Most people think they have to show their boss great results in order to make them happy. At face value that makes sense....Except that is not the only thing your boss wants.

Let's look at a few key departments for example: sales and finance. What does a VP of Sales want to know? Sales people think their leader wants to know one of two things:  1. What business has closed. 2. What business is in the pipeline.

Pipelines are overrated. Let's assume you are a good salesperson, then your boss knows you have a full pipeline. If you didn't, nothing would ever close. Pipelines are for BSing superiors and forecasting numbers. To say that "X" company can close in Q3 for $100,000 is just filling out a spreadsheet. It doesn't grow the salesperson or the strategy.

What should salespeople talk to their boss about? Who they met with. Whether or not they felt a connection which will lead to business. If anyone in the organization or in leadership knows anyone at the prospect company to help close it. What the buying process is of the company, and if they missed anything.

What does a VP of Sales want to hear? More importantly, what do they need to hear?

Who the competition is, and what they are doing. If you already know who they are, do you know why they are pitching and how they're presenting? What their cost structure is?

What is your buyer's true pain? What are they unhappy with? Most importantly, what does your buyer's boss want?

Now let's look at finance. Who are the end users of finance's product? The CEO, COO, VP of Sales and VP of HR.

While it may not be their "boss," those roles still act as their clients, and whether it's a financial analyst, Director of Finance, or a CFO, finance needs to know what these departments need in order to do their jobs effectively.

What were the costs to deliver "x" to the client? What  percent of sales is our payroll?

How much did the incentive trip really cost, and what percent of profit did those employees produce in the following quarter?

What is the ROI from client entertaining? What percent of profit was the salesperson's T&E?

How can we calculate salaries of departments to figure out succession planning and target compensation?

What percent profit does the CEO want to see? Would the CEO want to see net profit per client or just gross profit?

How can HR and department heads know the competency of their staff based on financial metrics?

Big data isn't just client facing data any longer. It's an internal scorecard to figure out what people need inside an organization in order to make things happen. If you want to make your boss happy, think about what they need in order to do their job better. It may not always be what they ask for, but it may be what you both need in order to succeed.