Setting operational sales goals right throughout the sales ecosystem is essential for the Chief Sales Officer’s success. If done right these goals will act as instant alarm signal if the sales ecosystem runs into a constraint.
Each type of sales generating units must have operational sales goals assigned:
These units carry the prime responsibility for achieving their part of your operational sales goal.
Many companies organize their sales in matrix form, for instance by Regions and product lines.Clear accountability for goals eliminates conflict between the two lines of accountability:
Such units (examples: HR, IT, Controlling) do not carry operational sales goals.
For the Chief Sales Officer’s goal their role is to contribute in sales generating units’ operational plans.
You may also set goals for elements outside of the company business system.
Lack of clear accountability in matrix organizations will result in conflict of authority. Double accountability does not exist and not recognizing the issue ("we do not have a matrix organization here") does not resolve the issue.For matrix units establish undisputed accountability in agreement with your C-level management team.
For example: "Sales managers of Regions are accountable for sales goals. Product sales managers are accountable for achieving product sales goals within Regions".
Comfort sales goals make you blind for constraints.
Set your sales goals to aim at breakthrough performance to lead the company to face it's true constraints and thus ensure its survival.
Adjust your payment procedure (salaries, commission, bonus) to such challenging goals.
Some sales managers believe in inflating goals: to set higher goals to their subordinates than they have themselves. This practice means that they resign from their accountability for resolving constraints.
This is NOT what you want as Chief Sales Officer. Don't allow it, ever.
In addition to operational goals companies often set other goals like "challenge goals", "incentive goals", "rain maker day goals". These are NOT just another type of operational sales goals - they are incentive goals and should be viewed and treated separately. Setting both types of goals is like "aiming at two rabbits at the same time".Keep operational sales goals strictly separate from other goals. Especially, do not show other goals on you sales goal charts.