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Your Second-Quarter Plan

It's the middle of March -- are you ready for the second quarter?

For many of my clients, we have each member of the sales team prepare a six-month business plan and a shorter quarterly action plan. As I was preparing a client audit today, I realized it was time for this client's sales team to evaluate their performance.

The six-month sales business plan is much more than a simple sales forecast. It's a tool designed to help the salesperson set goals and objectives in a variety of areas. The quarterly action plan is a more tactical plan to execute on key actions to achieve the goals from the business plan.

There are several aspects to this systematic approach to coaching a team:

  • First, the team must prepare and believe in the plan/document they are using. This normally does not always happen until the first formal review period when they see results (or lack of results) versus their plan.
  • Second, the sales manager must have a monthly discussion with each salesperson about their actual performance versus the plan.
  • Third, the plan must include the necessary actions to improve overall performance.
  • Fourth, the two plans must be designed to work together and not conflict.

In building either plan, consider these key elements:

  • What training and development programs are important to reinforce?
  • What prospecting and activity goals are important to manage?
  • What revenue/margin goals need a focus?
  • What account or territory-intelligence and relationship-building is important?

What are you using to build a more systematic approach to hitting your objectives? What did I miss?

Posted by Ken Thoreson on March 10, 2014 at 1:19 PM