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Planning for the Second Half of the Year

Last week, after meeting with a new client, I laid out a project plan to identify the various challenges we need to address to increase the performance of the entire company. One of the first items was the lack of accurate monthly forecasting by the sales team and the lack of accountability of the sales leadership team.

Since it is June and the company is on a calendar basis, we decided to begin to change the culture and improve performance by having each salesperson create a six-month personal business plan for themselves. However, instead of simply asking for a WAG forecast, I created a special format. Each salesperson has three weeks to fine-tune their personal business plan, gain their sales manager's approval and then be ready to present it at the second-half Sales Kickoff Meeting in July.

The plan should include both personal and professional components. This is the summary list of the various sections:

  1. Personal objectives for the period.
  2. Personal income goals.
  3. Training needs (sales, industry, product/service, operations).
  4. Forecast by various segments, depending upon your industry. Normally three times quota.
  5. Maximum revenue, most likely and minimum projected revenues.
  6. Activity goals by measured actions.
  7. Salesperson's networking strategy.
  8. Salesperson's marketing plans.
  9. Personal commitment statements to the success of the company, to the sales team and to themselves.

The results of this approach are amazing. The plans are a little rough the first time they are created, but after salespeople redo them in December (review their plan, their actual achievements and then present their new plan in front of the entire sales team or sometimes the management team), they become fully aware of their commitments and plans. This approach moves the sales team to a proactive approach versus a reactive approach. It shouldn't take the salesperson more than two hours to create their plan.

The real value of this program is when the sales manager then has a plan that the salesperson committed to and provides the basis for a monthly "review."

Let me know your thoughts on this concept -- do you use something else? Or do you want a sample salesperson personal business plan? Send me an e-mail or leave a comment below.

Posted by Ken Thoreson on June 04, 2012 at 11:59 AM


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