The Coaching Effect Blog

Five Planning Tips for Sales Leaders

Posted by Bill Eckstrom

October 4, 2012

describe the imageBudgeting, strategic thinking, historic analysis, trending… and don’t forget to close the year strong! These activities and expectations consume the thoughts and actions of most sales leaders as we enter the final quarter of the year.

Below are five sales management planning tips the EcSELL Institute states will prove to be more effective than traditional planning methods.

1.Strategic thinking—is not just reserved for the C Suite.  Everyone on your team has thoughts and ideas.  Hold a team meeting, including reps, managers and execs, where the topic should be “forward thinking strategies”.  Handled the proper way, you will receive more actionable thoughts than if it were an “exec only” meeting.

2. Setting goals—ask every sales rep, manager, executive to set their own goals, don’t give them their goals.  The vast majority of the time, when goals are created by the individual they exceed what is needed from the company.

3. Understand all goals—take the time to discover not just the professional, but also the personal goals of everyone on your team.  How can you help those on your team “make progress”, without understanding why they are working with you?  Use a form such as this to discover how to motivate those on your team.

4. Plans—if you who want more structure to your plans, create a planning template for your sales reps.  This will insure all topics you deem pertinent to performance are covered.  Having said that, don’t hesitate to give them a blank canvas, for you may learn a better way…

5. Sales management plans—most organizations have two types of plans; one for senior leadership, and one for the reps.  What about the layer in between?  All sales manager/leaders should create a plan that outlines how they will hit their number.  Make sure all items that impact performance are covered:

    1. Talent I.D. and Acquisition

    2. Sales Methodology and Skills Development

    3. Analytics and Performance Tracking

    4. Professional Development

    5. Compensation/Recognition/Rewards

    6. Planning (you should be doing this now!)

There is no greater way to plan than capturing the collective power of your entire team.  Research proves that a plan only created with the input of a single person will not be as powerful or effective as one created by the collective.

Topics: Sales Planning

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