Strategic Alignment

How Goal Setting Helped Salesforce.com Grow into a $40B SaaS Giant

By David Jackson
June 1, 2015
3 minute read

We’ve written several blog posts and even shared an ebook about how the Objectives-Key Results (OKRs) model is used to focus employees on the right goals at companies such as Google, LinkedIn, and Zynga.But the OKRs methodology certainly isn’t the only effective alignment strategy out there. Salesforce.com is succeeding just fine with its own management approach, called V2MOM, an acronym that stands for vision, values, methods, obstacles, and measures.While at Oracle, salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff experienced the challenges of driving a growth team. He said, “I struggled with the fact that there was no written business plan or formal communication process during our growth phase.” The more people Benioff managed, the more he wanted to spell out and simply communicate what needed to be done. So after consulting others and seeing similarities in their plans with his own work, Benioff developed V2MOM.He describes the process in this way: “V2MOM enabled me to clarify what I was doing and communicate it to the entire company as well.

  • The vision helped us define what we wanted to do.
  • The values established what was most important about that vision; it set the principles and beliefs that guided it (in priority).
  • The methods illustrated how we would get the job done by outlining the actions and the steps that everyone needed to take.
  • The obstacles identified the challenges, problems, and issues we would have to overcome to achieve our vision.
  • Finally, the measures specified the actual result we aimed to achieve; often this was defined as a numerical outcome.”

In combination, V2MOM gives salesforce.com a detailed map of where it is going, as well as a compass to direct it there. According to Benioff, “V2MOM is an exercise in awareness in which the result is total alignment.” He provides more detail about the process in the salesforce.com playbook, “Behind the Cloud.” Interestingly, salesforce.com has been using V2MOM and Google has been using OKRs for about the same length of time.We are fortunate here at BetterWorks to have colleagues and friends with first-hand V2MOM experience and their input is vital for making our enterprise goal management solution work effectively for companies adopting V2MOM and other management processes. V2MOM goals cascade throughout the organization as employees set goals in agreement with their managers. Where things become a bit challenging, and where BetterWorks can make a huge difference, is in the areas of transparency and accountability.Based on Goal Science™ thinking, here are five ways that BetterWorks enhances V2MOM and other management processes:

  • Better connections: Our solution makes it easy for all goals to be connected—up, down, and across the organization–and then makes goals and connections easy to scan by anyone in the organization.
  • Continuous support: Because everyone can quickly see everyone else’s goals (and how they’re connected), employees can also easily support others’ efforts using social features like comments, nudges, and cheers.
  • Progress-based learning: Employees don’t have to wait until the end of a quarter to show progress toward achievements; big and small wins (as well as failures, which provide learning experiences) are continually captured in real time.
  • Adaptable focus: As priorities or goals shift, our platform enables employees and managers to easily refine goals and refocus efforts to get the right work done.
  • Aspirational thinking: BetterWorks delivers the visibility that organizations need to set and monitor stretch goals.

A flexible enterprise goals platform benefits managers because they have more data to inform decisions, change priorities, and more effectively execute. It also provides employees with a way to better align their goals with others, while providing personal motivation via a social contract to accomplish the goals they’ve agreed upon with their managers.Because we want companies to be able to use our goals platform with the systems they already rely on and trust, we recently integrated with Salesforce  to bring critical data to BetterWorks automatically.SalesforceBeyond V2MOM and OKRs, we know there are other alignment strategies and our goal is to improve them by providing a single, easy to use platform for setting, measuring and cross-functionally aligning goals.If your business uses a unique process, leave a comment and tell us about it. We’d love to work with you to make it better.

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