Every sales leader and their team has the primary sales objective of increasing their revenue. To achieve that, different sales organizations may pursue different sets of objectives that enable that overall goal. Even companies in the same industry are likely to have different enabling objectives, and smaller goals that support the sales force as they increase revenue.
It is up to the sales leader to recognize what enabling objectives will best help their team reach their goals. This is challenging because all of these goals are worth pursuing, but constraints of time, energy, and money require leaders to select some while ignoring the others, at least for some time.
Major Sales Objective 1: Revenue Growth
This is the perennial sales objective. Every year, your company sets a goal to generate more revenue than it did in the prior year. Leaders judge their progress and their success by measuring revenue growth. Depending on what their company needs to succeed, some sales organizations may also have additional objectives, such as increased profitability, but revenue growth is always at the top of the list.
There are many ways to generate the net new revenue that results in growth, so the sales leader must prioritize the few that will have the greatest impact. The following list outlines the enabling objectives that will help the sales team reach its revenue goals.
Enabling Sales Objective 1: Acquiring New Clients
This is the first choice of many sales leaders. New clients provide new revenue, and provided you are not churning your existing clients, it results in the net new revenue you need to reach your goal.
This choice makes sense when your sales force is capable of creating opportunities and winning new logos. However, it's a hard slog for a sales force that isn't effective enough to win the deals they need to hit their revenue goals.
Enabling Sales Objective 2: Selling More to Your Existing Clients
Generating revenue by selling more to existing clients is easiest for a sales organization with a long list of companies that can and should buy more of what they sell. Most sales organizations do better by acquiring new clients while growing their existing clients. How do you generate more revenue from your existing client? There are two main approaches, cross-selling and upselling.
One way to sell more to your existing clients is to use a cross-sell strategy. To execute this strategy, you need to sell your current clients a new product or service. Companies that do not have a new product or service cannot use this strategy.
Another way you might sell more to your existing client is to move them up to a higher level of product or service. For this goal to work, you must have several tiers above the base product or service.
Enabling Sales Objective 3: Retaining Your Existing Clients
One factor that makes it difficult to reach your revenue growth is churning your existing clients. When you lose your existing revenue, it’s that much harder to grow because your new revenue must first cover the lost revenue. In the industry I spent most of my sales life in, there was a high churn. It was important to keep clients to grow. Retention may be outside of the sales leader’s purview, making this sales objective difficult to achieve.
Enabling Sales Objective 4: Targeting and Winning Larger Clients
Bigger companies with greater needs bring in more revenue, so one way to increase net new revenue is to focus on winning larger clients. Larger clients are also more likely to need a strategic partner who can deliver the results they need. When you sell something that is important to a large client, not only can you increase your revenue, but you may also have an easier time keeping them if you take care of their needs.
You need many small deals to create the same revenue as one large client. Some sales organizations recognize it often takes the same time and energy to win a small as it does a large deal, so large deals offer a greater potential return on your sales team’s efforts.
Enabling Sales Objective 5: Increasing Win Rates and Sales Effectiveness
There are few sales organizations that could increase their revenue simply by winning a greater percentage of the opportunities they are already creating. Telling the sales force to win more will not be enough to achieve the desired result. After all, if your salespeople could win more of the deals they pursue, they would. To be capable of increasing their win rate, a sales force needs to increase their effectiveness.
Few sales organizations look to improve their sales force's overall effectiveness. Those who do, however, find it easier and faster to grow their revenue. As the sales force becomes more effective, their win rates improve, letting them capture more of the opportunities they create.
There are some sales organizations who don't recognize the importance of improving their sales force's effectiveness. These leaders mistakenly believe their team needs to increase their activity, without recognizing most of that effort is wasted.
Enabling Sales Objective 6: Increasing Time Spent on Sales Tasks and Outcomes
One way to improve your revenue is to remove non-sales tasks from your team’s to-do list and give them back the time they need to sell. Salespeople often spend so little of their time on selling it is impossible for them to reach their goals. Sales leaders look at technology and automation to improve productivity and efficiency, and this can help. Investments in tools and services like human-verified contact information allows the sales force to spend less time on research and more on pursuing the contacts they need.
Your Sales Objectives Are Your Own
This simple list of sales objectives may include enabling objectives worth pursuing to reach your revenue goals. Keep in mind that what one sales organization needs may not work for another. When setting your goals and your enabling objectives, the most important decision is to ensure they are right for your company.