Business goal examples—objectives and key results
February 19, 2019

Business goal examples—objectives and key results

Choosing the right goals sets your company in the best possible direction, but without having any business goals examples to use as guidance, it can be difficult for executives to know where to begin. Business goals are essential to keeping your entire organization focused on desirable outcomes, and they also help to ensure everyone is supporting the most critical priorities in your company right now. When done properly, business goal setting can even motivate teams, drive engagement, and accelerate results.

Too often, companies fail to hit their goals. Usually, it’s because goals weren’t properly set in the first place, or they weren’t specific or measurable to begin with. As a result, there’s no way for people to know if they’re on track. They waste time doing busywork, and putting out fires instead of making collective progress on the company’s most critical priorities.

To help set clear, measurable goals that align every team to the same priorities from the very start, many managers and executives use OKRs (objectives and key results).

What are objectives and key results?

OKRs are a platform for setting goals using objectives (the thing to be accomplished) and key results (the measurement that will gauge the progress of the objective). High-performing companies like Google use them to achieve ambitious company goals.

Learning about OKRs work can be helpful for executives looking for ways to develop a solid goal setting platform. For companies that already use a powerful goal setting tool like OKRs, reviewing business goals examples is still a useful way to make sure you’re setting aggressive yet realistic goals and moving your company in the right direction. Let’s take a deeper look at business goal examples, below.

Why it’s important to set and track business goals.

Setting and tracking goals is critical to success in any organization. Think of it in terms of football: if there wasn’t an end zone, how would you know when your team scored a touchdown? Goals are enterprise end zones, and you need to track your progress toward them to make sure you’re staying ahead of the competition.

Of course, this is an over-simplified comparison, but it may be helpful for shedding light on the importance of company goals. The reality is that many executives set them, but fail in terms of follow-through. One of the main reasons they fail is because they’re not measuring progress.

That’s why it’s so important to set goals that are measurable in the first place. Doing so will allow you to continually monitor progress so you know whether you’re on track, falling behind, or if the goal needs to be put on hold so other priorities can be addressed. For these reasons, business goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, aligned, relevant, and time-bound).

When you set SMART goals, they naturally become easier to track. Since workers already know exactly what’s expected of them because you’ve set clear goals, it will be easier for managers to have regular check-ins with their teams to discuss goal progress. They can ensure everything is on track, and if not, offer course-correcting guidance to get their teams headed in the right direction. That way, by the time deadlines roll around, the goals will be completed.

Now that we’ve discussed the importance of setting and tracking business goals, let’s see some examples.

Business goal examples

While your goals will never look exactly like the next company’s, having a broad idea of what they should look like can provide a good starting point. Here are a few  examples of SMART goals to help guide you in setting your company’s:

3 examples of SMART company-level business goals.

  1. Grow our global business

    • Key Result: Hit $100 M in sales

    • Key Result: Increase average deal size by 25% with upsells

    • Key Result: Reduce churn to <5% through improved customer support

  2. Delight our customers

    • Key Result: Raise customer retention to 97%

    • Key Result: Get feedback from 15 customers per month through interviews

    • Key Result: Get a net promoter score of 9 with our customers

  3. Launch our product successfully in Q2

    • Key Result: Develop 15 customer case studies

    • Key Result: Win a “best product” accolade at upcoming conference

Because the most successful way to set company goals is to cascade them down (and make sure they align up, too), it’s essential to get your company-level goals right from the start. Otherwise, you run the risk of having weak, unclear, or misaligned goals throughout the entire organization.

As you might imagine, there are also goal examples for every department. Here are just a few department-level goals for example:

  • Marketing goals examples:

    • Create more marketing qualified leads

    • Optimize customer acquisition

  • Sales goals examples:

    • Generate new bookings pipeline

    • Recruit high-performing A-players for our sales team

  • Engineering goals examples:

    • Launch the new product architecture

    • Recruit a world-Class engineering team

Examples of Good OKRs

When you set clear business goals, you help your workers understand their role in the success of your company, which leads to better engagement, which supports high performance. Strong business goals make it easier to track progress and measure success. It’s clear that corporate goals are a powerful tool available to any company that wants to perform better.

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