Sales Leadership: Planning for the Second Half of the Year
Sales Leadership: June 4th, 2012 , By Ken Thoreson, Acumen Management Group
Last week after meeting with a new client I started to lay out a project plan and identify the various challenges we need to address to increase the performance of the entire company. One of the first items we needed to address 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 they are on a calendar basis, I made the decision that we would begin to change the culture and begin to 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 and now each salesperson has 3 weeks to fine-tune the Personal Business Plan, gain their sales managers approval and then be ready to present it at the July, second half Sales Kick Off Meeting.
The plan should include both personal as well as professional components. This is the summary list of the various sections:
- Personal objectives for the period
- Personal income goals
- Training needs: sales, industry, product/service, operations
- Forecast by various segments (depending upon your industry)-normally 3 times quota
- Maximum revenue, most likely and minimum projected revenues
- Activity goals by measured actions
- Salesperson’s networking strategy
- Salesperson’s marketing plans
- Personal commitment statements: to the success of the company, to the sales team and to themselves.
If you haven’t used this approach, the result is amazing, the first time they are created the plans are a little rough, but when they have to re-do them again in December, they will review their plan, their actual achievements and then present their new plan in front of the entire sales team (sometimes the Mgmt Team), they become fully aware of their commitments and plans. This approach moves the sales team to working on a Pro-Active Approach vs a Re-Active Approach. It shouldn’t take the salesperson more than two hours to create their plan.
The real value of this program is the sales manager then has a plan that the salesperson committed too and it provides the basis for a monthly “review”.
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