SMART Goal Setting Examples

Dec 04, 2008

Refresh: What are SMART Goals?

SMART is a framework for goals and actions that makes every goal detailed and specific so you can clearly understand what you’re setting out to achieve, how it’s measured, who is responsible, and when it’s due. Read on for tips on SMART goal setting and SMART goal examples you can use for inspiration. Don’t forget to check out the overview post on What are SMART Goals, too.

To reach your strategic objectives, you need to set goals – short-term, more immediate milestones that stretch your company to reach its full potential. We’re going to move past the Business 101 speech about the importance of SMART goals because you’ve already heard that song and dance.

It’s common knowledge that goals should be SMART. But, for being something that’s taught even in entry-level business courses, people aren’t great at creating them.

SMART Goal Template

As we jump into the SMART Goal Template, we must cover the basics of SMART goals.

SMART stands for:

  • Specific: What are you specifically trying to achieve? Try to answer the questions of How much and What kind with each goal you write.
  • Measurable: How will you measure the progress of your goal?
  • Actionable: Is this goal actionable? Goals must be actionable, or they’re a set-up for failure.
  • Realistic: Is the goal we’re seeking to achieve realistic?
  • Time-Bound: When is this goal due to be completed? Goals must include a timeline of when your goals should start and be accomplished.
SMART Goal Examples

How to make your SMART goals Smarter

There’s a huge difference between setting SMART goals and creating goals that are both SMART and strategic. Below, we will show you the difference between a goal that is technically SMART and goals that are smart and strategic.

Check out this first example:

Lame SMART Goal: Increase participation of Central City Disease Prevention Program from 100,000 participants to 500,000 participants by 2015.

Here it is, all wrapped up: Increase participation of Central City Disease Prevention Program from 100,000 participants to 500,000 participants by 2015.

But you know what? That’s just flat out uninspiring. So we’ve created a three-step shortcut to create awesome and inspiring SMART goals every single time:

Step 1: Start with a verb.

Obviously, the point of the goal is to achieve something. Starting with a strong verb gives good direction of how you’ll achieve said goal. It’ll provide direction, clarity, and momentum to achieving a vision.

Step 2: Focus on the M&T’s.

The most important part of the acronym is the Measurable and Time-specific portions. Goals must be measured against something and bound to some sort of timeline. Period, end of story.

Step 3: Find the passion!

You don’t want to eat something that is dry and doesn’t taste good. Create something with passion and heart, something that your team can connect to. You want them to say, “Yes, I want to do that.” Remember, it’s all about people.

Here’s how it works in action:

Awesome SMART Goal: Improve the health and quality of life of Central City citizens by enrolling eligible participants in the Central City Disease Prevention Program.

  • Measure: Number of Participants
  • Target: 500,000
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Enrollment Office

SMART Goal Setting Examples

Marketing SMART goal examples

Create 5 inspiring, high-value YouTube videos this quarter to increase subscribers by 10% to reach 50,000 in Q1.

  • Measure: YouTube subscriber count
  • Target: 50,000 subscribers
  • End Date: 04/01/2023
  • Owner: Sam Doony, Video Creative Director

Improve the customer experience and reduce shopping cart abandonment rate through redesigning the checkout experience by the end of Q2-2023.

  • Measure: Shopping cart redesign
  • Target: 100% complete
  • End Date: 6/30/2023
  • Owner: Graham Dooley, Front-End Web Developer

Create a quality inbound sales pipeline by nurturing 50 leads per week – an improvement of 10% – in Q3 of 2023.

  • Measure: Leads acquired
  • Target: 50 leads/week
  • End Date: 9/30/2023
  • Owner: Marcus Riely, Digital Marketing Manager

Create high-value, engaging marketing emails by A/B testing headlines to increase open rates to 30% in 2023.

  • Measure: Email open rates
  • Target: 30%
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Marcus Riely, Digital Marketing Manager

Double the number of Marketing Qualified Leads to reach 100 MQLs/week acquired in 2023 through thoughtful content marketing and lead nurturing sequences.

  • Measure: MQLs acquired/week
  • Target: 100 MQLs acquired/week (up from 50/week)
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Marcus Riely, Digital Marketing Manager 8

Sales SMART goal examples

Increase weekly Facebook comments and shares by creating 5 posts per week with high-design, engaging graphics.

  • Measure: Facebook posts per week
  • Target: 5/week
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Lauren Owens, Social Media Manager Sales

Increase contract size by 5% to reach an average deal size of $50,000 by the end of Q2 of 2023.

  • Measure: Average contract size
  • Target: $50,000
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Katie Hutchens, Sales Director

Reduce our sales cycle time from 90 days to 60 days by creating value faster and streamlining the contracting process by Q2 of 2023.

  • Measure: Average time spent in sales cycle
  • Target: 60 days
  • End Date: 6/30/2023
  • Owner: Katie Hutchens, Sales Director

Create a dedicated sales outreach campaign by the end of Q3 2023 to engage leads who reach a score of 70 or greater.

  • Measure: Project complete
  • Target: 100%
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Ryan David, Sales Coordinator

Implement a new Channel Partner Program to create 5 strategic partners by the end of 2023 to diversify inbound sales channels.

  • Measure: New customer contracts signed from Channel Partner
  • Target: 5
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Graham Dooley, Strategic Partnership Coordinator

Expand current contract renewals by 5% by sending proactive outreach 30 days in advance of contract expiration to explore value-added services.

  • Measure: Average contract expansion % over prior rear
  • Target: 5%
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Ryan David, Sales Coordinator

Operational/customer SMART goal examples

Retain an account base of 200 annually contracted clients by conducting monthly account health checks.

  • Measure: Annually contracted clients
  • Target: 200
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Lorna Smith, Client Services Director

Maintain a profit margin of at least 20% by working efficiently and managing contract budget hours.

  • Measure: Average profit margin
  • Target: 20%
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Lorna Smith, Client Services Director

Hold monthly account reviews to keep a proactive view on the health of our client accounts.

  • Measure: Account reviews held/month
  • Target: 1 review held/month
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Lorna Smith, Client Services Director

Reduce the cost of goods sold by implementing bulk purchasing practices to reduce the cost of raw materials by 5% in Q2-2023.

  • Measure: % reduction in raw materials
  • Target: 10
  • End Date: 6/30/2023
  • Owner: Mike Thompson, Purchasing Manager

Ensure we’re reaching our full potential by averaging 25 billable hours per client service team member in 2023.

  • Measure: Billable hours per week
  • Target: 1,000
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Lorna Smith, Client Services Director

Products/services SMART goal examples

Develop a new managed service offering in Q2 that allows us to create more value for our customers while creating renewable annual contracts.

  • Measure: Project percent complete
  • Target: 100%
  • End Date: 6/30/2023
  • Owner: Sam Elway, Operations Manager

Launch an innovative software update to our application by the end of Q3 2023 to add commonly requested features from our customers.

  • Measure: Project percent complete
  • Target: 100%
  • End Date: 9/30/2023
  • Owner: Russell Todd, VP of IT

Enhance our organization’s service offering by investing $30,000 in new tools.

  • Measure: $ invested in new tooling
  • Target: $30,000
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Gregg Thompson, Warehouse Manager

People/learning SMART goal examples

Expand our team’s capabilities by making 5% of work time each year dedicated to professional development and learning.

  • Measure: % of employee time spent on professional development
  • Target: 5%
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Pam Engleman, HR Manager

Create stability in our team and workplace by reducing new employee turnover by 10% in 2023.

  • Measure: Reduction in employee churn from 2022
  • Target: 5%
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Pam Engleman, HR Manager

Launch a new employee onboarding program that reduces the employee training time from 90 days to 60 days.

  • Measure: Average onboarding time
  • Target: 60 days
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Pam Engleman, HR Manager

Create a career development program in Q2 2023 to develop our team into the next generation of leaders.

  • Measure: Project percent complete
  • Target: 100%
  • End Date: 6/30/2023
  • Owner: Pam Engleman, HR Manager

Create a culture of safety by implementing a safety incentive program that provides companywide bonuses for every 90 incident-free days.

  • Measure: Bonuses per year for safety
  • Target: 4 bonuses
  • End Date: 12/31/2023
  • Owner: Owen Lawrence, Director of Safety

Hire an independent staffing firm by the end of Q1 2023 to allow us to expand our hiring pool and resources to scale up our team quickly when we need.

  • Measure: Project percent complete
  • Target: 100%
  • End Date: 3/31/2023
  • Owner: Pam Engleman, HR Manager

Why are SMART goals important to a strategic plan?

The SMART goal framework is important because it makes every goal detailed and specific so you can clearly understand what you’re trying to achieve, how it’s measured, who is responsible, and when it’s due.

How can I make my SMART goals better?

Follow our 3-step guide to creating SMART goals that are even smarter:

  1. Start with a verb!
  2. Focus on the measurable and time-specific aspects of your goals.
  3. Find the passion.

When the focus is on these components, then you have created goals that are strategic and dynamic that people will want to take ownership of.

Are SMART goals industry specific?

Nope! Any industry and any sector can use the SMART goal framework for its strategic plan. All organizations, no matter the niche or market, should incorporate SMART goals into their strategic plans.

5 Comments

  1. SMART Goals says:

    WHO INVENTED THE SMART GOAL? The SMART acronym first appeared in the November 1981 issue of Management Review. It was referred to by its creator George T. Doran in his article, “There’s a S.M.A.R.T. way to write management goals and objectives.”

  2. venkatesh S says:

    Its a Hardwork for achieving actual need.

  3. Susie says:

    What if you have a person that succeeds 120+ on their own and when GOALS are presented the person retreats. They find GOAL setting a hindrance / stresser.

  4. michael potter says:

    “Goal setters are Goal Getters” Be a GSGG.

  5. dorothea nixon says:

    I would like know about this information if is possible.Please email more about it, my email is dorotheanixon@gmail.com

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