Sales objective

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Sales objective
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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


  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