Crafting a Vision in Sales

Chase the vision, not the money. The money will end up following you.

Bill Gates had a vision of “A computer on every desk and in every home.

His vision statement did not outline a detailed plan for how it would become a reality, but it was a powerful guide for his company’s future. If you are responsible for revenue, you likely have a vision for results. Perhaps you haven’t figured out the particulars of “how” yet. Typically, your success will depend on the joint commitment of and collaboration with others. How do you move your vision into reality?

Sales and development differ from most aspects of your business and you may face some unique challenges:

  • Your staff have varying degrees of experience, training, and success
  • There are very few, if any, post-secondary degrees in sales so training is usually outside of traditional educational settings
  • Sales is primarily a proactive, rather than reactive process. You must plan sales activity but be in the moment during the process
  • Sales is a challenging role, often staffed with independent thinkers. So, how do you get everyone on board with what might be considered your intangible dream?

Having buy-in from all interested parties will be key to realizing your expectations. Consider using the following four step process:

1. Share the Vision

Try a Town Hall meeting format, whether in person or virtual. Include a wide range of stakeholders, not just the sales group. Your team may include staff from administration, accounting, marketing, business advisors, and customer service. If you are a family business, include family members who are impacted by your efforts and results even if they don’t work in the business.

Encourage dialogue, ask questions, record answers, and commit to next steps.

2. Set Up Brainstorming Sessions

In these meetings – anything goes, any idea is possible. Just write them down, without prejudice. Everyone must feel safe to contribute and no suggestion is wrong. Some of the best plans develop from seemingly far-out ideas. Take it from Albert Einstein who said, “Logic will take you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

3. Vet the Ideas

Critically examine the ideas and identify suggestions most likely to succeed. Pare the list down to a manageable number.

4. Create SMART Goals

Create these goals collaboratively. They must be Specific, Measurable, Agreed Upon, Realistic and have a Target Date.

These steps put structure into your vision. It unites the team. Your vision may change somewhat in the process. Be open-minded and remember that you are moving forward toward making your vision a reality.

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November 1, 2021

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