Add me to mailing list    |           |      Search

Sales Make it Happen

Short Term Objectives Not the Solution

If you've ever been a member of a sales organization, or a member of a senior management team, you'll recognize this scenario: Senior management assigns to sales leaders short-term objectives designed to address short-term exigencies. The emergency may be the need to protect market share from the onslaught of a new competitor, pressures from stock analysts who are questioning the company's rate of growth vis-à-vis industry metrics, or any number of other reasons. Sales leaders are then forced to seek out solutions - interventions really - that promise to deliver immediate .results. If any attempt was being made by sales management to execute a sales strategy, and administer a sales process, those efforts are abandoned as the newest quick-fix solution consumes everyone's attention.

In this scenario there is no intention of executing a sales strategy for the long-term. Why would anyone expect otherwise? The sales managers and their teams know from experience that it's only a matter of time - probably a short time - before senior management, in reaction to a new crisis, assigns new objectives to the sales leaders. And so the cycle begins again, with sales leaders on the prowl, hunting for another solution that promises a quick-fix for the current short-term emergency.

This all too familiar scenario points to the fact that the CEO, and her management team, own and control their company's revenue stream. In most cases, to credit sales management for revenue growth, or to blame them for declining revenues, may place the credit or blame squarely on the wrong shoulders. Our advice to the C-Suite: Think long and hard before you ask your senior sales executives to don their fire suits in pursuit of short-term objectives that undermines sales strategy, causes confusion, and produces consternation among the sales troops.

--- from the desk of a retired, successful leasing company president.