What is the Goal?

When I ask the entire sales department hierarchy, from the CEO to front line salespeople the question; “What is the goal,” the answers are not the same from everyone.  This can cause a lack of focus and collaboration from everyone trying to work together.

I recently attended a growing your business seminar with Alan Klapmeier as the keynote speaker and he defined personal success as 1) have a lot of fun, 2) make a lot of money and 3) change the world; and if you achieve 2 out of 3 you would be moderately successful.  If you only had one of them, you would have failed.  For instance, making a lot of money, but not having any fun or changing the world would be defined as an unhappy life.

Is that your definition of personal success?  Is there anything missing?  Take time to reflect.  (I will do the same and send an update if I find something.)

Let’s look at incorporating personal success and our professional career as a salesperson or CEO and answer to the question, “What is the Goal?” 

Salespeople will often say their goal is to meet their sales quota and achieve bonus.  Sales management may say to meet projections.  Company leadership may submit, build company equity and increase market share.

How can we all be working together when our goals are all different?  The goal Mr. Klapmeier so brilliantly defined was, “To find a prospect, that will pay you, for a product or service that you can provide and deliver, at a profit.”  It was that simply.  Let’s break it down.  Unlike the definition of personal success, if not ALL the elements are met, the company will fail.

First, you may have the best, coolest product in the world, but if the dysfunctional sales team cannot find a prospect; the train never leaves the station and sales drives the train.

Second, if they find a prospect, but they don’t pay you, how can you cover any product cost, expenses or give a return to your investors.  The financial and emotional consequences are not greater than the price you charge.  The product has no value, thus no sales.

Third, if you have a superior product or service, but cannot create and deliver it, a lot of purchases orders will be submitted but not filled and a lot secured deposits will be returned.  Thus your reputation will be defined in the marketplace accordingly.  Meanwhile, your competitor will charge a higher price for less quality because you cannot fulfill pending orders.

Lastly, if the company cannot make a profit, the company value decreases and the long-term viability is threatened.

Where is the rub in the goal?

  • Salespeople feel tempted to cut the price to win the business (to meet quota and make bonus), directly affecting company profit.
  • Sales management may cooperate in discounts, thus enabling the sales force to continuously give discounts and sell on price as long as the projections are being met.
  • Company leadership may direct the sales team to sell orders and not worry about fulfillment.
  • Meanwhile the CFO is hollering about the overall profit of the company and future livelihood for everyone.

You probably see the importance of everybody working together on the same goal.  When all the elements are met, your company will meet their goals and it will be easier for you to transfer success into your personal life.   Have a lot of fun, make a lot of money and change the world.MSI-Logo_square4