I’ve often stressed how important it is to have an effective sales plan; but I also believe it’s essential that an organization dedicate itself to effective vision casting. Successful leaders know that when a company’s well-crafted vision is cast into the waters navigated by employees, customers and prospects, it makes ripples that reverberate and represent what your company stands for. Here are 12 ways to make sure your vision casting resonates throughout your organization:
What is a vision statement?
A well-crafted vision statement is a concise and future-focused declaration of what your company stands for and aspires to be.
Let’s take a closer look at what makes a successful vision statement, which can itself be a guidepost for company success. We’ll start with two characteristics we’ve already noted and expand from there.
The best vision statements are simply stated and represent the essence of the company, its products, services, people, and market position. Believe it or not this can often be accomplished in a single sentence. Keep it simple and your vision statement will not only be easily remembered, it will be more likely to succeed when leveraging the rest of these essential characteristics.
Successful vision statements are aspirational; they focus on the long-term and ask stakeholders to see a future that may or may not be in line with the present. While good vision statements may make reference to the company’s current market position, they often project forward to where the company wants to be. “We will become…” or “We will continue to be…” are commonly included in successful vision statements.
Vision statements do not, however, present tangible goals. Nor do they directly translate into sales quotas. Rather, vision statements are broad and abstract enough to provide general direction, but not actionable plans. Specific and measurable objectives are the domain of sales plans and company goals.
While not specific, a good vision statement should serve as a solid foundation for the company’s goals, objectives, quotas, etc. Because vision statements are forward-looking, they should strategically position the company for achievement both in the short term and the long term.
Even though a vision statement is not meant to be specific, it must still not be ambiguous. Anyone reading the vision statement – from employees to shareholders to customers to prospects and beyond – should be able to fully understand what the company means. Absolute clarity makes successful application of the vision statement more assured.
A well-positioned vision statement should inspire buy-in and commitment from the front-line employees (including the sales team) who will bring it to life in the daily execution of strategic plans. Not only should it be clear and concise for general understanding; it should be easy for each stakeholder to see where he or she fits in the grand scheme of the vision.
Great vision statements and successful vision casting can inspire a sales team to keep their eyes on a noble purpose. Each stakeholder should be able to say, “Yes, I’m an important part of this, and this is something that matters.”
Likewise, sales personnel – and everyone in the organization, for that matter – should see the vision statement as not only aspirational in conveying that noble purpose, but empowering for the day-to-day dedication needed to achieve it. The vision statement should be a constant reminder of the “big picture” in a way that makes it clear why the tasks necessary to reach that destination are so critical.
If your vision statement can’t be remembered, it can’t be shared. Again, conciseness matters. Clarity matters. Relatability matters. They all help make your vision statement memorable and shareable from one stakeholder to the next. And when something is shared like this, it becomes a beacon for teamwork.
I’ve seen some vision statements that are so generic they mean nothing beyond the walls of the organization. Make sure your vision statement clearly connects not only to your marketplace, but also to how your brand serves that market.
When your vision statement is relatable, inspiring, empowering and shareable, it becomes supportable. It becomes a vision that all stakeholders can stand behind. Perhaps more importantly, it becomes a vision your sales team can proudly represent and actively promote.
Even the best vision statement, however, will fail to connect and resonate if not consistently shared throughout the year. By reminding your stakeholders of your vision at strategic times and opportunities, you increase the likelihood that it will permeate the culture in a way that makes it sustainable. Another factor affecting sustainability, of course, is the vision statement’s focus on the future I described earlier. A meaningful vision statement should be far-reaching so that it does not become obsolete in a few months or a few years. Some companies have been able to craft vision statements that serve them for many generations.
Your company’s vision statement will uniquely address your industry, your markets and your employee culture. And with these 12 vision statement characteristics in place, your vision casting can indeed resonate and make ripples throughout your organization as well as the marketplace waters your sales team navigates. Your well-crafted vision statement becomes a lighthouse whose beacon cuts through the fog and provides direction for all.
Sometimes, however, company leaders have difficulty stepping far enough outside the day-to-day operation of the company to gain the perspective they need to craft and communicate the company’s vision. This is one benefit of working with Sales Xceleration. Our licensed Advisors can provide the perspective necessary to execute your vision casting and help deploy the sales strategies and tactical plans to achieve it. To learn more, contact us today at 844.874.7253.