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Be Prepared

I'm a former Boy Scout camp counselor and I was recently invited to a reunion. We hold them every two years to honor a man that was a mentor. For those who have heard me speak at events, you know about Sam. He impacted the lives of thousands in Wisconsin, but he has impacted others throughout the world with his energy, leadership and friendship. But this blog is not about Sam, but the invitation.

The Boy Scouts' motto is "Be Prepared." As an Eagle Scout, it is a part of my life. This weekend the Southeast was rocked with 54 tornadoes. At 2 a.m. Sunday, my weather radio went off, so we headed to the lower level of my home with a radio, flashlight, water and a few other items to wait out the all-clear. It was scary listening as all the surrounding cities were called out with the approaching storm. One tornado did touch ground about two miles away, but the news was good overall as we had very little damage in our area.

At 2:30 a.m., my neighbor called from Michigan. His alarm was going off and he wanted me to check out his home. Into the rain I went with my golf rain suit on, walking around his home and with his key and alarm code, I entered his house. (Like a good Boy Scout, I was prepared.) Good news: no damage at his home. 

So, what does have to do with you? As a sales leader, at end of the April or, for that matter, at anytime are you prepared? You may never know:  

... when a top performer might leave you. Are you advertising every 60 days for new salespeople on a regular basis? What is your pipeline for recruiting?

... when an expected and needed order fails to materialize. Do you have a clear understanding of your sales funnel ratios and a large enough number of sales opportunities to make up for the lost or postponed sale?

... when someone in marketing or your sales team does not execute a planned assignment that impacts your organization. Remember to inspect what you expect: Follow up, hold people accountable and double-check the details.

Comment here or send an e-mail to [email protected] on what other events could pop up that you may never know could occur that could impact your success and how you can prepare for them.

Be Prepared is a motto that says to be proactive, anticipate events and put yourself and your team in a position to be safe and to succeed. Have a great quarter -- are you prepared?

Ken Thoreson is managing director of the Acumen Management Group Ltd., a North American consulting organization focused on improving sales management functions within growing and transitional organizations. You can reach him at [email protected]. His blog also appears at

Posted by Ken Thoreson on April 28, 2010