Every one of the above processes and tactical management activities need to be done well so that salespeople are assured of meeting their targets. These processes and skills will need to be built into the detailed plans to be created for each sales territory, and into the individual daily actions and activities planned by salespeople. The following section gives examples of some outline plans that may be created based on the goals, objectives and strategies we have discussed so far.
The Planning Process
This section outlines some potential plans that could sit underneath the examples we have covered above. It will help us to create effective plans if we recall the lines: ‘I keep six honest serving-men (they taught me all I knew); their names are What and Why and When; and How and Where and Who’ – by Rudyard Kipling over 100 years ago and probably based on Hermagoras of Temnos from 2,000 years earlier.
In creating our goals and objectives, we have already addressed the question of ‘Why’ we are committing to these actions, so in our plans we can focus on the remaining five honest serving men. When building up your plan, don’t worry if you can’t think of an entry to put against one or two of the five headings; these are just guidelines and you need to remain flexible so that your plans reflect the reality of your own circumstances. Our example will start with goal number one:
Goal 1: Identify new Business
Objective 1: Identify new leads and prospects for $43,000
Strategy 1: Sell new product-4 to existing customers mainly in the telecommunications sector and to new prospect ‘Omega’.
Who – Salesperson ‘A’
What – training in Product-4
How – internal company course, plus briefing from Telcom section
When – next available slot is 10 Feb
Where – venue is our London office.
Who – Sales Director and Salesperson ‘A’
What – qualification of prospects and weekly contact results
How – diarised review meetings, with agendas and notes of actions
When – every Monday at 08:30
Where – conference room 2.
Goal 2: Win the Pipeline
Objective 1: chase the full $300,000 currently in the pipeline.
Strategy 1: focus Salesperson ‘B’ on key account ‘Y’ to win $100k
Who – Salesperson ‘B’
What – understand strategic business direction of account ‘Y’
How – create good relationship with the new CEO at account ‘Y’
When – meet in Feb, then invite CEO to briefing and social event
Where – London.
Goal 3: Defend Contracted but in Jeopardy
Objective 1: chase the full $16,000 currently contracted.
Strategy 1: focus salesperson ‘C’ on key account ‘Z’ to win $10k
Who – salesperson ‘C’
What – ensure contracts are signed on time
How – work with Finance to resolve the delays in credit checking
When – before end of February
Where – Finance function in Nottingham.
Goal 4: Maintain Contracted and Assured
Objective 1: pursue the full $22,000 contracted
Strategy 1: focus salesperson ‘B’ on key account ‘X’ to deliver $15k
Who – Salesperson ‘B’
What – ensure payment of $5k and delivery of runrate $10k
How – review delivery schedules and resolve quality concerns
When – before the UK Budget speech 21 March
Where – customer’s premises.
From Plans – to Actions
To build up your own plan, you will need to continue in the appropriate level of detail the process described in the guidelines above. You may not need to have an entry against every one of the five headings, as you will want to remain flexible so that your plans take full account of your own business circumstances. Once your plan is agreed, you will be ready to move into the last GOSPA category of ‘Actions’. This module will not try to cover your individual daily actions and activities as sales people. These need to be determined by you and your sales management, based on the plans you will have agreed using our guidelines.
The Review Process
The final element is the review process within the RDC Sales Target Assurance Planning cycle. None of us can expect to be successful if we don’t review our progress and adjust our course as we go forward. The business world changes rapidly and we need to be agile if we are to achieve our targets. We therefore need to build time into our schedule to monitor what’s going on around us and to review all aspects of our approach:
~ Goals are usually set annually in advance and reviewed every six months.
~ Objectives are best set annually in advance and reviewed quarterly, reconfirming that the objectives are still ‘SMART’: Specific, Measurable, Agreed, Realistic and Time-Based.
~ Strategies are usually set twice a year and reviewed quarterly in accordance with the objectives.
~ Plans and actions are best set quarterly and reviewed monthly – or as you get towards the end of the sales year, you might find it advisable to set them monthly and review daily.
If you keep all these things under review and take appropriate action when needed, then you will breathe life into your planning cycle and be in much better shape to achieve your targets.
This blog is an extract from ‘Sales Target Assurance Planning,’ by Alan McCarthy and Steve Hay, of the Resource Development Centre LTD. Please follow our blog to read more or visit www.rdc-uk.com to learn more about RDC. If you are interested in any of our training materials such as books/eBooks and video, please visit www.rdcpublishing.com.