Truth be told, I had a love/hate relationship going through this process. I loved visiting with the sales management team and gathering thoughts and ideas, I loved analyzing the metrics to understand what we should affect. However, I had a great disdain for putting all those plans on paper. Below are a few best practices as you prepare for the coming year.
Use Leadership/Management and the 6 Pillars as your headings. Think about it this way, 87% of Sales Managers believe they encompass everything that drives productivity, so sales leaders better account for them in their planning process. The objective of the plan is to put in writing how you will achieve your objectives in a measurable fashion, which would than indicate the need to address the following:
- Talent identification and acquisition-absolutely, unequivocally, find the best way to hire and promote top talent
- Professional development-don't just hope your team makes progress towards their professional objectives, help them make it happen
- Analytics-only track what you can affect, and be efficient as possible with numbers
- Compensation/Recognition/Rewards-don't kid yourself into thinking money isn't a top motivator, likewise, don't kid yourself into thinking money is the only motivator
- Planning-what you need to create is not the only component of this Pillar, how often will you gather and strategize with your sales management team?
- Sales methodology and sales skills development-figure out if you have the most effective method for your products and services, but also make plans to work on how your reps execute the method.
- Leadership and Management development-too oft overlooked. Science would prove this has such a significant affect on production, so do something to make sure you and your team grows with these critical skills.
Take control of everything that affects your production (within reason), make sure you can track the progress (is it measurable), put it in writing and refer to it often.