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Leigh PerezMay 202311 min read

Setting SMART Sales Enablement Goals: A Step-by-Step Guide

A winning sales team is more than just numbers; it’s about strategy, direction, focus, and precise goals. That's where SMART sales enablement goals come into play. In the rapidly evolving B2B business arena, the secret to outperforming the competition lies in your sales team's prowess. The solution to the common problem of unguided effort and undefined success parameters is setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time-bound) goals.

This comprehensive, step-by-step guide is your go-to resource for understanding, crafting, and implementing SMART sales enablement goals that will catalyze your sales team's performance.

Ready to empower your team to shatter sales records and reach new heights? Let's get started!

Here's what you'll find in this blog: 

The Indispensable Role of a Sales Leader in Sales Enablement

A sales leader's role in sales enablement is akin to the captain of a ship, navigating the course and ensuring each crew member is equipped to face the voyage ahead. It's a hands-on, strategic position that directly impacts the effectiveness of the sales team and, ultimately, the bottom line.

Sales leaders align team efforts, streamline processes, and provide essential tools and resources. They craft a strategic vision, set clear expectations, and establish measurable goals. More importantly, they empower each team member to perform at their peak, be it through organizing in-depth product training sessions or fostering a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

sales team struggles with understanding what they are selling

Consider the challenge of a sales team struggling with closing deals because they lack a deep understanding of the product. As a sales leader, it's your responsibility to recognize this gap and launch a comprehensive product training program. You're not just setting targets, you're providing the map and compass for your team to reach those targets.

Sales leaders also serve as a bridge between the sales team and the rest of the organization, enabling efficient collaboration with departments like marketing, customer service, and product development. They are the driving force behind sales enablement – strategists, motivators, teachers, and bridge-builders rolled into one.

Their role is to create an environment where every sales rep is equipped to excel, thereby driving the overall success of the sales team.

In the following sections, we will guide you through the process of setting SMART sales enablement goals to help your team reach their full potential.

What are SMART Goals?

While setting goals is a fundamental aspect of sales success, the real magic lies in setting SMART goals. These aren't just any goals; they are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound. The beauty of SMART goals is their ability to offer your sales team a crystal-clear roadmap, guiding their efforts, and making tracking progress a breeze.

Smart goals: specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound

Imagine your team is consistently falling short in lead generation. A vague goal might be, "Improve lead generation." However, a SMART goal would be, "Increase sales qualified leads by 10% within the next quarter through targeted outreach and follow-up strategies." The latter provides a clear target, a way to measure success, and a timeframe, and implicitly assures the goal's relevance and achievability.

Within the realm of sales enablement, SMART goals are the compass that keeps your team oriented toward the most consequential activities.

According to a study by Drs. Edwin Locke and Gary Latham, two leading researchers in goal-setting theory, setting specific and challenging goals can enhance performance by up to 30% compared to vague or easy goals.

Essentially, SMART goals are the secret sauce that can supercharge your team's performance and propel your sales figures to new heights.

In the upcoming sections, we will be your co-pilots, guiding you step-by-step through the process of setting SMART sales enablement goals. You'll learn how to harness this powerful tool to optimize your team's performance and drive unprecedented sales success. Ready to get SMART? Let's dive in!

Step 1: Identify Specific Sales Enablement Objectives

The journey to effective SMART goals begins with a deep dive into your team's current performance, challenges, and potential opportunities. To set effective SMART goals for your team, the first step is to identify specific sales enablement objectives. It is your mission to pinpoint not only the areas that require improvement but also those untapped zones of potential that could take your team's performance to the next level.

👉 Let's say your sales team is great at generating leads but struggles with converting these leads into customers. Or perhaps they have a solid understanding of your existing product line but are uncertain about the features of a newly launched product. Maybe the closing techniques they've been using are no longer as effective with your changing customer base. These are the specific sales enablement objectives you need to identify and address.

Begin with an assessment of your team's current performance, looking for areas of improvement and untapped opportunities. Encourage open dialogue with your team members about their challenges and also their ideas for boosting sales. Collaborate with the other departments to spot potential synergies that could enhance sales enablement.

👉 For instance, your sales and marketing teams’ product knowledge gap could be addressed with a joint workshop hosted by product development. Or, a new strategy for converting leads could be formulated in collaboration with the marketing team, leveraging their insights about customer behavior and preferences.

Once you've identified your specific objectives and opportunities, you're ready to set SMART goals that target these areas. These goals will directly address your team's needs and opportunities, driving greater sales effectiveness, efficiency, and ultimately improving your team's overall sales effectiveness and efficiency.

Step 2: Establish Measurable Metrics

Once you have identified specific sales enablement objectives, the next step is to establish measurable metrics that enable you and your team to track progress and determine the success of your initiatives.

Sales content and performance analytics

Find out more about All You Need to Know About Measuring Sales Content Performance →

Incorporating measurable metrics into your SMART goals ensures that you can evaluate the effectiveness of your sales strategies and make data-driven decisions for improvement. Additionally, having clear, quantifiable indicators motivates your team by providing a concrete way to measure their achievements and progress.

To establish measurable metrics, first, define the key performance indicators (KPIs) that align with your objectives.

These KPIs may include metrics such as the number of leads generated, the conversion rate from lead to customer, or the average deal size.

KPI definition

Make sure that these metrics are easily trackable and accessible to your team, using tools like CRM systems or sales analytics software. Let’s explore some specific, measurable, relevant, and time-bound examples of sales enablement goals:

1) Product knowledge: A measurable goal for improving product knowledge might be to increase the average score on quarterly product knowledge assessments by 15% within six months.

2) Lead generation: If your objective is to boost lead generation, a measurable goal could be to increase the number of sales-qualified leads by 10% over the next quarter.

3) Sales conversion rate: To enhance the conversion rate, you might set a goal of increasing the percentage of leads that convert into customers from 10% to 12,5 %% within three months.

4) Sales cycle length: If you aim to shorten the sales cycle, an example measurable goal could be to reduce the average sales cycle length from 90 days to 80 days in the next six months.

5) Upselling and cross-selling: To improve your team's ability to upsell and cross-sell, set a goal to increase the average revenue per customer by 15% within the next two quarters. 

These examples demonstrate how measurable sales enablement goals can be set in various areas of the sales process. By creating clear, quantifiable objectives, you provide your team with a framework for success and a means to track their progress, ultimately driving improvement and growth.

Step 3: Ensure Achievable and Realistic Goals

When setting SMART sales enablement goals, it's crucial to ensure they are achievable and realistic, taking into account your team's skills, resources, and the time available for reaching these objectives. By setting achievable and realistic goals, you create a supportive environment that encourages your sales team to strive for excellence and fosters a culture of continuous improvement.

On the other hand, setting goals that are challenging yet achievable can boost morale, as your team sees their efforts leading to tangible results and growth.

To determine whether a goal is achievable, consider your team's current performance, available resources, and the timeframe for completion. It's essential to strike a balance between setting ambitious objectives that inspire your team to push their limits and ensuring that the goals are realistic given the current circumstances.

Discover the 7 Essential Skills Your Team Needs to Achieve Sales Enablement Goals →

You can use historical data, industry benchmarks, and input from your team members to assess the attainability of your goals. Additionally, consider breaking larger goals into smaller, manageable milestones, making it easier for your team to track their progress and celebrate small wins along the way.

👉 For example, your sales team has been struggling to keep up with the increasing competition in their industry. You have identified a need for better product knowledge and more effective sales presentations to demonstrate the value of their product to potential clients. The ultimate objective is to improve the sales conversion rate so you increase the sales conversion rate by 12% within the next six months.

Sales presentation

To ensure this goal is achievable and realistic, you examine the team's current sales conversion rate and find that it has been stagnant at 20% for the past year. Based on performance data and feedback from your team, you then collaborate with them and adjust the goals accordingly.

Step 4: Define Time-bound Parameters

Defining time-bound parameters instills a sense of urgency and maintains focus for your teams. You motivate them to prioritize their efforts and remain committed to making progress within the specified deadlines. It also enables you to effectively monitor your team's progress and make necessary adjustments to your strategies if results are not being achieved within the expected timeframes.

To define time-bound parameters, first, determine the appropriate timeframes for achieving your sales enablement objectives.

Consider factors such as the complexity of the goal, the resources available, and the urgency of the desired outcome.

Timeframes can range from short-term goals, like increasing the number of sales calls by 10% within a month, to long-term goals, like expanding into a new market within a year.

👉 For example, your team's ability to close deals has been underperforming, and you identify a need for additional sales and product training. Here’s your time-bound goal: Increase the sales team's closing ratio by 10% within the next quarter, following a series of weekly sales training workshops.

Once you have established the time-bound parameters, communicate them clearly to your team and ensure they understand the importance of meeting these time-specific targets. Regularly review your team's progress toward these goals and provide feedback, support, and guidance to keep them on track.

Monitoring and Adjusting Your Sales Enablement Goals

Monitoring and adjusting your sales enablement goals is a critical part of the goal-setting process. Regular monitoring provides opportunities to refine your strategies and celebrate achievements, which can boost morale and motivate your team to continue striving towards their objectives.

It’s key to use the measurable metrics you established in step two. Regularly review these metrics to assess your team's progress toward their goals. If you find that progress is slower than expected, or if new challenges arise, don't hesitate to adjust your goals or strategies as needed. This might involve extending the deadline, providing additional resources, or revising the goal to better fit the current circumstances.

Remember, the ultimate aim is to support your team in improving their sales capabilities and achieving the broader business objectives. Regularly communicate with your team about their progress, addressing any concerns and celebrating successes along the way.

By actively monitoring and adjusting your sales enablement goals, you can ensure that your team stays on track and continuously moves towards your objectives.

Ready, set, go

In summary...

Navigating the ever-evolving B2B business landscape requires a leader and team that's not only skilled but also strategically equipped with SMART goals. Setting these Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound goals isn't just a good-to-have, it's a must for modern sales. It's the compass that guides your team's efforts, a yardstick to measure their progress, and the roadmap that directs them toward impactful activities. These goals are your catalyst for turning a good sales team into a great one.

But the journey doesn't end with setting SMART goals. Remember, these goals are your guiding light, but you're the one holding the torch. So, keep shining the light on opportunities, empowering your team with clear goals, and driving them toward exceptional sales performance.

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