Do You Pass or Fail The Sales Planning Test?

As summer draws to an end across North America, sales planning season for 2018 is rapidly approaching. Year over year many businesses FAIL to exceed their sales goals because they FAIL to develop highly effective sales plans.

Test your sales strategy by reflecting on these 5 key considerations:

 

1. No documented Sales Plan for the business and the individual sales managers –  FAIL

Many businesses claim they have a sales plan yet they fail to produce a document. So why do we need to document plans for the business and individuals? Because it provides greater focus, ensures agreed accountability and enables reflection and refinement.

Numerous studies have proven that businesses and individuals with a documented sales plan are 8 times more likely to achieve their sales targets.

 

2. Sales Plans are simply requested from each individual sales manager rather then determined through a collaborative sales planning meeting with the entire sales team – FAIL

Asking your sales manager to prepare their own sales plan for the year may seem like an engaging approach to planning, but are you limiting the real capacity/potential of your business?

Think about the value you can achieve by engaging ALL your sales managers in a collaborative sales planning session that leverages their collective experiences. The result is a far more comprehensive plan full of new ideas for sales success and new strategies to overcome challenges.

 

3. The Sales Plan simply identifies “WHAT” the growth targets are for each individual sales manager –  FAIL

Very few sales managers are actually motivated by targets alone. In some instances, simply giving your sales manager a target can be de-motivating – no matter how attractive the potential compensation.

Don’t assume that your sales managers know “HOW” to achieve the target – because if they did they would be achieving it year over year.

 

4. Your Sales Plan clearly outlines all the key (and most effective) sales activities required to reach growth targets –  PASS

We can improve people’s motivation by clarifying and coaching around “HOW” we expect them to achieve the targets we set them.

What’s important is that we explore as many hows as possible and then clarify exactly “HOW” we want people to behave and focus on achieving the target.

 

5. Your Sales Plan deliberately identifies “WHY” these targets and activities make sense and “WHY” the sales manager would be engaged –  PASS

Don’t also assume your people understand and buy in to why they need to achieve the target you’ve set them. Once again, if your people really understood why this performance improvement was important, wouldn’t they already be doing whatever it takes to achieve it?

Collaboratively agree on all the reasons “WHY” this is the best approach for the business and then better understand your sales manager’s personal reason for achieving success.

 

By considering (and effectively implementing) these 5 key considerations I guarantee you will develop a sales plan that is highly practical, engaging and, most importantly, achievable.

Contact me today at joe@growupsales.com for a free consultation on how you can create highly practical, engaging and achievable sales plans for your business and staff.

Article written by Joe Micallef – Sales Strategist & Coach – Grow UP Sales. For sales leadership coaching and guidance contact Joe at joe@growupsales.com or visit the webpage www.growupsales.com

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