Sales Coaching Blog

You are Tomorrow What You Plan for Today. Sales Plans.

Posted by Jaime Davis-Thomas

December 20, 2010

You are Tomorrow What You Plan for Today.

Tips for Sales Plans based on the book "Non-Harvard Business School Business Plan"

EcSELL Institute would like to thank our contributing author, Anthony Cole. Please enjoy this guest blog post! 

Our business is teaching all aspects of selling; sales management, sales training, sales development, sales techniques, sales plans.  Our business is selling. We sell every day, all day.  In this article I’m going to talk about business plans and sales plans, the first step toward sales success.

Jim is a construction insurance specialist who describes his job like this: “I do construction all day every day.”  The interesting thing about Jim and other successful sales people is that they are intentional in their pursuit of success and they make this clear to everyone they meet.  Jim starts with the end in mind and in his wallet he keeps a card with his five most important goals. Jim is all about planning and each time he opens his wallet, he is reminded of what he needs to do.

‘You are tomorrow what you plan for today’ is a signature line in my emails.  I don’t recall where I first read this, but I do know that it makes sense.  I also know that YOU know it makes sense and yet it is easy to forget these eight words of wisdom.

Are you familiar with the adage “You are a product of your thoughts, words and actions”?  As you think about your ‘current’ state and compare it to your desired state, are you where you want to be?

While this answer will be as different as each reader’s desired future, we all recognize that if we want to change our current state, we must plan for it.  It won’t happen for us.  It must be intentional. We must be intentional.

One day I will write a book called the Non Harvard Business School Business Plan.   Today I will give you a snippet from it, the outline of your Non Harvard School Business (Sales) Plan.  If you follow my future blog posts, I will provide further direction on building out each of the included components. I will also tell you how to execute these components to improve your probability of success.

Basic outline:

  1. Start with the end in mind.” – Steven Covey.  Identify EXACTLY what you want your sales business to be like on December 31, 2011.
  2. Provide metrics and standards that will give you specifics so that you are able to compare with objectivity.
  3. Set extra-ordinary standards for those metrics.  As Walt Disney said, “There is nothing in small dreams that stir the blood.”
  4. Identify activities that you have to execute on a consistent basis to be successful.  These must primarily be SALES activities.  What I call GREEN activities.  GREEN means GO, which means GO to the BANK.
  5. Have a process in place to manage yourself to accomplish your activity goals.  (Google The Growth Guy, Verne Harnish and “Huddles”)
  6. Report to someone who loves you and cares about your success. Someone who will kick you in the butt when you mess up.
  7. Identify rewards for success and consequences for failure.
  8. Make someone responsible for rewarding you for successes and executing on the consequences.  You won’t do this yourself.
  9. Check your progress monthly by reviewing your sales plan.
  10. Identify the segment(s) to which you will market and identify how you will access that market.
  11. Have a plan for getting introductions to prospects in this identified market.
  12. Identify obstacles in advance and prepare a strategy to deal with these and others that you might anticipate. 
  13. Understand and commit to the following statement: “Failure is not an option!” Write this on your bathroom mirror where you will see it daily.
  14. Identify resources you need to support your efforts.  Do not use lack of resources as an excuse.
  15. Have a Budget.  Sales people often miss this one.  Create a spreadsheet that clearly identifies your revenue inflows and out flows.  This is a business you are running. Run it like it is a business.
  16. Start mid – September.  In a couple of weeks I will follow up with further instructions in my blog.

One of the biggest mistakes made by companies and individuals is waiting until January to do business planning.  By then the New Year has started and the effects of your efforts won’t be seen for several months. By then you are behind.

What you are working on today determines your tomorrow.  What you do over the next 30 to 60 days will determine your sales success in the first quarter of next year.

Here are some resources that can help you

Sales Brew Audio Cards

Past Sales Brew Blog Posts

Create Your Prospecting Plan

EcSELL Institute's Sales Management Newsletter

EcSELL Institute's Sales Management Monthly Webinars

Sales Planning Pillar Overview and Research

Topics: sales planning, Planning, Sales Plans, Leadership & Management

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