As many of you know, S.M.A.R.T. Goals are a foundation of success for any individual or organization. I define S.M.A.R.T as:
- Specific – I will make $100,000
- Measurable – I will measure every month how much I have made and also measure the activities needed to make the money
- ALIGNED/AGREED – I am ALIGNED and AGREEMENT with others who are critical to my success
- Realistic – it is an achievable goal
- Timed – I will make the $100,000 by the end of 2014
I was with a client this week that understood this and demonstrates the importance of the ALIGNMENT/AGREED step, which is the most difficult and most important.
My client is a very successful high tech company who is #3 in their market, but whose growth has been stagnant for the last 6 quarters. Recently, they dramatically realigned their entire sales organization, from the inside out. Many people’s responsbibilities were changed, or minimized, and they had grave concerns. They were distracted and demotivated.
The people who are in front of the customer and make the most money are the outside people. The people who make the least (they are still well paid) and touch the customer least are the inside sales people. HOWEVER, the key to the outside teams success is the leads the inside team can qualify and generate.
So what did my client and I do? We started with training the inside people and we ALIGNED/GAINED AGREEMENT that there role was critical. My client shared the executive level view and insights with the team, and allowed them to question and challenge them.
They were aligned and had agreement from top to bottom, from executive to salesperson and most of the concern and distraction were removed.
We then were able to develop and train them on the new skills and knowledge they needed to be successful as individuals and as a company.
Moral to the story: spend more time than you are, or think you need to, in order to make sure people understand and agree to (as much as possible) the changes and direction you are taking.
Don’t think if it is said, or just because you say it, will make it happen.