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January Jump-Start Week 4: Talk to Your Manager about 2024

Ryan Walsh, CEO and Founder
Ryan Walsh, CEO and FounderJan 22, 2024

You probably have regular one-on-one meetings with your sales manager. But how often do those meetings go beyond your everyday challenges and updates on your pipeline?

Now is the perfect time for you to have a more meaningful one-on-one with your sales manager. In line with last week’s January Jump-Start task, the beginning of the year is not just about setting goals and quotas. It’s an important time for sales professionals to align their personal ambitions with the company’s objectives, seek guidance for professional development, and address any challenges encountered in the previous year. 

A good conversation at the start of the year can set the tone for a successful year, ensure that you and your manager are on the same page, and can ultimately lead to enhanced performance and job satisfaction.

This Week’s Task: Share Your Goals with Your Manager

Your task this week is to schedule time and meet with your manager to discuss the personal goals you set for yourself last week. (If you haven’t set a goal for yourself yet, do that first.)

Let your manager know ahead of time that you’d like to spend this meeting on big-picture objective for 2024, and be specific about the areas you’d like to discuss:

  • Your personal goal for the year
    • Share what it is and income you expect to achieve it
  • Your plan to achieve that goal
    • Discuss the details and ask for feedback on your strategy/approach
  • Your long-term outlook in the organization
    • Ask about where your manager sees you going within the organization, and the steps you need to take to get there

This conversation can go a number of different ways depending on where you are in your career, your desire to stay at or grow within your current organization, and more. 

The direction the conversation takes may also change your perspective. You may find that you have more opportunity within a current company than you previously expected — or that to achieve your personal goals, you’ll need to find an opportunity elsewhere.

Importance of Discussing Your Goals with Your Manager

Sharing your personal aspirations with your manager is often overlooked, but it can significantly impact both personal growth and professional development within an organization. Openly communicating your career goals and personal ambitions helps align your goals with the company’s, helps your manager provide you with better guidance and development opportunities, and it builds trust and strengthens your relationship with your manager.

Aligning Your Goals With the Company’s

Discussing personal aspirations with your sales manager helps to create alignment of your individual goals with the company’s objectives. 

Your managers should be able to provide guidance on how your personal goals can be integrated with the wider organizational aims, thereby creating synergy between personal growth and business outcomes that make both more likely to succeed. This alignment can help you stay motivated by making your work more meaningful and connected to your personal ambitions. 

Providing Better Guidance & Development 

When your manager is aware of your aspirations, they can offer more targeted support and opportunities for development. This might include recommending specific training programs, or providing mentorship in areas where you’re hoping to grow. 

Additionally, discussing personal aspirations can lead to more effective and personalized performance evaluations. Managers, aware of your specific personal goals, can provide more relevant and constructive feedback tailored to help you hit your target number.

Building Trust and Strengthening Relationships

Lastly, sharing personal aspirations fosters a culture of open communication and trust. When employees feel comfortable discussing their goals with their managers, it creates a more transparent workplace. (And that’s what RepVue is all about.)

A manager who understands your motivations can better address any concerns or challenges that arise, leading to a more responsive and adaptive work environment. Plus, they can open doors to new opportunities within the organization. When they’re aware of your aspirations, they can provide opportunities that align with their career trajectory.

What If Your Manager Doesn’t Care about Your Goals?

Let’s start with the obvious: Your sales manager should care about your personal ambitions. You’re most likely in sales because you see it as a path to a certain lifestyle, not because you “live to sell” — and your manager should understand that.

However, if you find yourself in a situation where your manager seems indifferent or unresponsive to your personal goals and aspirations, it may be necessary to seek mentorship and guidance elsewhere within the organization. 

Look for other leaders or colleagues who are willing to provide mentorship or advice. Networking within your organization can also open up new avenues for learning and development. But at the end of the day, some organizations highly value things like culture and leadership or professional development, and others not so much. 

If helping you achieve your personal goals in a way that benefits the company isn’t important to your sales org, it may be time to start looking for a new org that will support your ambitions.

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