I love dark days and black ice!

Problems in sales I've lived in Vermont for a very long time.  At various times, that has been for a few years, but most of the time, it's back and forth every week driving the triangle between my tiny VT town of 729 people, the NH beach where I live, and Boston or Tufts where I work.  A bit of driving, but I love what I do, and as a New Englander, I've learned the realities of living in the winta' with dark days and black ice.  As a snowboarder, I will often meet people on the chairlift on one of those very few perfect blue-sky days who would talk about how wonderful it would be to live full time in Vermont. Since I've done that twice in my life-plus my family has lived in this valley for 7 generations-I always point out with my best artificial Vermont accent... "looks beautiful today on a perfect Saturday with beautiful people on the slopes, but it ain't this way most dark days in January".



Gotta Love the Rhythm 

  • There's always the seasonal rhythm, and winta' is always going to be dark and cold in NE!
  • There's also the rhythm of business, and January will always require sales plans! 

Debating the NE winta' compared to the summa' is trivial by comparison to the rhythm of business, but it does provide a healthy if slightly tedious conversation path of getting through January and February. My personal attitude is that the weatha' is what it is, and I can either be positive and use my Vermont grandfather's phrase that there's no such thing as bad weatha', only bad clothes, or I can be miserable and grumpy for 25 percent of the year, which is, I remind myself, 25% of my life.  I choose to be positive, so I end up burying myself even more intently into our sales and marketing consulting work and into our entrepreneurship center at Tufts.

Thinking through the rhythm of business...

I know from years of data, hundreds and hundreds of company examples and thousands of salespeople, that everything we put into detailed tactical planning in January and February will pay off in the second quarter, which I regard as the most important quarter of the year. It's this time of the year in the rhythm of annual B2B sales planning that the large-scale strategies are brought down to the street level by creating detailed monthly and quarterly tactical planning. It's this level of detail that defines every "A" level salesperson.  Those superstars have...

  • detailed week-by-week action plans continuously updated in their CRM 
  • 30-60-90 day Key Account Plans for the 20% of accounts that will bring in 80% of quota
  • detailed playbooks for each of their primary products . 

it's All About the Planning

As anyone knows who has followed this blog for a while, I'm a devoted student of the teachings of Sun Tzu, and as I think about my own planning for the rest of this month even with only a few more days, I am reminded this morning of...

Those who are victorious plan effectively and change decisively. They are like a great river that maintains its course but adjusts its flow...they have form but are formless. They are skilled in both planning and adapting and need not fear the result of a thousand battles: for they win in advance, defeating those that have already lost.


Rhythm of business-5-3I certainly don't have the creds of Sun Tzu or even his ability to put into a few words the summation of his successful battle practices.  Instead, I just updated last year's edition of "Writing the Winning Sales Plan", which you can download by clicking here which will then bring you to our sales productivity web page. 


You can download there...or just connect with me at anytime at jack@derbymanagement.com. 

The bottom line for this cold and rainy day in Boston is that if you can prioritize the detailing of creating individual sales plans for your own team members and the creation of playbooks on your own part as the manager, I will guarantee you a successful 2024!   

Have a great day selling today and a superb weekend! 

Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts.


Tags: Sales Optimization, Sales Best Practices, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2024 Sales Planning, 2024 Business Planning