STAFDA 2014 Session Preview: Tom Reilly

Setting S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals.

STAFDA sales consultant Tom Reilly's session will show distributors how to set smarter, quantifiable and actionable goals from 9:00 -11:00 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 9, 2014.

Goal getting begins with goal setting. A goal without a plan is a wish, a hope or a dream. A goal becomes real with planning. It provides focus and a sense of purpose to one’s efforts. A goal is a directional pursuit, an organizing force and is a written commitment that you make to yourself.

For teams, goals ensure a congruence of priorities and activities. They provide group discipline. They align team members around a common and meaningful purpose.

Goals motivate individuals to achieve something of value. Goals state management’s expectations and provide for task clarity. Goals bridge dreams and reality. Properly formed and vividly framed, goals paint a picture of the future in real time.

To get the most value from your sales team, you must ensure that your tactical, field-level sales objectives support your organizational mission. Your goals must align. Your strategies and tactics must complement each other. Your plan must be coherent. The acronym MOST describes this strategic and tactical alignment. MOST stands for Mission, Objectives, Strategies and Tactics.

Mission is why people pursue goals. It speaks directly to the motivation of the person, or, in the case of organizations, the direction of that organization.

Objectives are benchmarks that gauge whether or
not the individual (or the organization) is accomplishing the mission. These signposts along the way measure progress.

Strategies are what the individual (or the organization) must do to accomplish the mission.

Tactics are how the person (or the organization) must execute what is laid out in strategy.

For sales managers and coaches, this model prescribes that tactical, field-level sales objectives must (1) support the organization’s mission; (2) be consonant with your organization’s objectives; (3) employ strategies that support the mission; and (4) represent clear, relevant tactics that operationalize strategies, achieve goals and accomplish the mission.

As salespeople achieve their goals, the managers achieve their departmental goals, the organization achieves its broader and strategic goals, and all accomplish the mission.
As the sales coach, you must ask yourself these questions prior to goal setting with your team:

  • Do we have a vision for the future of this organization?
  • Are we clear on the mission of our organization, and does it support our vision?
  • Have we communicated this clearly to our sales force?
  • What organizational objectives support our accomplishing this mission and realizing the vision?
  • What strategies must we employ to achieve these goals?
  • What tactical achievements do we need from our sales force?

The answers to these questions reveal the soundness of your go-to-market strategy. There must be a direct connection between the tactical efforts of the sales force to the organization’s mission. Otherwise, you are doomed by a sales and marketing chasm that inhibits growth. This chasm is the cause and result of salespeople not executing tactically what marketing designs strategically.

Setting S.M.A.R.T.E.R. Goals
If you question the need for a direct connection between the tactical efforts of the sales force and the organization’s mission, consider these tidbits:

  • 39 percent of salespeople have no written sales objectives at all.
  • However, 87 percent of STAFDA sales pros do.

Which team would you rather be playing for? STAFDA distributors outsell their unstructured competitors because they understand how to get the MOST from their salespeople and how to set SMARTER goals. Here again, SMARTER is also an acronym for specific actions that lead to consistent, repeatable, measurable sales success.

“S” stands for specific, but it invokes the KISS principle: keep it simple and significant. Make your goals clear and unambiguous.

“M” stands for measurable. It signifies motivation and milestone. It is motivational in that you can bear witness to changes and achievements in your efforts.

“A” stands for achievable, but it can also mean aspirational or aggressive. A goal is an aspiration, what someone wants to accomplish, not just what they must do.

“R” stands for relevant. It conjures relatedness or resonance. You want tactical, field-level objectives to support strategic objectives of the group, department or organization.

“T” represents time-based aspect of goal setting. Timely, time-sensitive, and on-time describe the temporal importance goals.

“E” stands for engaging, but also suggests energy and effort. Great achievements are born in dreams and bathed in effort. Success begins with small steps. Engaging goals are performance goals.

“R” stands for results, reinforcement and rewards. Results are the outcome of one’s efforts. Results reinforce efforts, confirm that one’s behaviors are relevant and represent the lasting gain from performance.

Managers become effective coaches when they harness the collective talent of their team and direct them toward achieving a common goal.

During my presentation at STAFDA, I will also offer a series of goal setting tips for salespeople and their managers to help you create and continually reinforce your personal and organizational focus on and dedication to actions that will ensure tactical, field-level objectives that support your mission and strategic goals. I look forward to seeing you in Charlotte! CS

Tom Reilly, president of Tom Reilly Training is literally the guy who wrote the book on value-added selling. He is also STAFDA's sales consultant. You can reach him at