Oct 31, 2019 • Blog

What’s Your Purpose in Sales?

There was a great article that recently appeared in the Harvard Business Review. The article prompted this blog post. The title says it all, Put Purpose at the Core of Your Strategy.

The article summarizes how most companies focus on strategies to create new markets or serve broader stakeholder needs. And for most companies, purpose is merely an add-on or afterthought. The article claims that putting purpose at the core of the company strategy, better positions those companies to overcome challenges in the marketplace. It’s a great article and certainly worth a read.

Consider how this idea can apply to you as a salesperson. What if you used purpose to guide your career, and not performance?

In sales, we focus on hitting a number. That’s our job. We’re given a target and we hit the target. We are judged based on our performance. That’s the gig we all signed up for. And the sales profession is the greatest meritocracy in the world. So, it’s no wonder salespeople are obsessed with hitting targets.

However, focusing on performance doesn’t preclude purpose. Just because you want to make a difference doesn’t mean you can’t make any dollars along the way. Sometimes we let the more tangible targets fill our mind and we pay less attention to our purpose.

Ask yourself, “Beyond performance, what is my greater purpose in this profession?” It could be as simple as just helping people. It could be as profound as changing people’s lives in a positive way. Find your deeper purpose in what you do and you’ll find a deeper meaning of success.

Think of a time in your career where you truly made a difference for someone. I’m sure that was a fulfilling experience. That sense of fulfillment lasts longer than the commission or bonus you received. I understand that targets are important. Anyone that tells you performance doesn’t matter is lying (to you and themselves). However, your purpose matters more.

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