Over the years, you’ve likely become skilled at enforcing self-imposed targets.
However, it’s a little more difficult to think on a much larger scale - setting goals that’ll carry you through to 2024.
While it’s advised that SaaS businesses look as far ahead as possible, that doesn’t mean the planning process is easy.
In fact, it can be quite the opposite.
In order to get ahead of the curve and give your team clear targets to work towards… there’s some work to be done.
THE IMPORTANCE OF ACCURATE GOAL SETTING
First and foremost, you need to understand that setting goals incorrectly could cause unnecessary stress for yourself and your colleagues.
SaaS environments can already be very high-pressure, and the last thing you want to do is add to the burden weighing on your team’s shoulders and cause unshakeable burnout.
Therefore, it’s crucial to take your time with goal-setting and get them right.
You can’t just plan to double your sales by this time next year because it sounds like a “nice idea” that would make investors happy.
There has to be evidence that suggests you can actually achieve this number before you proceed.
HOW TO SET ACHIEVABLE GOALS FOR THE YEAR AHEAD
Whether you are setting a significant goal that will:
Guide the course of your organisation.
Get a product ready for market.
Boost your sales and revenue.
You have to incorporate thought and care into every aspect of your process. How?
STEP 1. GATHER THE RIGHT INFORMATION
When you get started with setting goals for the year ahead, you need to first look at the business intelligence you have access to. Data from all across your organisation could prove useful to you - especially any that looks at your performance in years previous.
STEP 2. IMAGINE A VISION FOR THE YEAR AHEAD
Once you’re able to get a clear picture of the past, you’ll be able to start planning for the future.
At this time, you can afford to be a bit ambitious, first identifying where you’d like to be (ideal) and secondly picturing where you are more likely to end up (actual). Then, set a target in the middle of these two values.
STEP 3. PREPARE FOR SURPRISES
It’s unlikely that everything will go smoothly. The SaaS industry is notorious for being agile and changing constantly. That means, before you can pinpoint your goals, you’ll need to start considering what factors might come into play in the year ahead, such as the upcoming recession.
STEP 4. MAKE SMART GOALS
When these have been carefully outlined and considered, you’ll be in a really good position to set specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely goals for the year ahead. These should be motivational assets that can be used by you and your team.
STEP 5. COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR COLLEAGUES
Before you can start working towards the targets, though, you need to actually speak to the team around you and accept their input. While you might have to make changes to the work you’ve already done, at least you’ll be able to factor in their contributions now rather than later.
STEP 6. CREATE AN ACTIONABLE PLAN
With their help, you should be able to make a step-by-step plan that breaks down your annual goal into smaller segments. This should stop team members from getting overwhelmed and feeling like they aren’t making the right progress along the way.
STEP 7. DECIDE ON YOUR KPIS AND METRICS
As a part of this, you’ll have to decipher some KPIs that you’ll be able to evaluate along the journey. These are perfect for giving you the insight you need to provide additional guidance to your employees and ensure that the goals you set for the year were suitable (and not too extreme).
STEP 8. TRACK PERFORMANCE
With these metrics to hand, you can consistently record your progress and celebrate your achievements. At this time, you’ll have the opportunity to recognise and reward specific colleagues who are going above and beyond their line of duty in order.
STEP 9. ADJUST YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Although it's hard to admit when we’ve made a mistake, human error isn’t entirely unavoidable. When you are about halfway through the year, you should once again revisit your goals and see if they need adjusting higher or lower. The SaaS market could be completely different by this point or you could have onboard more team members that are accelerating your path.
STEP 10. RINSE AND REPEAT
By taking it steady and using a goal as a tool and not a guarantee, you can create a really effective system for motivating your team. When you set goals for the year ahead, you’ll be able to clearly outline your expectations and set the foundations for a rewarding career in SaaS.
AN EMPLOYEE’S ROLE IN MEETING TARGETS
No matter how much planning you do, goals can’t be met without an organisation-wide effort.
Unless you have full commitment from your colleagues, you’ll struggle to hit your targets during the year and will find yourself falling further and further behind.
Therefore, it’s crucial that you work with your existing colleagues to make your dream come true. Part of this is recognising when you are asking too much of your team.
If this is the case, you’ll have two options.
Either you can readjust your original plan (thinking a little smaller) or you can onboard more employees to fuel your success. We know which option we prefer.
STRIVE CAN HELP YOU BUILD AND DEVELOP AN ELITE GO-TO-MARKET TEAM
Here at Strive, we source top-tier sales talent for scaling and hypergrowth tech companies. To learn more about how we can help your business scale, contact our team at 0203 983 0770 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.