Sal at Cool Co" differs from "Improve objection handling skills."

Tasks are the steps you must take to get to your goals. Goals are significant and require strategy and critical thinking. Goals are the things that protect you from flying around aimlessly.

Whatever you do, don’t stop making lists. To-Do lists help you focus on the tasks of the day, and that’s essential for achieving your goals. The TOP 10% are so enthusiastic about their To Do list that they revise them each night to prepare for the next day’s battle.

Goal achievement only results if there is strong and consistent list hygiene (moan….cliche jargon!). Most importantly, understand that goals come in many flavors. The flavor your manager wants you to focus on centers around accounts and revenue, e.g., "Grow Silly Cement Co. by 25% this year." But there are other goals that you need to pursue: skill goals and professional growth goals are the two different types that should also receive your focus.

A respectable skill goal is "Improve presentation skills so I can stand and deliver in front of a room of 50." A solid professional growth goal is "Develop an understanding of supply/demand elements of my industry so I can become a subject matter expert (SME)."

Goal setting pops up throughout our MSD calendar because it’s the foundational force behind intelligent selling. Last Friday, it appeared when discussing time management. Yesterday, it was referenced when urging you to prepare formal agendas for all of your pitch meetings, i.e., what is the goal of the customer meeting? And, of course, goal setting is integral to strategic account planning. You’ll soon become addicted to goal setting and realize how important it is if you want to stay in the TOP 10%.


Setting and managing goals is wasted unless you install a strong measurement criterion. Without metrics to assess your progress, goals will just float around and eventually drift away.

With ten days left in the quarter, you need to finish your Q3 goals. Most companies focus on quarterly revenue goals that involve strategic account planning. Given your drive to be in the TOP 10%, you must also design a regular and disciplined goal protocol.

By the end of today, establish at least one account and one skill development goal for Q3. These are additive to the revenue goals management sets for you. They’ll give you a goal of X revenue in Q3, but you’re the only one who can author specific and germane account and skill goals for yourself. Study the examples in the SKILL section and create at least two goals you’ll be proud of hitting 90 days from now.

A goal without a timeline is just a dream. Goals are essential, but measurement is the glue. To get good at goal setting, you must get good at using your measurement framework: SMART! (Literally, that’s the acronym for the goal-setting measurement system.)

Setting and working towards goals is not hard, but it can be intimidating because of the fear of failure. However, nobody anywhere said goals should be unreachable. The truth is just the opposite. Goal setting is about establishing accomplishments that can be attained. Success, not failure, is the objective. You can expect there will be some failures. (You don’t close every deal, do you?) Nevertheless, failure is what makes learning so valuable.

SMART equals Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. Against each goal, write a few sentences for each SMART criterion.

The most straightforward criterion to complete is Time-bound. Since these are 90 days goals, you’ll set the deadline for these goals as the end of Q3. To better help your attempts to complete your SMART work, ask yourself, "Specifically, what does success look like for each of these goals on September 30?"

SMART. Specific speaks for itself. Measurable is crucial because, as it sounds, if you can’t measure it, how will you know you are successful? Create metrics for success that you can use to understand progress. Achievable refers to those above of creating goals you can hit yet will push you a bit too. This part is a little art vs. science. And Relevant is simply making sure your plan aligns with your job function and what your department is doing in the big picture.

Tomorrow - June 25

Did your competitor have a good Q2?

Today - June 24

"I thought that buyer LOVED me."

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June 22 - 23


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June 21

On this day, Jaws appeared in theaters

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"Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars." –Les Brown

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