Now, we’re going to focus on the individual contributor level.  This example will focus on the Sales Department staff member John Smith.  Up to this point, we have built the major company goals. Clarified these goals into actionable objectives, and had each department align its goals. Now we need John Smith to align his individual efforts with the department’s goals.  If John focuses on his individual goals and accomplishes them, then they will roll up into his department goals. Ultimately, the company goals make his individual efforts a key part of the company’s success.

Manager Role

The Sales Manager will need to share with John Smith and the rest of the team the department goals for the period.  From here, the Sales Manager will advise each employee that their work efforts will need to align with the department’s goals.  What are they going to do to help the company reach its big objectives?  This is where the employee has a say in what they believe is realistic/achievable for themselves.

Individual Contributor

John Smith knows he needs to hit $100K in sales a month to make his $1.2M sales target.  To do this, he plans on closing $95K in sales a month and generate another $5K through his repeat customers.  Lastly, he’s going to build out his sales funnel by attending an industry tradeshow in March and September.  John believes doing these core items will allow him to succeed.  These are John’s big goals, and he and his Sales Manager will need to refine what support he will need and how his progress will be tracked.  For Operations goals, John will complete a new e-learning module each quarter. Finish the buildout of his sales kit and work with the Ops team on the new e-learning modules.  

The Sales Manager will again review these goals and help John define success for each goal.  Lastly, for Admin goals, John will use the new software to submit his sales numbers monthly, meet with his Sales Manager weekly and stagger his vacation time so he doesn’t lose any sales momentum.  Once again, his Sales Manager will review these big goals to further refine or approve.  


Now that John and his Sales Manager have agreed on his goals for the year, it’s now time for them both to sign off on the plan and get to work. A quarterly review is important to ensure John is on track or to make adjustments if (any) are required.  Again, the goal here is for John’s individual contributions to roll up to the Sales Manager, Sales Department and Company, so we need him to achieve his goals!

We have now completed our Strategy and supporting Plan to achieve those big goals.  For the next blog post, I will post a template that can be used as part of your Strategy and Planning process.