How a Single Word Changes Your Entire Strategy

Would your rather work for an organization who hits their annual number?

Or an organization who hits their number with momentum?

It’s an important question.  While the answer may be obvious, who wouldn’t want to hit their goals with momentum?   Unpacking the nuance and figuring out how to get there is the real secret sauce.

Let’s start with how most organizations approach revenue targets.  Leadership puts forth a big number; everyone scrambles to meet it.  As the deadline approaches – the end of the month, quarter or year – pressure increases.  Leadership tells the team, do whatever it takes to hit the numbers now.  Business gets pulled forward; customers are given discounts to sign.  Everything is focused on hitting the goal.

But what happens after you hit it?  Perhaps a day of celebration, but the next day, the clock starts again.

The quarterly capitalism model works, in the short-term.  You hit the number, but it has a chilling effect on long-term value, and employee morale.

Kyle Porter the CEO and co-founder of SalesLoft, an Atlanta-based SaaS company talks about the difference.

Kyle Porter

Porter, says, “Our goal is to surpass a hundred million (in revenue) early in 2018, with momentum.

The language here matters.  When your CEO says, “hit the number,” it incites short-term thinking.  When the CEO says, “I want us to hit the number with momentum,” people look longer range.  They think three numbers past this number.  They start asking: What will it take to be a force in the market?  How can we better engage our customers? How can we differentiate?

The horizon gets longer; the conversation becomes more strategic.

SalesLoft, who is our client, recently announced a $50 million series C funding round.  Porter says the momentum concept was the result of a bike race experience.

He says, “I signed up for a 78-mile bike race.”  It was much longer that any other race he had done.   He says, “I was riding it by myself.  I saw all these people with the same jersey.  I asked, ‘Hey what are you doing?’  They said, ‘Come hang out with us.”  He stayed with their pack for miles.  He says,  “By mile 58 I was huffing and puffing.  The leader said, ‘Hey do you want to help?  Pull up front.”

Porter who was already exhausted says, “I was dreading, but you can’t say no.”

Yet he found when he pulled to the front of the team, “It was so much easier, I had the whole group behind me pulling for me.”

He says, “When I hit the finish line, I had more momentum more energy, more capabilities than ever before, and that is exactly how we want to hit our revenue milestones.”

A leader who tells their team, “I want to hit our numbers with power, influence and trajectory” has a big advantage over a leader who simply says, “Hit the number.”  It’s an entirely different set of marching orders.

It’s not surprising that SalesLoft has driven exponential revenue growth, established themselves as innovators, and was voted a best place to work.

Whether you’re a CEO or you run a small team, or you’re simply trying to hit your own revenue target, think about how different it would be to hit your target with momentum.

You’ll likely find, that single word, momentum, changes your entire approach.

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