At some point during the onboarding process, each of our new clients will ask us how to develop their initial OKRs (Objectives and Key Results) and request examples of effective Objectives. Our Customer Success Managers are highly skilled at responding to these questions. They’ll walk the client through a review of the organization’s Mission, Vision Statement, and Strategic Objectives to help determine those few critical goals which will create the most value in propelling the company in the right direction. Eventually, these discussions will gravitate to sales, revenues, and profitability, and our CSMs will be asked how to set the most effective sales goals.
Without question, setting the right OKRs is a crucial first step. In fact, last year John Doerr, the self-proclaimed “Johnny Appleseed” of OKRs conducted a massively popular TED Talk, “Setting the Right Goals Can Mean the Difference Between Success and Failure.”
So, how do you set highly effective sales goals? Read on, and we’ll discuss how to set sales Objectives, complete with OKR examples and best practice methodology. We believe setting the right sales goals can launch execution into the stratosphere.
How to Construct Effective OKRs
Doerr tells us the three most important words in the OKR lexicon are “as measured by.” When developing your OKRs structure them so that achievement of the Objective is defined in the Key Result:
Objectives (Os), answer What is to be accomplished. Objectives should be significant, action-oriented, qualitative, and indicate the direction for the company.
Key Results (KRs), finish the statement; We want to accomplish the Objective “as Measured by” the Key Result. KRs measure HOW we get to the Objective. Key Results are quantitative, typically include numbers, and should follow the SMART approach, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. When setting KRs think of KPIs.
An OKR Example of an Effective Sales Goal
An Objective should be qualitative, it does not include hard numbers. “Make our First Quarter Sales Budget of $100 million,” is not an OKR. This statement is much more likely to be a Key Result, as it is quantitative. In fact, it’s really more of a KPI (Key Performance Indicator).
OBJECTIVE: Grow Recurring Global Revenues
(The Objective is significant, action-oriented, qualitative, and indicates the direction for the company).
- Hit our global sales target of $50 Million in Sales
- Achieve 100% year-to-year sales growth in the Asian market
- Increase the average deal size by 25%
- Reduce churn to less than 10% annually
(The Key Results answer How we are going to achieve the Objective. They are quantitative, include numbers, are significant, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound).
Additional OKR Examples of Sales Goals
Objective: Develop a World-Class Sales Team
- KR: Hire 5 new AEs by the end of Quarter
- KR: Sales coaching every week
- KR: Launch new sales process by the end of January
Objective: Improve Upsell and Cross Sell
- KR: Promote 1 SDR to the upsell AE role
- KR: Increase customer retention to 98%
- KR: Conduct weekly alignment meetings with Customer Success
Objective: Improve Sales Analytics Process
- KR: Implement new Business Intelligence platform
- KR: Review Sales Activity metrics and send a weekly summary to the team
We hope these few examples are helpful as you embark on your OKR implementation. We also created a database of examples for various other departments. Feel free to access these examples at OKR Examples – Company Objectives and Key Results.
Are you a CEO responsible for strategy? Do you set strategy, goals, and track performance? Does aligning employee performance to business goals matter, and are you responsible for driving results? If so, please check out a live demo of Atiim OKR & Goals Management Software and we’d love to hear what you think about it. Thank you!