A 4-Step Process to Develop and Achieve A Sales Vision For Your Team
Sales managers frequently find themselves immersed in the immediate, short-term results, making it quite a challenge to embrace the mindset of a leader and adopt a long-term vision. But this is precisely what a sales manager must do to unleash their team's full potential. Here's a powerful 4-step process that will help you develop and achieve a sales vision, driving your team's performance to new heights.
Why Is a Sales Vision Important?
A clear and compelling sales vision plays a vital role in driving the success of your sales team. Here is why having a well-defined sales vision is crucial:
- Focus: A sales vision provides a unified direction for your team. When each team member understands and embraces the sales vision, it fosters a sense of purpose and clarity, enabling them to channel their efforts effectively.
- Motivation: A compelling sales vision is a source of motivation and inspiration for your team. It creates a sense of purpose and ignites enthusiasm, pushing your reps to exceed their usual limits.
- Better Decision-Making: A well-defined sales vision guides your decision-making. When faced with choices, the sales vision is a guiding star, helping you make informed decisions that align with the overarching vision.
- Collaboration: A sales vision fosters a sense of unity and collaboration within the team. When team members share a common vision, they are more likely to support and help each other, fostering a collaborative and cohesive work environment.
- Accountability: A sales vision enables measurement and accountability. With a sales vision, it becomes easier to identify gaps, address challenges, and hold individuals accountable for their contributions to the collective vision.
How to Develop and Achieve a Sales Vision in 4 Steps
Developing and achieving a sales vision requires a structured approach that combines strategic thinking, goal-setting, and effective execution.
By following a simple four-step process, you can create a compelling sales vision for your team and translate it into tangible results.
1. Creating your Sales Vision
Creating your sales vision involves envisioning where you want your team to be in terms of sales performance within your company or relative to your competitors. It is an opportunity to set a direction and inspire your team to strive for greatness.
A sales vision can also focus on profitability targets or rewards and recognition for your team, providing a holistic perspective on success. For example, a sales manager's vision statement could be "To be one of the top five districts in sales in the company within the next 12 months."
It is important to note that a well-crafted sales vision statement should be future-focused and seem attainable within a reasonable period, typically 6-18 months. This timeframe strikes a balance between being too narrow and easily achievable, which fails to capture the essence of a true vision, and being too far-reaching and difficult to maintain the team's focus.
A sales vision should be challenging, going beyond ordinary expectations while remaining realistic enough to be achievable with effort. Furthermore, a sales vision should embody the commitment to positive change, driven by an intense desire to make something great happen.
2. Translating the Sales Vision into Goals
Once you have established your sales vision, the next step is to translate it into specific goals. Goals provide a clear target and enable effective communication and understanding within the team. The SMART acronym (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-bound) is a valuable guide when setting goals.
To illustrate, let's consider the sales vision of becoming one of the top five districts in sales within the company in the next 12 months. A related SMART goal that aligns with this vision could be to "Increase sales volume by 10% by June 30." This goal is specific regarding the sales volume, measurable through quantifiable metrics, attainable with the right strategies and efforts, relevant to the overall sales vision, and time-bound with a clear deadline.
3. Developing Strategies
With your goals in place, the next step is developing strategies to propel you toward achieving them.
Strategies outline your approach to accomplish your goals and bridge the gap between your current state and the desired outcome. Potential strategies to increase sales volume by 10% by June 30 could include expanding your team's sales coverage by hiring additional salespeople, implementing a special sales incentive program to motivate the team, or targeting key accounts to drive growth in an existing business.
Each strategy should be directly tied to the overarching goal and contribute to its realization. By carefully considering and selecting effective strategies, you can lay the foundation for success and guide your team toward the desired outcome.
4. Identifying Tactics
With a clear understanding of where you want to go, what needs to be achieved, and how you plan to get there, it is time to identify the specific action steps, or tactics, required to implement each strategy.
Tactics are the practical and tangible steps that enable the execution of your strategies. They answer what needs to be done, who will be responsible, and by when.
When identifying tactics, consider the following:
- Identify Major Activities or Benchmarks: Just as you would note landmarks on a road map, identify key points and activities in your action plan to ensure you are on the right track and progressing toward your destination.
- Define Responsibilities and Allocate Resources: Clearly define the roles and responsibilities of each team member in executing tactics and contributing to the achievement of sales vision goals. Be specific in outlining how tasks will be carried out and identify any necessary resources to support the execution.
- Specify Target Dates for Completion: To maintain momentum and drive progress, set target dates for each action step. These target dates create a sense of urgency, motivate the team to work together, and enable effective progress tracking toward your sales vision.
For example, if your strategy for increasing sales volume is to expand your team's sales coverage by hiring more salespeople, a supporting tactic could be to "Work with HR to source and interview at least three qualified candidates within the next 30 days."
By following this 4-step process of creating a sales vision, translating it into goals, developing strategies, and identifying tactics, you can provide your team with a clear roadmap and direction to achieve outstanding sales results.
Developing and achieving a sales vision for your team is a powerful way to maximize performance and drive exceptional sales outcomes.
A clear and compelling sales vision aligns and focuses your team, motivates and inspires them to exceed expectations, guides strategic decision-making, fosters team cohesion, and collaboration, enables measurement and accountability, and cultivates adaptability and resilience.
To develop a sales vision, create a future-focused and attainable statement that captures your team's aspirations. Then, translate the vision into specific goals using the SMART framework. Lastly, develop strategies that bridge the gap between your current state and the desired outcome, and identify actionable tactics to execute each strategy.
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About David Jacoby
As a Managing Director at Sales Readiness Group, A Part of SBI, David helps large B2B sales organizations improve sales performance. Previously, David was a Principal at Linear Partners, a sales consulting firm providing sales strategy, sales operations, talent management, and interim management services to emerging growth companies. In the past, David has served as Vice President of Business Affairs of Xylo, Inc., where he was responsible for the Company's business development, sales operations, legal affairs, and financing activities.