Setting measurable business goals

Defining business goals is a great way to keep you focused and on track to achieve greater success, so I wanted to share a case study to help you understand how the process can work, why Critical Success Factors are essential, and how to measure results.

Before my work as an outsourced finance director and trainer I used to work in a large bank, and the senior management had identified a need to clarify to their financial advisors (FAs) what they needed to do to ensure success. In theory, driving the FAs to success was easy, as achieving the desired results ultimately meant they’d earn a bonus – but how do you put this into real terms and allow them to track their progress?

In order to achieve this, I developed a new system to ensure that the FAs and their managers could measure progress and therefore the likelihood of hitting their targets in real-time.

The 6-3-3 system 

The system we implemented was summarised as ‘6-3-3’, meaning that the advisors had a weekly target that consisted of:

  • Six first appointments
  • Three second appointments
  • Providing advice on three different products

The three products were actually broken down across two customers attending second appointments, so 1.5 products per customer – although in reality, this would translate into two products at one second appointment, and one at another.

The advisors were still able to hit their target even if they didn’t manage six appointments each week, but if they missed their target every week, they became ever more unlikely to meet their success goals. Of course business fluctuations need to be taken into account, which tripped some of the FAs up – with two weeks over the Christmas period where they wouldn’t be booking appointments, they had to learn that they needed to make more appointments on the weeks either side of the festive break to bring up their average.

Critical Success Factors

By setting out a clear set of targets, the advisors knew exactly what factors were critical to their success – and in fact, the middle number was the magic number, and therefore the only one that really needed tracking.


Well, advice on products is always given at the second appointment, and you don’t get a second appointment without a first – so by measuring success at this stage, it was easy to track whether or not advisors were going to meet their target.

These clear success factors meant that both the advisors and their managers could easily keep track of targets and their progress towards them. And from a wider business perspective, the goal setting and the success it delivered allowed for a restructure that reduced the advisors by 40% without losing any revenue.

Setting your systems in place

If you need some professional support to help you create an effective and easy-to-measure system for achieving your business goals, please take a look at my training programmes, or feel free to contact me to see how I can help. [LN1]

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