How to Set Up Proper Sales and Marketing Goals from Scratch

In the first chapter of developing a successful inbound marketing strategy, we discussed several inbound marketing metrics.

We discovered how leads, customers, and opportunities flow through the sales funnel. We also discovered important metrics to acquire customers and retain them. We also

We also identified key metrics that help you acquire your customers and retain them.

Then, we looked at your current inbound marketing actions that are contributing to your overall revenue.

Understanding these basic performance indicators is a pretty significant step towards establishing proper marketing goals.

Shanelle Mullin, the director of marketing at Onboardly says, “The answer to creating achievable marketing goals is to invest time assessing your current situation.

We agree with what she says, too.

In order to truly estimate your improvements, you need to KNOW what and how you are performing right now.

So, how do you go about setting your marketing goals properly?

Just so that everyone’s on the same page when we’re talking about marketing goals, we aren’t specifically talking about brand awareness, increasing Twitter followers, or increasing email open rates.

Your marketing goals have to align directly with your business goals.

And, it has to be measured in terms of leads, customers, and – most significantly – revenue.

As a business owner, what are you currently working at?

Are you trying to increase targeted traffic to your website and convert them into leads and buying customers every month?

Are you working towards increasing your customer lifetime value?

Are you trying to eliminate costs that involve in acquiring new customers?

Sadly, there’s no magic pill when it comes to setting up your marketing goals.

It will depend on several things – your current state, the niche you are targeting, and the resources you have at your fingertips.

For example, new companies usually spend most of their time on reaching out and engaging with their audience.

More established companies, on the other hand, who have found a market for their products spend most of their time on metrics that are related to growth and profitability.

Before you plunge in setting your marketing goals, be absolutely sure you KNOW what business goals you are aiming.

Always follow the SMART Marketing Goal

Well established marketing goals often follow SMART marketing goal framework. If you’re curious, SMART means specific, measurable, achievable, realistic and timely.

Here’s a detailed post from HubSpot that explains how to set SMART goals, however, for today, we’ll simply look at each major components of this framework.

Specific – Don’t just say, “I want to drive more customers.” Do to set real numbers.

Measurable – Always make sure you can follow your goal.

Attainable – Go after goals that are challenging yet still achievable.

Realistic – Be honest with yourself, and know what you and your team are capable of. Be aware of hurdles that you may have to overcome as you move forward.

Timely – Set a deadline for your goal. Don’t say, “I’ll get it done someday.” Instead, say, “I’ll finish it by the 31st of December this year.”

This may seem like a normal thing to do, but if applied correctly through regular monitoring, it can be very powerful.

If you’d like to learn more about SMART marketing goal, you can grab a free copy of HubSpot’s SMART marketing goals template.

Set big (but reachable) marketing goals

Setting bigger yet achievable goals can be difficult. You’ll have to find a balance between shooting for the start and expecting realistic results.

If your goals are too high, you’ll always encounter failure.

On the other hand, if your goals are too low (easy), you’ll be selling yourself short.

So, where do you start?

Kathryn Aragon, editor of the The Daily Egg, digital marketer, and award-winning copywriter, shares her ideas on how to set achievable marketing goals:

Kathryn says, “I always like to start with the end goal in mind, and then work backward. I’m always thinking where I want to be, what I want to be doing, and why this matters so much? Then I start to look at all the things and skills I’ll need to reach that end goal and set priority.”

By prioritizing all her tasks (first, second, third, etc), she ends up creating a road map for reaching the goal that she’s set.

“I’ve found this approach works best not only for personal goals, but also for new product launches, and start-up businesses,” says Kathryn.

Set supporting short-term goals en route to the finish line

The road to the finish line is not always a linear. It doesn’t always go up and to the right. It’s funny though many people think like that.

In reality, however, things are quite different.

When setting up long-term goals, it’s also vital to establish supporting short-term marketing goals.

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Short-term goals will help you focus and keep on moving towards your ambitious long-term marketing goals.

And, remember – don’t you ever depend on your goals to be happy. Rather, you should enjoy the process of reaching towards your goals.

Here’s a nice story from Noah Kagan – an Internet entrepreneur and the founder of AppSumo.

Last year, our team had set an ambitious goal of selling at least 3,333 memberships of our How to Make A $1,000 A Month Business Course. We reached that milestone on October 30th the same year. After achieving this milestone, I was pretty unsure of what to do next for the next two months. But learned something important from those first 10 months – I learned to enjoy all the processes and experiences of getting there, rather than simply getting there,” shares Kagan.

Check your progress regularly

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Try reviewing your progress at a certain time of a week or month to make sure you are staying on track towards achieving your goals.

For example, we at Inbound Marketing Singapore have been doing Tuesday morning progress check-ups for quite a few months and it has completely changed how we work.

Regular check-ups help us know when we are ahead of schedule so that we keep on doing some more. And, if see we’re lagging behind, we can quickly change our course of action and get back on track.

Courtney Seiter, the head of content marketing at Buffer shares her team’s goals setting process.

“Our goal-setting process is always in a flux of constant change as we continue to adapt, experiment, learn, and grow, every day,” says Courtney.

“But we always follow few core principles that keeps us on track throughout the process and make sure our goals are challenging as well as real and achievable,” concludes Courtney.

Regular progress monitoring and small goals along the way to the higher goals seem to help them stay on the same page.

Key Points You Just Learned

  • Your marketing goals should aways support your ambitious business goals.
  • Always create lofty goals using the SMART goal framework.
  • Enjoy the process through short-term successes as you continue to move towards your long term goals.
  • Frequently check your progress through regular weekly – or monthly – meetings. 

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