We’re into the second half of the year – have you looked at your Plan in a While?
Business plans and account plans – some people have them, some don’t. I think it’s a big mistake to start the year without a plan – but how many of us are actually following the plan?
The Halfway mark is a good time to review where you are.
In most cases, the sales people in my coaching programs have some sort of account plan. The problem is, their company has made the process so cumbersome that the resulting plan is unusable. The result is, no one ever follows the plan.
If this is the case, I recommend getting your own plan together – about 2 pages long is the right size to create something usable.
Why is a Plan Important?
There are lot’s of reasons to have a plan. I spent my weekend conducting a business planning workshop for my Mastery Group. We started Thursday night over a meal at my favorite Chinese restaurant in Charlotte, NC (Wan Fu), and worked all the way through Saturday to complete it. Why so long? It’s Important…
The plan does at least 4 important things:
1. It provides Focus and Direction. Whether you’re running a company or division, or selling into a territory or major account, the plan is what gives you the quarterly and weekly focus you need. Every Monday I review my 90 day plan. 90 days goes by like a long weekend in my business – so focus is important. I have set out about 5 critical initiatives – anything from getting into a certain account to developing a new product. While keeping up with current opportunities and maintaining close communication with my clients, I want to make sure these things get done. Those without a plan tend to get caught up in unnecessary paperwork and meetings. The plan reminds me each week, as I plan my week, that I am here to serve my client base and develop new business. Everything else is secondary.
2. It Serves as a Filter. When opportunities come along that sound good, it’s important to have a filter to run them through. The plan does just that. With a well developed mission statement, I can review the current opportunity to see if it builds on what I am doing or just creates a new distraction. Everyone needs this type of filter in place.
3. It Prioritizes Your Time. Having written down my goals – I know what is important. Having these priorities in place forces me to spend my time on the things that matter first. Everything else goes on what I refer to as, “The Grass Catcher List”. It’s a list of things I write on a large yellow sticky note attached to Saturday in my DayTimer planner. (Yes, I still have paper planner.)
4. It Measures and Corrects. Written right into my plan are what I call “Smart Numbers”. These are metrics I am tracking each week. In our planning workshop we looked at each of our businesses to determine what three numbers are important to track over the 90 day period. One number I suggest many of you start tracking is your proposal close rate. Is it 80% or more like 20%. If you’re not tracking it, chances are it’s lower than you think it is. Putting some focus on it just might allow you to identify where the breakdown is and how to improve it. Imagine if 80% of your proposals really did close? How much would that be worth to you?
© 2014, David Stelzl
P.S. You can get a free copy of my Audio Program on Closing 90% of Your Proposal Right here – it’s free (Along with 3 other important CDs – valued at $97, all you pay is shipping. Plus, I will give you 30 days free access to the SVLC Insider’s Circle where you can pick up a copy of my Proposal Template in Word Format. (CLICK to get you copy of “Closing 90% of Your Proposals”)