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Episode 4: Sales Enablement Vision and Goal Setting

Look, audacious goals can inspire people and teams to accomplish things they never thought possible. Dream big! Right? But ridiculous, ludicrous goals can also crush a team's morale.

We help you define your company’s vision, set achievable goals, and align your sales and marketing along the way.


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Episode Transcription

Hey, it's Jorie from HubSpot, and this is Skill Up -- The show where you’ll learn how to take your sales, marketing, and service skills to the next level.

The first step to implementing a sales enablement strategy at your company is figuring out what you want to achieve. The purpose of sales enablement is to help your company make more sales, but that shouldn't be the end result. You need a vision of what you hope those additional sales will help you do.

Now, it's important to distinguish between a vision and a goal. Your company needs both in order to succeed, but they play different roles. 

A goal is a metric outcome you can check off a list. 

Your goal for implementing a sales enablement strategy might be to increase your company's monthly revenue from $3 million to $5 million by the end of the year. Check. So if your company hasn't made $5 million by the time December ends, well then you know you haven't achieved that goal. In this case, no check.

A vision is a state of affairs you want to bring into being. Think big picture here. It’s that one destination that all your goals are leading too.

But to get there, you need alignment. And Laura Zifchaaak of PeopleDoc saw this firsthand. 

ZIFCHAK: I think this isn't a story just around, um, marketing and sales alignment, but it's really around aligning your whole organization around around a similar goal.

If you can get, you know, the whole organization aligned around something like that, then then, you know, you have some other work to do. But, um, but once everyone's aligned around that goal, things fit together really nicely. 

For your company, the vision might be moving to a nicer location or being able to offer employees better benefits or hiring a larger team.

Here's an example from Ross Brockman of Downeast Cider House, a hard cider company from Boston, Massachusetts. 

BROCKMAN: We want to be the largest hard cider company in the U S. Um, that's the goal. That might be a 50 year goal. Maybe it's a multigenerational goal. I don't know. Um. But that's, that's the goal.

That's fantastic. Your vision should be as audacious and longterm, just like what Ross described. 

If you want to be the biggest player in your space, you can't just set a static goal because.. your existing competitors will also be growing and new competitors will be right on their heels.

But if that is your vision, it’ll give you a clear direction for all of the metric goals you've set along the way.

In order to make a big initiative like sales enablement work at your company, you have to have goals and a vision. The vision is what's gonna motivate your teams. 

Selling ‘em on that fancy new office space, or on being the best and biggest company in your industry, is how you're gonna get ‘em onboard in the first place. It's also how you're gonna keep ‘em moving forward when challenges arise. 

But if you don't also have measurable goals in place, you'll never know if you're making any actual progress towards that vision. The goals are how you'll make sure you're on a path that has the potential to fulfill your vision. There's also another reason you need both a big vision and achievable goals.

Remember that Ross said his vision might take multiple generations to realize? and something that audacious can be hard to get people to buy into. 

Good goals can give you regular reasons to celebrate legitimate success. As your team members see their hard work paying off, they'll renew their efforts toward achieving that big vision. 

In the context of sales enablement, your goals are going to focus on revenue. Ultimately, that's how you're going to measure whether your sales enablement efforts are effective, and it's also the metric that’ll be most meaningful to your company's leadership team.

Here's Bertrand Hazard, VP of marketing at TrustRadius.

HAZARD: When you go and report into an executive team, ultimately, the executive team is really looking at like, you know, booking and contributions, pipeline contributions, and ultimately where it's coming from.]

The tricky thing about revenue goals is that they can feel completely arbitrary if they aren't tied to something more concrete. That's where your grand vision is going to come into play.

If you can come up with a vision that marketing and sales can be equally excited about -- and calculate how much that vision would cost to achieve -- that will give you a revenue goal both teams can get behind. 

Here's an example from Josh Harcus, founder of Hu-ify and author of A Closing Culture.

HARCUS: So at first we said we want a team of 12 by the end of this year, we had three full time employees at the beginning of that year. And then we were like, what, what does this look like? Like what? How much do we want to grow? And we had figured out a lot of operating things and we had about 15 contractors that were, that we were using at that time on a monthly basis.

And so we had a pretty good team set up and we were like, you know, we really think we want to be at 12 full time employees. That was really the only thing we could. Put our finger on. And so what came out of that was we realized doing a lot of number crunching, it didn't equal, um, just multiplying it by 100,000.

But we basically realized we needed $1.2 million in ARR by the end of that year to have 12 full time employees to have the office that we have to have all expenses and operate with a profit margin that we wanted.] 

See how nicely that vision translated into a revenue goal. That's the type of process you need to go through.

It starts with developing a vision both marketing and sales can buy into. But do not rush this. Talk to people on both teams. Talk to company leaders. See what it is that people want. And revise the vision until you've got it perfect. 

As author and Harvard business professor John Kotter says, "If you can't communicate the vision to someone in five minutes or less, and get a reaction that signifies both understanding and interest, you are not yet done with this phase of the transformation process."

Once you have that vision, start figuring out how much it would cost. If the vision involves relocating to a new location, look at the cost of office space in the area. If it involves hiring more people, check Glassdoor or other online resources to see what the going salaries of such people are.

Remember, you live in the age of the empowered buyer. Use that to your advantage and don't stop researching until you've found the information you're looking for. 

Once you have the cost of the vision figured out, you'll be ready to turn it into goals for each team -- which means, what you really need to ask yourself next is, “How achievable are those goals?”

Look, audacious goals can inspire people and teams to accomplish things they never thought possible. Dream big! Right? But ridiculous, ludicrous goals can also crush a team's morale. 

Here's Steve Bookbinder, CEO and head trainer at DM training.

BOOKBINDER: You're presented with that new goal in the beginning of the year. The very first thing is, "Do you believe you could do it? Because if you don't believe it, you know what you're going to start to do. That's the manager's goal. If somebody goes to during the year, you're hitting a goal. Well, what do you mean by goal?

I mean, their goal is unrealistic, so I'm going for a lower, more modest goal that I think I could hit. Well, that's because you don't believe you could hit the bigger goal.

Sales enablement will empower your sales teams to accomplish things that would otherwise be impossible. But you've got to make sure they're fully bought into what is possible. In the early days of your sales enablement efforts, you won't know what's possible. And that's okay. 

As you get your processes and content in place,.. and as you add technology to the mix, you'll gradually figure out a new baseline that you'll be able to use to set future goals... And ultimately realize that big vision.


So you’ve created your sales enablement strategy, hey, you did it. Now, you’re bringing in all these new leads. Next episode, we break down which ones are worth your time… and which ones aren’t. 

I’ll see you there.