The Say it, Share it, Do it BUSINESS PLAN

I was recently asked what CRM system I would recommend for motivating and holding sales accountable.  My answer is simple.  Sometimes you have to revert to tried and true methodologies that have worked for years and there is nothing slick about it.   It is called a Business Plan.

1.  I recommend a business plan tailored to what you are asking for. There are zillions of BP templates out there...... however, give your team breadth to be innovative.

2.  Put the key points into a .ppt presentation including the following 5 points:
  • Where they are now
  • Where they want to end up
  • What it is going to take to get there
  • What you plan to accomplish in the next 30-60-90 days
  • Top 10 Accounts
  • Top 10 Prospects
3. Have each one of your reps present to the following audience:
  • Sales colleagues
  • Sales Management
  • Operations Executive (who has to implement/deliver)
  • Executive Sponsor (CEO, President is ideal)
4. Print Business Plan to hand out
5. 10 Minutes to present and 10 Minutes for        Q&A
6. Rules of engagement that it is proactive with no complaining (solutions to obstacles only)
7. Have the audience vote on the best presentation -- present in front of as many people as possible with a certificate they can post (sales reps thrive on competition and showmanship).
8. The sales manager uses the Business Plan as a coaching tool, referencing often during periodic one-on-ones

9. Display charts: Budget, Forecast (from Business Plan), +/- from target

10. Do over again in a year's time with same format, except include where they projected where they'd be and where they ended up for "where they are now"

Tools like CRMs are for "Customer Relationship Management" and shouldn’t be mixed up with a “Sales Management” tools.  Nor are they sales motivation or accountability tools. Sometimes you just need to use the traditional approach.  You can't get much closer to accountability than this method.

A) Write it
B) Say it out loud
C) Share it with others
D) Review It

Motivation is an entirely separate topic on its own.  However, you can’t get much closer to boosting it when you ask your reps to put it in writing, share it.  Don’t forget to review it throughout the year!   Too often, sales reps are asked to do up a business plan that is only shared with the Sales Manager once and then it gets filed away.  How you roll it out, who you involve, and how often you review it communicates seriousness.

You may also be pleasantly surprised at how operations and your executive sponsor react and buy in to the plans …. It’s amazing how new solutions surface!