Goals, meet Strategy

Do you have your SMART* goals? Each one has been examined and your team have been told about new expectations? Good.

Now: are your goals smart enough to work together?

Here is a small example:

A small business with 5 sales people, 2 in marketing generating leads through an interactive website and 2 in customer support. A new way to package the product has been devised, allowing for smaller value sales with a quicker adoption time, so lower value but higher volume revenue. Each sales person is expected, with this new product, to increase their conversion rate overall by 20% this next quarter. At the same time it is believed that revenues can also be increased by improving repeat business through a proactive customer support plan and better technical materials.

Now each of the three departments mentioned is being set up for failure: they are pulled in contradicting directions.

Your marketing team have to somehow start generating a new type of lead through the website, but without the required ramp-up type to build an interested audience. At the same time, the customer support team need new technical documentation to satisfy their new goals, while sales people need sales materials for a product line that requires a whole new benefits message.

While your salesforce are asking your marketing team for new materials, they also expect better leads for the new revenue stream, and they want them coming in yesterday so they can meet their quota for this quarter.

And of course any new clients they do bring on are not receiving the proper on-boarding experience, since your customer support team are busy working on their new repeat business plan and have not had time to be trained on the new product features.

The above is looking only at three teams within a company, and one specific product scenario. No business – no matter how small – is actually this simple.

Do not set your team up for failure.

Before you determine your goals, and certainly before you launch new targets to your team, go back to your mission statement and values, review your guiding principles, and account for the resources of each department. (And by the way: one of your guiding principles should be to never make client-facing decisions that are not dictated directly by client data). Have a strategy in place, and make sure your new goals fit within that strategy. Then build your execution plan for all departments at the same time.


*Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-Bound