This past fall we were consulting with a CEO who was myopically focused on short-term results. He said, “The pipeline is empty, we need more business opportunities right now!”
He gathered his sales and marketing organization and tried to develop a short-term action plan to supercharge developing leads and driving them to closure immediately.
It was a futile effort with unrealistic expectations. The results were predictable, nothing of note happened, other than a lot of wasted energy.
The story is unfortunately repeated all too frequently. Focus on short-term results with “ready fire aim” mentality only leads to the day of reckoning when the pipeline is empty, and business objectives are not in alignment with sales performance.
What is the answer? As it was in the past and today, very simply, strategic sales planning!
Strategic sales planning as a viable business tool is often an anathema to small and medium-sized businesses as being unwieldy, constrictive, and time-consuming.
The reality is sales organizations with formal sales plans are exponentially more likely to meet their company’s long, mid and short-term performance expectations.
The key is a sales plan that clearly states the sales organization’s objectives, goals, and critical activities. These are then translated and distilled down to each sales professional with individualized plans, that in total equal the sales organization’s overall metrics.
The process is simple, flexible and logical. It has built-in performance management benchmarks and flexibility to modified tactics given marketplace variations.
As a side note, this planning process is one of the primary functions of any sales manager and becomes their roadmap for accountability and success.
It is never too late to start strategic sales planning, give NEALABC a call for a free sales planning assessment.