At the start of every year, we tend to look forward and set both personal and professional goals for the year. Take a moment and think back. Did you reach the goals you set for yourself last year? If not, it’s probably because you did not develop a plan of action to achieve them.
When you are in a performance-based career like sales, goal setting is vital to your success. Vital yes, but without a plan of action on how to achieve your objectives, the annual ritual of goal setting is just an exercise in futility.

So what are your goals? Is it the sales quota that your sales manager just assigned at your annual kick off meeting? Perhaps. True, your minimum acceptable level of sales performance is important, but is it YOUR goal? Is your sales quota important enough for you to hold it near and dear to your heart and make it a driving force in your life? Probably not.

What you do for a living is a means to achieving what you want in life. In other words, the sales career that you have chosen is the way in which you earn income to fund the lifestyle that you want. Your lifestyle is a personal decision, but determining the income required to fund it should be your first step in goal setting. Determining the day-to-day activities required to earn that income is the next step. A sales career is a profession that lives on the law of averages. Using a little basic math, you can quickly determine what activities you need to commit to do each day to achieve your personal goals.
What do you have to do each and every sales day to reach your lifestyle goals? To answer that, simply reverse the sales process by asking yourself the following questions:
1. What is my desired lifestyle?
2. What is the income needed to fund my desired lifestyle?
3. How much do I have to sell to earn my desired income?
4. How many proposals do I need to present to sell that amount?
5. How many fact find appointments does this require?
6. How many prospecting calls does this equate to?
By breaking out a larger task into the daily activities needed to complete it, you greatly increase your chances of reaching your goal. In other words, completing the daily activity is much easier than achieving an annual target. Once you know what you must do each and every sales day, you have created your plan of action. In other words, you are not wishing for a Happy New Year, you are making it happen!

Aim Higher!

Susan A. Enns,

B2B Sales Connections

Author's Bio: 

Susan A. Enns is managing partner of B2B Sales Connections, the specialized job board, free resume listing service, and sales training website for business to business sales professionals. She has a proven track record of success, with over 22 years of direct sales, management and executive level business to business experience. Her accomplishments include being the top sales rep in Canada, managing the top sales branch, and achieving outstanding sales growth in a national channel sales organization. She has written the downloadable e-courses “Action Plan For Sales Success” and “Action Plan For Sales Management Success”, created numerous automated sales tools, and she writes and edits the company’s newsletter, AIM HIGHER.

Participating on the Leadership Executive of the Sales Professionals of Ottawa since 2008, she is currently the association's Vice President. For more information, please visit