We're always constrained by time...or more accurately, the lack of it and the accompanying pressures of the lack of time!
We think about it! We plan everything around it! We're constantly checking our phones, our watches, our calendars and everything else that defines our digital and analog worlds, and it always seems "there's never enough" and that we're "runnin' out of time"... all the time!
Ok, so we all know that time itself is finite. It might be too long or way too short, but it's always going to be bound by nanoseconds, days, months quarters and years. I have on a very visible shelf of my bookcase here in the office, a fossilized Nautiloid that is approximately 400 million years old just so that I can be frequently reminded to put into perspective the contributions of a 100-year life and my 18-hour workdays. Most importantly, what I've come to realize about time is that I and you need to love what I do, and at this advanced time in my life, I simply love to work, to teach and to build companies.
For those of us who sell stuff and manage others who sell stuff, there is always a daily, monthly, and, in the world of most businesses, the all-important quarterly clock that places points on the board. We measure and are measured by others in comparison numbers to our quotas and what we are currently doing balanced against the metrics of last quarter or last year and a long list of other blocks of time. For example, this coming Monday provides us with 9 more days left in the all-important second quarter, which is going to be interpreted by each of us as "just" or "not enough" or "plenty of". I find that each of those words are typically defined by just how well a salesperson actually plans their own time over a longer period, but, in general, unfortunately most salespeople do not plan their time very well!
- We get caught up in the complexities of selling without a formal sales process
- We too often end up doing the job of what Marketing or Service should be doing
- We simply do not take the time to plan out the 20 key selling days in any month
As a test of this, ask any salesperson today to show you their plan for the next 9 days or what their detailed plan looks like for July, and too often the response will be "I'm working on it". This is not because salespeople do not work hard. It's the exact opposite in that too many salespeople simply work without a detailed weekly, monthly and quarterly workplan.
A 30-60-90 Day Plan
Right now, all of us are focused on finishing the Q and then most probably our primary focus will be on what we're going to be doing for the 4th! Next weekend, on the 25th, is actually a perfect time to rough out the architecture of what a broad outline of your 90-day sales plan would look like.
- How many actual selling days will there be in each month?
- Then, subtract your own vacation days
- Then, subtract days immediate to the 4th and Labor Day
- Be realistic about Fridays in the summer
- Blend in your business travel schedules for July and August
- Take out time for sales training and standard weekly/monthly sales meetings
Now plan out what you have left around your own quota and specific sales objectives for the quarter. That's the easier part. Then take what's left and break that available time down into weekly plans based on your specific monthly quota objectives. That's where the rubber hits the road! For more details, click on our "Writing the Winning Sales Plan in 2022", or just connect directly with me at any time for some quick pointers of how to do this.
To put work/life balance of time into perspective, here's an interesting article from the WSJ this week:
Have a great day selling today and a superb Father's Day Weekend!
After a three-hour dead-stop traffic jam on Route 2 late Wednesday afternoon trying to get to Vermont, I simply gave up, turned around and headed back to Boston, so it's the NH beach this weekend and not the VT hills.
At any time, if you want to discuss your own sales and marketing planning for the next 30 or 90 days or the rest of this year, just connect with me for some quick ideas and feedback. There's no cost to a call or two, plus I love listening and talking about this rapidly changing world of Sales.
Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts.