Tag Archives: How To Utilize Data To Inform Your Sales Process

5 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Write Down Your Goals

Goals Serve a Purpose, but You Need to Be Thinking of Them Often
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Published on Jan 1, 2021

By Amanda Dudley

Image Credit: Unsplash


The year was 2017. Ninety-nine year old Annie was pictured smiling as a policeman handcuffed and led her into a cell. You’ve probably never seen a smiling convict before but Annie’s case was a little different. While most people would be shivering at the thought of being placed in a damp, dark cell, she had just achieved one of her life-long goals: getting arrested.

Everyone on earth (including your cat) has goals – from the Forbes-worthy plans to the downright ridiculous ones that would probably top the “craziest life goals you’ve ever heard of” list. The 6-year old girl down the street wants to own Disneyland someday, while your cat probably wants to become the only owner of your house. These goals can be achieved. However, the big question is how? How do you stop your goals from just ending up as unchecked items on a bucket list?

Even though there’s no clear-cut formula for success, one way to ensure that you can actually achieve your goals is to write them down. In fact, psychological studies have shown that people who write down their goals are 42% more likely to achieve them than people who don’t. But don’t just take our word (and statistics) for it. 

Here are five solid reasons why writing down your goals is a surefire formula to success:

1. Increases motivation

Most people say that the Bermuda Triangle is the hardest thing to find. However, this isn’t exactly true. Do you know what’s harder to find? Motivation when you need it the most. For a lot of people, it’s quite easy to set and map out personal or professional goals. On the other hand, when it comes to actually take action, their zeal suddenly disappears. An easy solution to this problem would be to set a goal and then write it down immediately. 

Studies have revealed that when you write down your goals, the motivation to achieve them increases substantially. Subconsciously, you would feel committed to the objectives you’ve written down and as such, take the necessary steps to achieve them. Writing down your goals is just like giving yourself a subconscious command. Consequently, each time you get distracted, your brain will subtly remind you of your goals and aspirations. 

“If you want to be happy, set a goal that commands your thoughts, liberates your energy and inspires your hopes.” —Andrew Carnegie

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2. Makes it easier to remember 

Believe it or not, a large number of people often forget their goals or aspirations. With the hustle and bustle of modern life, it’s far too easy to get distracted and forget about any goals or New Year resolutions you may have set. However, putting your goals on paper helps to enhance remembrance. Ever heard of the generation effect? If you haven’t, here’s a quick breakdown of this neuroscience term. The generation effect is a phenomenon when a person finds it easier to remember information generated by their own mind, rather than the information they read or picked up from a book. When you write something, your brain automatically assumes that it’s important and focuses on it. 

For instance, if you read a travel guide to Paris, you’d most likely remember only a few bits and pieces from it. However, when you jot down salient points from the guide in your own words, your brain knows that this piece of information is more important than the one you just read from the guide. As such, you’d find it easier to recall it later. This is basically how the generation effect works.

Even though the generation effect seems like a fancy term, it’s more common than most people think. When you map out your goals and write them down, your brain assigns importance to them and as such, makes it easier for you to recall them. 

3. Helps clarify your goals 

Let’s admit it, our goals can be a little vague and non-specific sometimes. For instance, let’s assume your goal for the year was to do something daring. In this case, your goal for the year could end up in an epic fail because you’d spend so much time trying to choose a daring task. 

It’s even harder because “daring” could mean anything, ranging from hiking up Mount Everest or drinking a bottle of hot sauce without water. However, writing down your goals would help to narrow your focus and clarify what you really want to do. This way, there’d be no room for confusion or dilly-dallying. 

4. Enhances hope

Hope is one extra reason why you should be writing your goals as soon as you set them. When it comes to achieving one’s goals and aspirations, hope is an essential factor. Without hope, you’d most likely lack the drive to take the necessary steps towards achieving your target. 

Writing down your goals and committing to them fuels hope and gives you something to look forward to. When you’re hopeful, you’re able to achieve your goals in no time at all. 

“Our goals can only be reached through a vehicle of a plan, in which we must fervently believe, and upon which we must vigorously act. There is no other route to success.” —Pablo Picasso

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5. Sets boundaries between wishes and goals

What’s the difference between a goal and a wish? A shooting star. Just before you chuckle or roll your eyes at this joke, it’s important to note that there’s a whole world of difference between goals and mere wishful thinking. 

Before your goal is written down, it’s just one of your thoughts or longings. However, the moment you pen down your goals, you give it substance and transform it from a wish to a target. It becomes something real and tangible. You could even set deadlines and action plans. This way, you won’t spend hours building castles in the air when you have a real target. 

Any dream or goal can be achieved eventually. Sure, it may take time, but a great way to kickstart your success is by penning down your goals. Writing down each goal spurs your subconscious into action and transforms your passive longing into actual targets. This way, the distance between you and your aspiration will be shortened. At the end of the day, who needs shooting stars when you have a pen and paper?

 

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(For additional information on goal setting for 2021, go to =>Why You Should Write Down 100 Goals For 2021 And Beyond (addicted2success.com)

RELATED TOPICS:CONSISTENCYDETERMINATIONGOAL SETTINGHOW TO ACHIEVE YOUR GOALSHOW TO BE SUCCESSFUL IN LIFEHOW TO GET WHAT YOU WANTHOW TO SET GOALSNEVER GIVE UPPUSH YOURSELF FORWARDTHE DOMINO EFFECTDON’T MISSStop Apologizing for Pursuing a Successful Life

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Amanda Dudley

Amanda Dudley is a writer and a lecturer with a Ph.D. in History from Stanford University. When she is not lecturing and helping students with complex assignments, she works as a part-time essay writer, providing top-quality essay writing services and academic projects. An efficient writer, she delivers projects in good time, ensuring that her clients are satisfied and content.



 

How To Be A Successful Leader From Home

Before the pandemic, working from home was something that a few people did and a lot more were interested in trying out.

Before the pandemic, working from home was something that a few people did and a lot more were interested in trying out. Now it’s rather suddenly become a fact of life for entire workplaces and teams, and many of us are still working to adapt. If you’re finding it difficult to manage some elements of working with your team or even staying on top of your own workflow and habits in this new normal, here’s some great advice compiled from my clients who are experienced in successfully working and leading from home

For Your Team:

Overcommunicate, especially when things are uncertain. Provide additional detail and context to make up for the information people can no longer pick up organically in casual conversations. Be as clear and consistent as possible to keep everyone moving in the same direction.

Raise the flag if something looks off. It’s important to speak up, because it’s harder to spot things that have gone awry when everyone is working separately. If you have a concern, check in to see if what others think . And if you’re spinning your wheels on a project, let your colleagues know. Identify problems early so you can start working toward solutions.

Create inner circles of collaboration. If you do your best work in collaboration with a work partner or small group, block a few hours to share a virtual room. Use technology to see each other, view each other’s screens and set up a virtual whiteboard to share ideas and work through problems.

Check in with others. Find the structure that works best for maintaining open channels with each member of your team, making sure you check in regularly. It’s more important than ever that you ask lots of questions and listen to the answers.

Recognize effort as well as accomplishments. There are fewer opportunities for recognition when everyone is working separately, so make an extra effort. In addition to celebrating wins, recognize those who are contributing extra effort and longer hours, those who are working through stressful situations, and those who have taken a risk or tried something new—even if it didn’t work out.

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For Yourself:

Start and end the work day at a specific time. Those who are new to working from home often experience burnout because they feel they never leave work. Set a schedule for the beginning and end of every work day. Of course there will be some nights you work late, but make them the exception, not the rule.

Work with your peak hours and low-energy moments. We all have times when we’re more focused and productive and times when our energy is lower and we’re more prone to distraction. An advantage of working from home is that it’s easier to balance your time, energy and productivity around your individual rhythm.

Remove as many distractions as possible. When you’re working from home, it’s easy to realize you’ve just spent an hour on social media or down an internet rabbit hole. Take social media off your work computer. Leave your phone in another room and get rid of any distractions that you know will get in the way of your productivity.

Create breaks during the day. No one can sit at a desk for 12 hours straight and do their best work. Even 15 to 30 minutes a couple of times a day can make a big difference in your focus and clarity. Treat it like a meeting and make yourself unavailable.

Exercise or do something vigorous at least four days a week. Aside from the physical benefits, exercise increases mental sharpness and makes you better at handling stress. It’s harder to fit exercise in, especially if you’re used to the routine of going to a gym, but your productivity and mental attitude—not to mention your health—depend on it.

Pay attention to your mindset. Working from home makes it extra important that you stay on top of your thoughts and mental attitude. It can be harder to find ways to clear your head, and there are fewer interactions with others to keep you grounded. Find things that nourish you—take your laptop out on the porch, play some music, read an author whose work inspires you.

Fight loneliness and isolation. Working from home, you miss out on camaraderie, companionship and interacting with others. But you don’t have to feel you’re on an island. Set up a virtual lunch date or happy hour, or create chat channels for topics of interest. Spend a bit of time every day connecting with co-workers about nonwork topics- think of it as the online version of stopping by their desk to chat.

Lead from within: Successfully working from home is a skill; it takes time and commitment and dedication to develop that skill. But with a great leader at the helm, people and teams can find their way and be as successful as ever.


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How To Utilize Data To Inform Your Sales Process

The Four Ways That Data Can Be Utilized To Inform Your Sales Process

By Dave Mattson | August 28, 2020


For as long as there have been salespeople, there has been data to analyze about the process they use to bring in business. The only issue has been how effective leaders are at drawing conclusions from that data.

All too often, companies don’t make effective use of the information available to them from their sales teams. They fail to generate the most relevant data points… or they focus on information that is familiar to them but less than meaningful. These common mistakes result in, among other things, the dreaded “garbage in, garbage out” sales forecast. So: How can you as a sales leader use data to support both the organization and the sales team? Here are four questions that will help you to do just that.

Question One: Do you have a sales process? This may sound like an obvious requirement, but most organizations we work with do not have a sales process! If you start breaking down data without a systematic process in place for generating sales, the data you come up with isn’t going to do you a lot of good. Note that a sales process gives people the steps they need to follow, from start to finish, to create revenue for your organization. Every company has a slightly different process; you can think of the data generated by the various steps of your sales process as being like an MRI. When it’s done properly, that kind of comprehensive scan is going to tell you what you need to know about the internal workings of your sales team. But to be useful, the analysis must line up with a functioning sales process!

Question Two: Have you identified your expectations? What are your expectations for each of the phases of your sales process? Break the process into its constituent parts: lead development, also known as prospecting; qualification; and then fulfillment and servicing the account. These three phases can also be understood, in the enterprise world, as landexpand, and renew. So. What are the specific outcomes you want to see within each of those three areas? What are the behaviors that make those outcomes possible? What are the departmental benchmarks – meaning what are your time-bound goals for behaviors that will land new business, expand existing business, and renew relationships with your best customers? Once you know that, you can break it down. What are the team benchmarks? What are the individual benchmarks? Set specific expectations. Hopefully, you’ve overlaid some competitive information, and you are meeting or exceeding the relevant industry benchmarks as you work with your team to identify the right goals. Once you have set the expectations, you will have something to compare the relevant real-world data to. (See Question Three.)

Question Three: Are you measuring the right stuff? Get meaningful data. Specifically, make sure you are getting data that connects to a specific step of your sales process. Make sure you are using your CRM system as a source of actionable business intelligence… not as a demonstration of compliance on the part of your salespeople. Make sure you are tracking leading indicators (activities that predictably generate revenue, such as having an initial voice-to-voice conversation with a decision maker) not just lagging indicators (activities that connect to revenue that has already been generated, such as filing a signed contract). Often, leaders spend too much time on lagging indicators and not enough in leading indicators. Identify the leading indicators that spotlight the effectiveness of a particular step of your sales process (such as the number of times a salesperson begins a discussion about the budget). Use that data to strategize improvement. What specific tools, resources, and behaviors will help everyone ensure the needle is moving in the right direction? How will you share the data in a way that inspires salespeople to monitor – and control – their own behavior?

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Question Four: Are you looking at a problem… or a symptom? This is perhaps the most important question of all. Is the data you’re examining pointing you toward an actual problem, or is it identifying the inevitable result of some underlying issue that you haven’t yet addressed? Sometimes, what seems obvious about a sales team’s needs isn’t obvious at all. Let me give you an example: Often, companies will look at their presentation-to-close ratio, realize that it’s low, and then self-diagnose based on that. They’ll say to themselves, “Okay, we need some help; we need to get better at delivering our presentations.” They think that’s the right response to what the data is telling them. But time after time, we find that’s not the problem.  When we do some digging, what we generally uncover is that they have a poor qualification process. The majority of those people they’re presenting to, they shouldn’t have been presenting to in the first place. They had no opportunity to win. Remember: There is a time to step back and get some help in assessing what the data is really telling you.

New technologies in CRM, in artificial intelligence, voice intelligence, and in any number of other areas are giving us all access to much deeper analyses than we could have made just a few years ago. As sales leaders, we can get the right data up on the dashboard… we can use that data intelligently… and as a result of what we learn, we can do a better and better job of leading our teams and our organizations in the direction they need to go. That starts with asking ourselves the four questions I’ve shared here – so we can avoid the all-too-common mistake of trying to land the plane without an instrument panel!

Interested in learning more about how you can utilize technology and data to inform your organization’s sales process? Learn why Sandler partnered with Gong to bring a measurable, data-driven approach to sales learning programs.