Author: Casey O'Connor
In my position I carry a variety of roles, so obviously I need to buy a bunch of software solutions to do all the things! Right? Wrong. So many times not knowing what I needed to do a certain job, I would open a search engine.... describe what I was trying to do in a "HOW DO I..." format and look for my answer in the top links. In the interest of time, my next step would be to purchase a la cart software program to do one thing... This does pay off sometimes because if a company only makes one program it's gotta be good, right? Well, usually yes. But then I have to pay for and upkeep multiple licenses and worse whatever I made doesn't talk to the other things I have so my own work becomes silo'd. The result would end up with me having crucial information living in my email I then must divvy out to separate programs that don't interact easily, or in some cases not at all.
My work today has me juggling many roles. One of which is Account Manager putting me between client and developers where I balance interpretation, documentation, and training. For example, when a client's process has multiple steps I will jump on a call with clients myself and the developers. We take the client processes in place today and translate them to a digital format. Capturing this exchange can be a challenge, however, I have found that recording a meeting session would be a perfect reference point. Getting this done was a challenge at times or potentially expensive having to use many different programs to bring this seemingly simple task altogether.
I was on the lookout for business tools to help me better serve my clients, it turned out that I already have included in my O365 plan. So I started using Teams to hold and record meetings, Stream to manage my recordings and then SWAY to go back to create SOP's for my clients. Why this is significant to me is I'm already paying for all of these with Microsoft Office365 Business Premium.
So the short and sweet answer I have come to find is this... work-life demands a lot from you sometimes, however, I can successfully balance it demands if I have the right tools to prioritize and execute.
My Business premium doesn't have ALL the tools I need, but it has most and the good news is that when I need to bring several solutions together, Teams lets me create an organized space for collaboration of my office products and third-party solutions and PEOPLE.
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.
Our Blogs are Authored by various members of the NEALABC team.