Sales Management Tips

by Suzanne Paling, Sales Management Services 



In This Issue
What is a Strategic Goal?
The Accidental Sales Manager Guide to Hiring

Recent Back Issues


December: Planning For the Upcoming Year  





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Available in trade paperback and for Kindle at
What is a Strategic Goal?

A reader writes, "When I started my company five years ago, I directed most of my energy towards product development. Sales received minimal attention.   I want to start thinking more strategically about sales. I'm just not sure if the goals I have in mind are more tactical. What are your thoughts?"


What a great way to start off the new year - including sales in your overall planning efforts. Both strategic and tactical goals play important roles in that process - and it's easy to get the two confused.


Strategic vs. Tactical


Strategic goals determine the long range direction of the company. Tactical goals represent the interim steps or milestones needed to achieve the long-term goals.  




What / Why


Allocation of Resources

Measurable Objectives

Big Picture

Hands On

Long timeframe (3-5 yrs.)

Short timeframe (0 to 18 mos.)

Requires time to change course

Periodic course corrections


Avoid choosing a strategic direction before carefully considering the shorter term objectives needed to achieve the larger goal.


Strategic vs. Tactical Sales Initiatives


In the sales department, specific examples of strategic and tactical goals might include:




Increase sales from $10.7mil to $15 mil

Develop a telesales department to cover remote territories

Decrease turnover in sales department by 20%

Interview reps that resigned during the past few years

Capture an additional 20% of market share

Prospect into 2 new vertical markets


None of the strategic goals above are achievable in a short period of time. Likewise, none of the tactical goals make sense without understanding the overarching long-term goals of the organization.


Increasing Sales


For the sales function, let's look at the macro goal of increasing sales versus the tactical steps that need to be taken along the way:



Increase sales revenue from 10.7 mil to 15 mil in 4 years



Expand the field sales staff from 3 to 6 reps in 18 mos.

Start telesales department with 2 reps over a 1 year period

Reconfigure / add sales territories as needed

Generate business in 2 new markets (Law Firms and Mutual Fund Co.s)

Select appropriate sales training for telesales and the field sales staff


These are but a few examples from a tactical list that could easily be 4 - 5 times this size. Sales would need a great deal of support to realize a revenue increase of nearly $5 million. Other departments would factor in as well (marketing, finance, production etc.) to complete the exercise.       


Another example


If a family sets a goal of seeing more of the United States they would need to determine, among other things, the:

  • Destination
  • Length of trip
  • Budget
  • Mode of transportation
  • Type of Lodging

Most people have limited resources and vacation time. Few say, "Let's just get in the car and see where we end up!"


Hardly any company presidents say, "I'll start this company and just see what happens!" Most have many long and short term objectives from the outset. Taking time to set both the strategic and tactical goals helps increase the odds of successfully achieving those objectives.

The Accidental Sales Manager Guide to Hiring
Hiring Guide thumbnail

Available on my website, "The Accidental Sales Manager Guide to Hiring" summarizes the pre-hire process recommended in "The Accidental Sales Manager."