Sales objective

From CEOpedia | Management online

Sales objective is a main goal on which an enterprise is focusing to achieve. It is the part of a marketing plan where other factors such as a profit margin, a target group, disctibution partners and an advertising are taken into considerartion. In other words, sales objectives must be integrated with all company's targets and promotional activities.

Impact of setting the sales objective

O.C. Ferrell points that sales objectives should be perspected as part of sales management process therefore in wide sense of meaning below aspects should be considered as well[1]:

  • type of salespeople, and their selling skills - also costs of hiring, training them and measuring a performance,
  • product support and education of customers - includes cost of samples, brochures, loyalty programmes, a point of purchase promotion, premiums, contests, sweeptakes, direct mails,
  • providing after sales' service,
  • desired market share,
  • desired sales taget in money and sales volume in a specific quantity - setting standards of measurements but also a promotion plan,
  • other measurable results for example: size of orders, number of calls providing sales, ratios of orders or calls etc.

Defining sales objectives is often made subjectively in consultation with experienced sales managers. Moreover, O.C. Ferrell recommends that sales objective must balance expenses and incomes from sales. The consequeces of imbalance (the sales objective is too small or is too large) might cause lost profit, poor sales or inflated expenses, Achievieng the balance is one of the biggest challenges for an enterprise, especially when a company is looking for reducing expenses. Often, cutting cost is infuencing not only the sales objective but also gives competitors chance to growth and improve market share.

S. Vince points that if employee sets personal sales objective, he/she is more aware of company's mission and his motivation increases. Transferring big company's goal to single epmloyee tasks creates definied framework on daily performance level [2].

Example of the sales objective

As an example of a profitability objective, P. Noyce formulates the goal of achievieng a 25% return on capital employed by 2006[3]. He recommends to use SMART objectives (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Reaslistic, Timed). Moreover, he divides them for 3 categories:

  • Visionary - refers to the enterprise long-term direction,
  • Attainable - refers to the enterprise medium-term goals which might be achieved with support of a research and development improvements,
  • Immediate - refers to objects which might be achieved within existing circumstances (resources, technology and emplooyeess).

Author: Patrycja Mikołajczyk

Advantages of Sales objective

Sales objectives are a key part of successful business strategy as they help to ensure that all efforts of the company are directed towards a common goal. Some of the advantages of setting sales objectives include:

  • Improved Sales Performance: Setting sales objectives helps to focus the company’s efforts on achieving a certain goal. This in turn can lead to improved sales performance as all efforts are focused on achieving the goal.
  • Improved Employee Motivation: When employees are provided with a clear sales objective, it motivates them to work harder and perform better. This can help to improve team spirit and boost morale.
  • Increased Profitability: Setting sales objectives helps to ensure that the company is working towards achieving its desired goals. This can ultimately lead to increased profitability as the company is able to achieve its desired results.
  • Improved Market Position: Setting sales objectives helps to ensure that the company is able to maintain and improve its market position by ensuring that it is achieving its desired goals. This can help to increase the company’s market share and increase its competitive advantage.

Limitations of Sales objective

Sales objectives provide focus and direction for a company’s sales efforts, however, there are several limitations to be aware of when setting these objectives. These include:

  • Unrealistic Expectations - Sales objectives should be set based on the current market conditions and the resources available to the company. Unrealistic objectives can lead to disappointment and frustration.
  • Resource Allocation - The resources available to a company are limited, so the sales objectives must be weighed against other potential uses of these resources. If the sales objectives are too ambitious, they may take away from other important tasks.
  • Customer Needs - Sales objectives must be based on what the customer needs and wants. If the objectives are not tailored to the customer, they are unlikely to be successful.
  • Competition - The competition in the market must be taken into account when setting sales objectives. If the competition is too strong, the objectives may be unachievable.
  • Timeframe - The timeframe for achieving the objectives must be realistic. Too short a timeframe can lead to a lack of success, while too long a timeframe can lead to the objectives being forgotten.

Other approaches related to Sales objective

Sales objectives can be approached in several ways, including:

  • Developing a clear and concise statement that outlines the end goal. This statement should explain the desired outcome, timeline, strategies that will be implemented, resources required, and how success will be measured.
  • Ensuring that the objectives are aligned with the company's overall strategy and vision. This helps to ensure that the objectives are achievable and achievable within the framework of the resources available.
  • Utilising data and analytics to identify and track key performance indicators that will help to measure progress towards the goal. This can help to inform marketing plans and strategies.
  • Creating a timeline for the objectives and setting regular checkpoints to ensure that the objectives are being met. This will help to ensure that the objectives are realistic and achievable.

In summary, Sales objectives should be approached in a way that ensures that they are aligned with the company's overall strategy, supported by data and analytics, have realistic timelines, and are regularly monitored.


  1. Ferrell O.C, Hartline M. D. (2008), Marketing Strategy, Thomson Learning, USA, p.300-307
  2. Vince S. (1995), Efficient Sales Performance: Open Learning for Sales Professionals, The Learnign Business Limited, Great Britain, p.50-51
  3. Noyce P. (2004), Rabbit-proof fence, Carol Thomas, p. 31

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