Sales leaders may have little, or no, input into the sales strategy they are charged with executing. They may also have little control over their number one goal: their revenue target. But execute and achieve they must!
However, as a sales leader, you may exert much control over ‘how’ to get there. Your role in aligning your sales goals with the sales strategy is a great place to start. And it provides clarity, focus, and direction for yourself and your team.
- To establish your sales goals in preparation for sharing them with your manager and developing your team members’ goals.
- To validate that your sales goals are measurable in dollars, percentages, or numbers.
- To ensure your sales goals align with and support the corporate sales strategy.
You should be able to complete this step in under 30 minutes depending on the current state of the corporate sales strategy and your sales goals. For example, a corporate sales strategy exists but has not been documented or published. In this case you may need to do some searching, writing, or printing. Another example is that you may have written goals but they are not yet expressed in measurable terms.
Have a copy of the corporate sales strategy printed or written for reference. Also, have pencil and paper or your preferred note taking method available. A downloadable worksheet is available for your convenience as well.
- Begin by writing out or printing your corporate sales strategy for reference. If your company does not have a documented sales strategy proceed to step 2.
- Develop your own sales strategy to provide clarity, focus, and direction for your team. The Sales Strategy Execution System page has helpful information and development tips.
- Next, list your sales goals starting with your number 1 goal, your revenue target. Express them in measurable terms using dollars, percentages, or numbers. I provide examples below.
- Finally, assign individual sales goals to team members that are specific, measurable, and that support the corporate sales strategy.
Review Repeat and Remind
During your sales team meetings and coaching sessions, keep the sales strategy top of mind by regularly referring to it and reviewing it. Repeat how their sales goals align with the corporate sales strategy. Remind your team why the sales strategy is important to the company and your team.
- If your corporate sales strategy is about improving profitability then your sales goals might be:
- Attain $1,000,000 revenue target
- Identify top 5 high margin products for focused sales efforts.
- Increase profitability by 10% in existing accounts by upselling high margin products.
- Attain $500,000 of revenue target from high margin products.
- If your corporate strategy is about moving into new markets with a new product offering your sales goals might be:
- Attain $500,000 revenue target
- Identify 20 new accounts that fit the ideal customer profile for New Product sales.
- Generate $100,000 of revenue target from New Product sales.
- Conduct 30 New Product demonstrations in the new accounts.
Accountability in sales typically focuses on hitting the number, quota, or revenue target. Understandably, a sales leader who doesn’t fixate on their revenue target will probably have a very short sales career. But beware of the ‘results-based culture’ trap.
Sales leaders who promote a results culture over a performance-based culture often find themselves back-peddling at the end of the year when a valued sales person fails to achieve quota. The failure might be for any number of reasons putting the sales leader in an uncomfortable defensive position. A balanced, performance and results approach is optimum. Step 2. Identifying High Value High Impact Work Products will help you achieve a balanced approach.
You will know you have successfully aligned your sales goals with the sales strategy when you share your goals with your manager and you receive validation that you are in alignment. This step should be repeated at all levels of the sales organization to ensure alignment throughout. Share feedback with your team as appropriate and use the Review, Repeat, and Remind tips above.
We will deal with softer goals and objectives, such as improving customer retention or building strong business relationships, in other steps. Also, we will prioritize tasks that support successful sales strategy execution in Step 4.