Goal- Setting: Ten Steps That Will Actually Grow Your Business


Inbound Marketing, Strategy
GettyImages-1178338334

These growth goals work for our clients, and they’ll work for you too. 

We all know what it feels like to set those optimistic New Year’s resolutions that will most likely trail off by March. “Work out more.” “Eat healthier.” “Stop scrolling social media until 2AM.” All these goals are all great in theory. But if you have no tangible plan in place to make them happen, they will fail. 

The same goes for your business. You say you want to “increase business” next year, but do you have a set of growth-focused goals in place to support your decision? 

We’ve come up with a proven ten-step plan — that will turn your resolutions into results. 

Step 1: Identify how much revenue you need to generate from your inbound marketing efforts. 

Inbound marketing plays a significant role in increasing your revenue and expanding your brand. 

For example, let’s say your company did $2,000,000 in sales last year and you’re looking to expand business by 30%. You currently have $1,800,000 on the books for next year and expect another $200,000 to roll in from other marketing efforts, like trade shows. 

This leaves you with a gap of $600,000 that you need to close within the next 12 months using inbound marketing, offering you a clear target to focus on moving forward.  

Step 2: Determine how many sales you need in order to hit those revenue targets. 

Now that you’ve calculated your revenue gap, you can divide it by the value of your average sale. 

So, if you need $600,000 and your average sale is $50,000, then you know you’ll need a total of 12 new customers from your inbound marketing efforts. 

This is an obvious but effective tool for setting specific goals that equip you for success. 

Step 3:  Clarify your closing rate and how many opportunities you need. 

Continue to work backwards to calculate the number of opportunities you need. 

We’ve already determined that you need 12 new customers. If your closing rate is 50%, you’ll need 24 opportunities to ensure you make that business goal happen. 

sales qualified lead (SQL) & marketing qualified lead (MQL)

Step 4: Identify how many SQLs you need. 

A sales qualified lead (SQL) is a lead that will be passed to the sales team. While it can be tricky to pinpoint this number exactly, make an informed estimate on this one. 

Generally, 50% of the leads passed to the sales team will lead to conversions, so this is a good number to start with.

For our example, we would estimate that you’ll need to pass 48 SQLs onto your sales team to ensure that 24 of those would turn into opportunities. 

Step 5: Pinpoint the number of MQLs you should generate. 

A marketing qualified lead (MQL) is a lead that is qualified, but not quite sales ready.

MQLs need a little extra love and take some lead-nurturing before they’re ready to commit. 

If you don’t have a long history to work from, you can estimate that about 50% of your marketing qualified leads will turn into sales qualified leads. This means that you’ll need to generate 96 MQLs in the next 12 months to hit your goal. 

Step 6: Configure your ideal number of leads.

A lead is simply a visitor that has converted on an offer you’ve presented. Congrats! However, not all of these leads will be qualified and not all of them will latch on as a committed customer. So, it’s important to estimate a number that will ultimately provide enough MQLs to achieve your goals. 

If you want to generate 96 marketing qualified leads, you could (based on past numbers) estimate that 250 leads will need to be generated first. This number may shift as you gather more data on how many leads are true conversions. 

Google search website traffic

Step 7: Estimate how much traffic you need to achieve your goals. 

Every business is different, but you’ll need to come up with an estimate for traffic-to-lead conversion. We usually start with a conversion rate of 2.5% over a 12 month period. 

This number will most likely start low and increase by the 4th quarter. 

Based on our example, you would need 20,000 website visitors in the next 12 months in order to reach the goal you set of a 30% increase in business. 

Step 8: Implement your key business goals. 

Goals can look different for everyone, and will vary based on your type of business. Some key goal examples: 

  • Boost sales on your new equipment.
  • Increase revenue from existing subscribers.
  • Raise retention rates of current customers.

What’s important here is that you are specific about your goals across the board.

Give yourself specific numbers and deadlines in all these areas so that you have an understanding of how to quantify success.

quarterly benchmarks

Step 9: Set specific quarterly benchmarks. 

Inbound marketing growth is exponential. So, when setting your quarterly goals, you can set your fourth quarter much higher than your benchmarks for your first quarter. 

For example, you may want to plan on generating 1,000 visitors to your new website in the first quarter and 8,000 visitors by the fourth quarter. 

Set specific quarterly numbers for all of your key metrics including: traffic, leads, MQLs, SQLs, and opportunities. 

Step 10: Develop an inbound marketing budget. 

A solid ROI from inbound marketing in 12 months hovers around 300%. 

For our example, your goal was to generate $600,000 from your inbound marketing efforts. This means you’ll need to set an inbound marketing budget of $200,000 to begin with. 

As always, pay attention to your trends and numbers and adjust your budgets accordingly. 

The secret to real success is real goals. 

These practical steps have set a countless number of our clients up for true growth and taken their businesses to new heights. 

Now, if only keeping our personal New Years’ resolution were this easy!

Want to implement successful goal-setting to grow your business? Vye Agency can help.

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