How to Execute Your Sales Plan Effectively (Must-Have Sales Conversations – Part 8 of 8)
As Bruce Lee noted…
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply…. Willing is not enough, we must do”
The 8th and final must-have conversation is all about defining your most valuable and important activities. Once you know what those are, you must also find ways to hold yourself accountable for consistently prioritising and executing the right activities, at the right times, with the right people.
Accountability and discipline are generally NOT fun. But that doesn’t mean they’re not important. Top performers don’t have more hours in their days. Top performers face the same fears, challenges and problems that other poorer performing salespeople around them face. More often than not, the only major difference is their ability to do what needs to be done on a consistent daily basis.
Identify and prioritise the most important activities
As a starting point we need to identify what the highest value and most important activities are. Our seven conversations so far, should have highlighted these. Consider where you think your sales growth will come from and based on that, write out what activities you think you need to do MORE of, what activities you need to do BETTER and what activities you may need to START doing.
As a simple example, to achieve my growth targets in 2019, I’ve identified the need to do MORE online sharing of these Vlogs to expand my audience. I know I need to be BETTER at converting interest in these Vlogs, into requests for speaking at conferences. And I also need to START doing more open webinars on sales skill topics, to create interest in our growth academy online and the video skills programs we offer.
What do you need to do MORE, BETTER and START doing?
Once you’ve identified your options you need to create time and space. That means you need to let go of activities and habits that are not supporting sale growth. The fascinating thing for me in observing top performers globally is that these people are more defined by what they won’t and don’t do rather than what they do.
What so you need to STOP doing or do LESS of?
Do you need to stop checking your email and social media every minute to create better mental health and focus? Do you need to stop reading the paper or listening to radio news in the morning? Do you need to stop offering discounts before they’re requested by a prospective customer? All of us have at least one thing we need to do less of or stop doing all together.
Measure activity levels and impact
Now that we’ve identified what activities are going to make the biggest difference, we need to figure out how we’re going to measure activity levels and impact. We need to make sure we’re getting the activity done each day, but we also need to make sure we have a plan for figuring out whether we’ve chosen the right activity to focus on.
How will you measure whether you’re actually getting things done? I’m looking at a spreadsheet with the number of communications I’ve executed with prospects for our next conference. I’m also looking at a whiteboard that’s telling me how many tickets we’ve sold to our kick off event in February. And those two measures in front of my face are motivating me to finish this Vlog so I can do a few more calls before the day ends.
Discipline is not a magic skill. It’s just a conscious awareness of current activity and results that can be immediately compared to the activity and results you’re committed to as part of your growth plan.
Once you’ve figured out your measurement strategies, make sure you consider your environment and whether that’s promoting a disciplined and efficient approach to executing your plan. My screen saver has a picture of me in the snow because I’ve attached achieving my sales growth targets to being able to spend 2 months in the snow this season. When I make outbound calls and social, I clear off my desk and turn off my email, so my environment supports focused activity. I work off a list that’s on paper because I personally find it easier to hand write notes along the way and update electronically later.
Are there any changes in your environment that would enable you to be more efficient and effective?
Get some coaching
Finally, have a think about where you can get some coaching. Is there a third party that can hold you accountable? Is there a colleague or another friend you have in sales that you respect and would commit to catching up on a regular basis? Ideally you would get this sort of coaching from your Sales Manager or boss but that’s not easy if you’re a one-person business or the boss with a sales target.
If you do have a boss, I challenge you to share the plan with them and create specific moments each week to report in. Make sure the conversation goes beyond the pure sales results you’re achieving and focuses on the quantity and quality of activity you achieve each week and ideally each day.
As I said before, discipline, scoring yourself and accountability are not fun. But they do matter. If we want to achieve a disciplined, effective and efficient approach to sales growth we need to be measuring, monitoring and paying attention to our results on a daily basis. The question to get this conversation going is “What are the 3 most valuable leading or lagging indicators of success and how can I measure, monitor and hold myself accountable with these?”
Wow – that’s the 8th must-have conversation and the end of this 10-part series on planning for your sales kick off and ensuring it includes the conversations that will make the biggest difference to sales growth in the coming year. I’ve really enjoyed putting all of this down on paper and video and I hope it’s inspired you and empowered you to have your best sales year ever.
Make sure you also check out the complete series here:
And remember, if you’re doing a major kick off, please speak to my team about having me along as a conference presenter.
If you’re an individual salesperson or have a small sales team come along to our Sales Kick Off event on February 12th. All the details are on the website and there’s even a competition to win over $12000 worth of sales training.
Here’s to a better sales life and a better kick off for you and your people.