As we’re approaching a new year and a fresh start, we’ve got goals on our minds.

If you know anything about us, you know that we believe in goal-setting and the impact it has on businesses. Big companies like Google buy in on goals, also.

Goals help to keep our eyes on the prize, working towards a desired outcome, and focused on success. When we have an end result in mind, it’s easier to stay hyper-productive and in a deep workflow.

But how do you choose the right goals to set? How do you know if they’re challenging enough, motivating enough, or realistic enough for your team members? We all need a little inspiration sometimes, and that’s what we’re here for.

Just ahead, we’re listing our top goal recommendations, broken down by department.

Goals for every member of your team

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Each department in your organization contributes to the overall success of your company in different ways. Your support team will have different responsibilities than your sales team, and so each of your employees’ goals will vary as well. Make sure that the goals that are being set are relevant the goal owner. Here are some ideas:

Leadership Team:

  • New New MRR: the amount of money closed in managed services revenue
  • Hire New Resources: keep track of your hiring plans for the month/quarter/year
  • Customer Satisfaction: monitor your percentage of satisfied vs. negative surveys (good for services lead)
  • Reactive Kill Ratio: calculate whether your service team is closing more tickets than are being opened (good for services lead)
  • Utilization Rate: hours billed vs. total hours in the week (good for operations manager)
  • Critical Alerts Kill Ratio: calculate if your operations team is handling the critical alert types that automatically come in (good for services lead)
  • Past Due Receivables: track how much is owed to your business that is past due (good for finance lead)
  • Average Response Time: monitor the time it takes to respond to a service request (good for services lead)
  • Cash in Bank: see how much cash is in the bank at the end of the week (good for finance lead)
  • Billable Project Hours: track how many billable hours were completed against projects (good for operations manager)
  • Current Pipeline: the total amount in the pipeline multiplied by percentage chance of closing (good for sales lead)

Service Team:

  • Bring Down Response Time: are you responding to support requests quickly enough?
  • Bring Down Response Plan Time: are you starting work on the ticket fast enough?
  • Bring Down Resolution Time: total time to resolve tickets, minus business hours and hold statuses
  • New Certifications: stay on top of certifications that keep your team members relevant
  • Customer Satisfaction: monitor your percentage of satisfied vs. negative surveys (good for services lead)
  • Reactive Kill Ratio: calculate whether your service team is closing more tickets than are being opened (good for services lead)
  • SLAs Missed: tickets that missed their SLA (good for services lead)
  • Noisy Tickets: tickets with more than 5 time entries that are still open
  • Ticket Backlog: tracking the backlog of tickets to make sure they are coming down
  • Stale Tickets: open tickets that haven’t been updated in over 3 days

Finance/HR Teams:

  • Implement Quarterly Fun Event: a great one for HR, to keep team members engaged and close knit
  • Nothing Over 90 Days Past Due: strive to reduce AR to as little as possible
  • Past Due Accounts Receivable: total dollar amount of past due invoices
  • >90 Days Past Due: total dollar amount greater than 90 days past due
  • Cash in Bank: monitor how much cash is on hand
  • Payables Past Due: total money owed to vendors/clients
  • Invoices Delivered: monitor how efficiently and on-time invoices are being sent
  • Continued Education Hours: track how well you’re investing in employees and how much continued education they are completing

Operations/Projects Teams:

  • Fixed Fee Projects > 20k: keeping track of the fixed fee projects in your pipeline
  • Document Sales to Project Team Handoff: document the process for sales to hand off a won project to the project team
  • Projects Over Budget: number of projects that are over budget against Work Plan hours
  • Project Hours: track these to determine if too much/too little time is being spent on projects and see if priorities need to be readjusted
  • Documentation New & Updated: monitor how many documents are being created and updated
  • Open Projects: keep an eye on overall workload
  • Hours Not Billed: hours without an agreement or project without an associated invoice

Sales Team:

  • New New MRR: the amount of money closed in managed services revenue
  • Pipeline Per Sales Rep: the current weekly pipeline multiplied by stage
  • Networking Events Attended: an important one for sales reps as they can result in new business, track the number of networking events they are participating in
  • Diales Made: count how many outbound calls are being made
  • Opportunities With No Activity: the number of opportunities with no activity in the previous week

While professional goals are of utmost importance, we always like to leave room for personal development, too. That’s why we think it can be a good idea to assign 1 ‘fun’ goal to each employee per cycle. When we’re growing and pushing our own boundaries, it makes us more well-rounded and productive employees.

Fun goals:

  • Lose 5 pounds
  • Watch 100 movies by end of year
  • Learn how to juggle
  • Explore 3 new parks this quarter
  • Win a trivia night
  • Walk 50,000 steps
  • Play the piano 5 hours
  • Call family or friends on way from work
  • Spend 12 hours in deep work
  • Watch a Ted talk

Best practices when it comes to goal-setting

When you’ve landed on a goal that resonates with you, be sure to keep a few things in mind that will ultimately help you be successful.

Tie your goals to overall KPIs. We often compare key performance indicators to a North Star because KPIs are what keep everyone focused and aligned. If your individual goals aren’t tied to KPIs, then you won’t be working towards the target you care about most. And remember, just like goals, your sales team, service team, project team, finance team, and NOC/operations team KPIs will all vary from one another.

Make sure your goals are SMART. That is, Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Timely. Be careful not to create a goal that is too far-fetched because the effect is going to be the opposite of what you’re looking for: instead of feeling motivated, your team members will feel like they’ll never live up to the task. Goals should definitely be challenging, but realistic.

Here’s an example: If you’re in sales, it’s not enough to say, “next quarter, I want to close more accounts”. Instead, a SMART goal will be something like, “by the end of next quarter, I want to bring in 10 new accounts that will result in a higher commission for myself and will contribute to the overall revenue goals of our company; I’ll do this by increasing the amount of calls I make from 100 to 150”.  

Don’t rely on goals for performance reviews. This can be hard to do, but remember that goal-setting should encourage employees to stretch for something big. And in the process, it’s okay to not be afraid to fail and to not settle for mediocrity.

If goals were tied to compensation and salary bumps, then people would naturally only choose attainable goals, which wouldn’t leave a lot of room for growth.

BrightGauge Goals helps you track progress throughout the year

Because we’re passionate about goal-setting, we introduced a goals feature to BrightGauge a few years ago. It makes it easy to stay on track of progress because a lot of it is automated for you.

Employees will be reminded via email to check into their goals on a weekly basis and the goal cards are highly visible, so team members end up feeling motivated and accountable to their responsibilities.

Plus, those inspiration ideas we mentioned above? You can find them all in BrightGauge, so if you’re feeling intimidated about the process of actually coming up with and writing in goals, fear not. They take just a few minutes to set up.

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Try it out! As always, let us know if we can help in any way. We’re suckers for this kind of stuff.

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