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How to Create SMART Goals for Financial Marketing Success!

Meredith Olmstead
Feb 9, 2017 3:28:00 PM

Financial Marketing Guest Blog Originally Written for CUInsight.com:

One of the services we provide clients is to help their staff craft SMART goals to measure our marketing campaign efforts. That is, goals that are:

          Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Timely.

So let’s break this down in a real world scenario… Let’s say your Financial Institution is trying to grow total loan dollars. This is a pretty BIG goal, not what I would consider Specific at all. 

However, we know that sales ready leads are truly what a loan staff needs to grow total loan dollars, so why not start there? Instead of a general loan growth number perhaps set a more specific goal of 25-30 loan sales qualified leads during each quarter? Reaching this goal would likely lead to lots of new loan applications and loan growth, but it's a more specific goal that is easier to track.

This kind of more Specific goal is a much better way to begin, and it’s also more Measurable. At the end of the quarter if you don’t hit your loan goals your CEO will invariably want to know why. And there might be a lot of possible reasons that you would need to investigate.

BUT, if you successfully sent 30 loan sales qualified leads to your lending department sales staff and they failed to close these leads, it will be much easier to assess where the process broke down.

Maybe you need to further qualify leads before sending them to sales?

Maybe sales failed to follow up enough times?

Maybe the time frame for closing these leads was too tight?

These factors can be better assessed with this more Specific goal in mind.

Attainable goals are a trickier characteristic. Often we have to pull goals out of thin air (so to speak) with new clients, because they haven’t been tracking any lead conversion progress prior to working with us. This is OK. We recommend starting at a manageable place and then working up from there. Walk before you run.

So in the example above we wouldn’t recommend 100 sales qualified leads right off the bat. Instead set a goal that might be more easily reached like 20 leads. Then you can build on that success in future quarters.

Relevant goals are a bit easier, but again these will often shift over time depending on past successes or failures. So, if you miss a goal due to the time frame being a bit tight for converting new leads, you might consider goals that allow for future follow ups. So, if you send 30 sales qualified leads to the lending staff, then you could track their future follow ups and give a conversion percentage over time, say 50% over 6 weeks time.

Or if your marketing staff fails to send 30 leads you would need to assess your marketing campaigns and workflows and figure out where you need to change tactics to move these leads through their buying journey. The goal is to turn them into leads that will be likely to convert. 

Timely (also referred to as Time-Bound) just means that having goals that stretch out for periods of time that are too long often makes them either: 1. not really specific enough, or 2. not likely to be successful unless they are measured in smaller increments of time for progress toward the larger goal.

So, in the scenario we’ve been discussing, it would be fine to have a larger loan growth goal for the entire year. BUT it’s likely that this larger goal won’t be achieved without smaller progressive goals along the way, which would need to be evaluated throughout the year as your institution strives to grow total loan revenue.

If you keep these tips in mind when setting your marketing and sales goals you will find much better progress and have a greater grasp on what works and where improvement is needed! 

You might also enjoy our blog on Social Media Contests that work especially well for Credit Unions and Banks.

This blog was originally written for CUInsight and published here

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