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Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue ScientistTue, Dec 4, 2018 9 min read

'Tis The Season For Goals: 6 Experts Weigh In On How To Set Goals That Move The Needle

2019 Goal Setting Tips

If You Want To Grow, Your Team Needs To Know Exactly What You Expect

2019 Goal Setting TipsWhat gets measured gets done. Setting goals for your company, your leaders and everyone in your organization is critical if you have any hope of growing your business.

This exercise can quickly get out of hand and lead to misalignment across your entire team. How do you ensure that everyone on the team has goals that align perfectly to your corporate goals and produce that everyone rowing together feel you’re looking for?

Check out these incredible statistics around goal setting courtesy of Stitch & Shutter via a Harvard Business study in the October Business Planning Guide from Rising Tide Society:

(The study) revealed remarkable statistics relating to goal setting and success: 83% of the population do not have goals; 14% have a plan in mind, but goals are unwritten; and 3% have goals written down.

The study found that the 14% who have goals are 10 times more successful than those without goals. The 3% with written goals are three times more successful than the 14% with unwritten goals. Writing your goals down sets you up to be exponentially more successful.”

Goal Setting At Square 2

At Square 2, we have a very well-defined goal-setting methodology that starts with corporate goals, and those are cascaded down to teams and individuals, ensuring that everyone is aligned.

The leader and team member agree on those goals. They are documented in what we call the team member’s journal. Those goals are reviewed monthly and scored quarterly. During those scoring sessions, new quarterly goals are set for the upcoming quarter.

This rhythm continues all year along, ensuring alignment, continuity and goal attainment.

Here are comments from our management team members about their personal perspectives on goal setting.

Matt Cook, Director Of The Sales Enablement Practice At Square 2

When we coach sales leaders, we encourage them to make sure the team member is 100% positive that the goal is attainable. I like to have the team member sign a written copy of the goals, so we’re both positive there is an agreement.

I also like to make it clear that I understand business is a fluid and changing environment. If it becomes apparent that the goal is going to be unattainable because of some change, the desired move is to discuss it immediately, not wait for the quarter to end and without any discussion. This allows us to adjust the goals based on the changes and new normal.

Sean Dazet – Chief Revenue Officer At Square 2

Ive always coached people to keep two things in mind when setting goals: Is it simple? Is it 100% clear when you hit the goal? If not, youre making it hard on yourself and others.

Next, make sure you and the people you need to get it done care about the goal. Otherwise, youre going to struggle to put in the work required.

Eric Keiles – Co-Founder At Square 2 And Serial Entrepreneur

Weekly and daily planning is crucial to goal setting. I take Sunday nights to ask myself, “What are the three or four most important objectives to accomplish this week?” Then I block time to work on those over the course of the following week.  

Im careful not to confuse “urgent” with “important.” Each morning I ask myself, “What needs to get done today to roll up to my weekly goals?” Then I plan the day for that. When you consistently focus on that level, larger quarterly and annual goals are much easier to meet.

Gabe Wahhab – Director Of Interactive At Square 2 And President At MAXG

When I set goals for the team at MAXG, our AI-powered recommendations engine for marketers, it can be overwhelming figuring out where to start. First, determine where you want to end by defining a measurable outcome that you want to see, and then start to work backward by defining everything you need to do to reach that goal.

While defining each of these steps, also be on the lookout for micro-goals that show progress toward your big goal. When youre done, you will be left with a detailed road map on how to achieve your goal. 

When doing this planning, you may find yourself wondering if your goal metrics or timelines are overly aggressive or realistic.

Don’t be afraid to reach out to colleagues or industry experts to see how they are performing. You can also reach out on sources like Quora, where many industry experts hang out, or use a tool like MAXG for marketing benchmarks. 

Kristin Stricker, COO At Square 2

My go-to move is to get my team members talking about “blockers.” What might prevent you from hitting these goals, and what do we need to do about those blockers now so that they don’t become challenges later in the year?

This also helps demonstrate critical thinking and teaches my team how to think through and work through challenges outside the goal-setting process. While we’re working to set their goals, asking about blockers shows empathy for their situation and helps reinforce our Team = Family core value.

Their success is our success, and the only way we’ll succeed as an organization is to work together.

Jamie Hardin – Director Of Client Services At Square 2

My biggest goal-setting tip is to break goals down into something quantifiable and obtainable. People tend to set broad, undefined goals. Make the goal measurable, obtainable through realistic changes and with a firm deadline for execution. 

A relatable example is that people make the resolution that they’ll “exercise more” in the new year but set no goals for attainment. More could mean going to the gym once a week or once a day. Likewise, it’s unrealistic for a couch potato to say they’ll run a marathon in a month. 

Marketing is no different. People say, “we need more leads,” and then don’t examine the factors that go into that goal. They don’t know when they’ve hit the goal if they don’t set a timeline for it.

Equally, just getting more leads does not mean they are qualified. Saying let’s set a goal of increasing pipeline generated from marketing by 15% this quarter enables the team to set smaller goals that will drive toward that larger goal, such as increasing conversion rates from MQL to SQL, optimizing the website for lead conversions, creating a webinar to drive X number of qualified leads or adding a paid media campaign to increase traffic by 10%. 

By setting these smaller goals, the team can then troubleshoot areas that aren’t meeting expected results. 

Make Goal Setting A Priority

Setting goals for your company, teams and individuals might be one of the most important activities at your firm. Yet how much time do you actually invest in training your team, setting up your goal-setting practices and monitoring how individuals perform against their goals?

If you’re like most organizations, the answer is not enough. You should classify goal-setting work as urgent and important. Then you’ll be sure to spend the right amount of time aligning your team around the company’s most important initiatives.

Square 2 — Building The Agency You’ll LOVE!


Mike Lieberman, CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist

Mike is the CEO and Chief Revenue Scientist at Square 2. He is passionate about helping people turn their ordinary businesses into businesses people talk about. For more than 25 years, Mike has been working hand-in-hand with CEOs and marketing and sales executives to help them create strategic revenue growth plans, compelling marketing strategies and remarkable sales processes that shorten the sales cycle and increase close rates.