Webinar Recap: “How to Pick a SMART Quarterly Priority” with Herb Cogliano

Published On: August 22, 20192 min read

For Align’s August coach webinar, we were joined by Herb Cogliano, managing partner and coach at Aspire Growth Advisors. Herb has more than 30 years experience as an entrepreneur, both as CEO of Sullivan and Cogliano, a staffing solutions firm named to the Inc. 5000 multiple times, and more recently as a Scaling Up certified business coach. 

A central part of Herb’s experience has been helping organizations develop the priorities and creating the focus that can drive a business forward. So naturally, we were thrilled when Herb approached us with the topic of “How to pick a SMART Quarterly Priority. 

One Focus

Herb agreed with past webinar presenters that developing a single focus for your entire company in a quarter is critical to creating focus toward achieving a long-term vision. Herb believes this can best be done by creating annual targets and developing a quarterly priority that moves the business towards those targets. 

Herb started with the example of Facebook. In the face of their upcoming IPO, CEO Mark Zuckerberg focused the company strategy not on boosting short-term financial results to bolster stock price but on developing a mobile app. While this meant an initial dip in price following the IPO, as the mobile revolution continued, Facebook was uniquely positioned in the competitive landscape to dominate the market.

Getting SMART

In the companies he coaches, Herb says developing this priority starts with establishing annual targets based on where a business wants to be in a year. In his business, this meant an annual revenue growth target at double the industry average. From there he developed aggressive, but achievable, quarterly sales targets that could power the target growth. 

While the connection between revenue and sales is direct, priorities to support a revenue target do not need to be tied to sales. As in the Facebook example, a quarter’s top priority could involve the development of a new product line that will drive other metrics later on.

Herb also recommends balancing critical numbers. In other words, a drive to increase revenue should not come at the expense of monitoring other business critical metrics like customer satisfaction and margins.

The entire webinar can be viewed below and the slides can be downloaded here. 

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