When I teach a marketing plan workshop or session, I always make it clear that sales and marketing plans need to be grounded in clear business objectives and revenue models.

A common question from my workshop is – if the management is unclear about the business objectives and revenue target or has not clearly communicated down, what should we do then?

First thing first.

Why is it important to have the company’s vision, business objectives, and revenue target before creating your plan?

Well, any plan we make is to help bring “something” to life. If you are the manager of HR, you may need to create a hiring plan, but it needs to start with what types of people you want to hire and where.

Therefore, you need to know what your company wants to accomplish first, as well as the sales focus.

Say the company wants to grow big on the West Coast of the United States. If the work is not fully remote, your plan will likely need to focus on talent based on the West Coast or candidates willing to relocate.

If your company wants to expand in the healthcare industry, you may need to focus on people with healthcare experience or some other relevant professional background.

Business strategies and sales focus will guide your planning.

The same analogy applies to a marketing plan.

You need to know your company’s strategic priorities, business objectives, revenue targets, and product priorities.

All of these will guide your marketing plan recommendations.

You can’t create a plan without first knowing your company’s strategic focus, business priorities, and sales plan.

It’s that simple.

What if your company or management didn’t make these key objectives clear to everyone?

This is very typical in many companies. Management feels they’ve communicated everything loud and clear, but employees still don’t feel that they know the focus.

This happens in small companies as well as big companies. If you feel that you don’t know, don’t feel bad. It’s quite common and happens to a lot of us.

If you don’t know or are unsure about your company’s strategic focus, business objective, or revenue goals, you can start by asking your manager, VP of marketing, or sales team.

Occasionally, you can also ask your CEO, provided your company is small and nimble.

Here is another way that you can get more information out of them.

Create your version of the business plan and revenue target, how you understand it, and then show them, having them help you make adjustments if needed.

Hear me out.

See this template below.

Business Goals Alignment template 1

Fill in the blanks as best you can based on the information you know or at least think you know.

See my example below.

Business Goals Alignment template 2

Then, present the slide to your management. This way, you have something for them to react to.

Ask them if you’ve got the business goals and objectives right. If not, what needs to be changed?

You can also add product priorities and sales focus as additional rows if you think it’s necessary for you to craft your plan.

Business Goals Alignment template 3

Then, your marketing objectives and strategies should align with the 4 rows above. They are all interlocked.

If you have seen my marketing plan videos Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3, you are probably pretty familiar with this specific slide.

This is also the opening slide of your marketing plan, but you can also use it as a template to drive the initial conversation with your management. It can serve a dual purpose.

This is how I would do it if my management didn’t clearly share key business strategies, revenue, and other business-related goals with me or the team.

How do you get your management team to share their vision and revenue target?

As always, I love hearing different perspectives, so feel free to join the conversation; ping me on social media, or shoot me an email anytime.

What can Pam Didner do for you?

Being in the corporate world for 20+ years and having held various positions from accounting and supply chain management, and marketing to sales enablement, she knows how corporations work. She can make you and your team a rock star by identifying areas to shine and do better. She does that through private coaching, keynote speaking, workshop training, and hands-on consulting. Contact her or find her on LinkedIn and Twitter. A quick note: Check out her new 90-Day Revenue Reboot, if you are struggling with marketing.