Movin' The Needle: Prep for the 57 Days Left in 2010

Posted by Lynton Web Team on Thu, Oct 07, 2010

1. Take this Weekend

Let's not make a big task out of this exercise. Take a few hours very early in the morning this Saturday to lay out every day that you have available between next Monday, the 11th and December 31st. Use your Outlook calendar for this or create a new Excel grid that you will be forced to look at multiple times a day. I like Outlook just because it's how I organize my days and months, but whatever you use, it needs to be constantly (and annoyingly) visible to you. Since my Outlook aligns in real time with my SFDC, I can never escape from what needs to be done, which is a good thing!

Color code the time you absolutely do not have available: the holidays for example and any time that you know that you're kidding yourself by saying that you can sell or manage your salespeople that day. Use a different color to allocate time (hopefully the weekends, but that's not totally practical) that you know that you'll need to set aside for 2011 planning-more time for sales managers, maybe two half days for the hunters to create Q1 account plans. A different color for your Q4 customer trips of more than a day, and the final color for what's left.

What you then have is a heat map that you can now refine in terms of what's available to you for qualifying, actual selling and closing time. Right away, you'll visually see what you're up against, and, most probably, the necessity to rebalance your time and most probably rebalance the accounts you are working with.


If there is any time when Key Account Plans pay off, it's right now at the beginning of Q4. Let the 80/20 rule apply here, focus and detail out no more than 5-8 major opportunities in both new prospects and existing customers where you or your team can personally move the needle. And, drop the stupid little accounts that are not going to move the needle between now and December. You just do not have the time!

Take these KAPS down to the lowest common denominator in terms of details and lock them into your CRM system and then work them every single day. 80/20 may actually be 90/10 as a result of this exercise.

One more hint on the use of KAPS in Q4. Since there are only a few, once you have them done, call up your prospect or existing customer and review them with your Champion at the account. Why not? If the account truly deserves a KAP, you should already have the Trusted Partner relationship that everything you're planning on should be explainable to the prospect. If it isn't then you either don't really have that relationship or the prospect is not really a Key Account, and you can tighten your focus even more.

3. Work at Keeping Healthy

This period of the next 57 days is a time which will require you to operate at 100% efficiency. I don't want to be totally mothering here, but there's a lot to be said about getting early flu shots, eating well, washing your hands continuously, maxing out on vitamins and avoiding colleagues who have colds, flu or whatever. Hard enough to work around this with your kids coming home from school every day and your interaction with hundreds of co-workers; therefore, all the more reason to be extra cautious. 57 minus 10 days out for being even partially sick becomes real ugly.

Good Selling! It's going to be a great quarter. !

Head Coach

Tags: sales, sales management, sales management effectiveness, sales effectiveness, sales management training, sales training, business planning, business coaching, sales optimication