Create a Winning Sales Culture – Setting and Achieving Stretch Goals is Business as Usual
High achievement always takes place in the framework of high expectation.
– Charles Kettering
This is the third of a series of five articles reviewing proven strategies to drive sustained business growth. In this discussion, we will cover setting and achieving stretch goals. Before getting into this review, I‘ll tell you from experience that the essence of the spirit for high-achievement, over-achievement or whatever label you want to put on it – starts with the business leader.
However, while passion from the top is necessary, this alone is not sufficient. It is essential that people with the day-to-day responsibility for producing results have ownership in the new plan – a true commitment to the strategic program to meet new stretch goals. This “ownership” comes with their opportunity for direct engagement and significant contributions to the planning process. And, once said the plan is built, it becomes the new standard: “Business as Usual”.
A proven approach for exceeding revenue goals (business plan targets) on a consistent basis is to create a jointly developed (sales and business leadership) strategic program designed to achieve stretch targets.
- Sets expectations for high performance to be business as usual
- Joint participation in the planning meeting by business and sales leadership fosters ownership and accountability
- Aligns the entire business around what specifically is required to sustain a high performing sales team
Critical Success Factors
(1) Jointly established stretch targets (along with what it will take to meet them)
- A comprehensive joint planning process which includes the following: clearly articulated stretch but realistic goals; delineated key assumptions, resources, etc.; and finally, a firm commitment of support from business leadership.
(2) Disciplined Execution
- Business leadership conducts methodical and rhythmic accountability, review and coaching sessions (daily, weekly, quarterly and as required) with sales leaders.
(3) Rewards and Recognition
- Employees who meet/exceed stretch targets are generously rewarded and openly recognized by leadership.
In short, for winning sales cultures, high performance is not an accidental occurrence. Rather, it is a function of a disciplined, well-developed scheme to exceed business plan goals. To be clear, this game plan is not simply pushed down from the top – While it starts with high expectations and leadership’s vision for excellence, the real strategy and its execution is owned by the team. And finally, the entire program has the unwavering commitment of essential support and resources by business leadership.
Of course, this is all easier said than done as I have only covered the high points of the concept in this article. However, I would be delighted to help you with the details and nuances in putting such a program in place! So, if you need guidance in creating a culture of high performance, including setting and achieving stretch goals on a consistent and reliable basis, please contact me at (281) 817-7391 or firstname.lastname@example.org.