Everyone wants to achieve their goals, and everyone expects that they will. But let’s be honest here: Typically about 50 percent of salespeople fail to meet their sales quotas. And, as for entrepreneurs, I’d suspect about the same number aren’t bringing in the revenue they’d like. So why do we so often fall short of reaching our sales goals, and what can be done to change this?

Know your “why.” Knowing the reason you want to succeed keeps you going during tough times. It’s essential to have a purpose that drives you forward— one that’s beyond quotas and revenue goals.

Map out your “how.” After clarifying your “why,” it’s time to map out your “how.” For most people, that’s the missing link. For example, say one of your goals this year is to land XYZ Company as a client. So what’s it going to take? If it’s a bigger company, you need to figure out your entry point. Which business unit or functional area (such as marketing or HR) will you go after first?

Next, you’ll need to identify who the decision-makers are. That means popping over to LinkedIn to do some research. You’ll need to learn about the company’s direction, challenges and issues. 

After that, you’ll need to put together an entry strategy, comprising 8-10 different “touches.” You’ll need to figure out how to pique their curiosity and position yourself as a credible resource. 

Once you land a meeting, you’ll need to determine the most effective way to lead that conversation so you can advance to the next logical step.

In short, in order to achieve your goal, you need to first outline (to the best of your ability) which specific actions you will need to take to accomplish that goal.

As business author Rick Page has said, “Hope is not a strategy.” It’s time to put that plan together. Do it now. Don’t let those goals just float around in your head. Figure out what steps you need to take to achieve them. You’ll be pleasantly surprised by the difference knowing your “hows” and “whys” can make.

Sign up for The Lead and get a new tip in your inbox every day! More tips:

Chunk down that goal

Are you committed to your goals?

A curious path to success

Jill Konrath is the author of SNAP Selling, Selling to Big Companies and Agile Selling. If you’re struggling to set up meetings, click here to get a free Prospecting Tool Kit.