The Dog Days of Summa are here in full force, and what are we already hearing since last week's turn of the calendar page?
Tags: Sales Best Practices, Sales Management Best Practices, best sales practices;, business planning meetings, entrepreneurshipfortherestofus, Teaching at Tufts University, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts, 2023 Business Planning, 2023 Sales Planning, 2023 Marketing Plans
Although not the best snowboarding season, this winta' has been easy on the shoveling, my fuel bills and other than last weekend's frozen pipes (-33.1 F ambient at the top of Stratton) in the VT house, it's been a relatively smooth kickoff for the new year.
Tags: Sales Optimization, Sales Best Practices, best sales practices;, business planning meetings, 2022 business planning, 2022 sales planning, 2022businessplansuccess, entrepreneurshipfortherestofus, Derby Entrepreneurship Center at Tufts
- Let's celebrate the end of the Q!
- Let's give it up for finally moving into the official summa'!
- Let's celebrate the freedom that we have which is the true meaning of the 4th!
- Let's kick back this weekend and just relax and dial it down a bit!
Needless to say, it's been more than a bumpy ride over the past six months, and I could list 10 points below that we are all very frustrated with and are complaining about, but I won't since I want to leave you with just one thought this Friday AM which is to simply to celebrate our freedoms and have some well-deserved fun...at least for a day or three.
Tags: sales effectiveness, sales tools, business coaching, how to close sales, best sales practices;, how to write a sales plan, writing sales plans, planningsalestodayinacovidworld, effective blogging, 2022businessplansuccess
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.
"Plan A" this morning in Vermont-right at the start of school vacation week-would have been to have blue skies, six feet of snow already on the ground and morning freshies providing the perfect first runs. Instead, we have...
Tags: Sales Best Practices, small business management, business coaching, how to close sales, best sales practices;, how to write a sales plan, sales effectivness, writing sales plans, Derby Entrepreneurship Center@Tufts, 2022businessplansuccess
With a heat wave blanketing southern Vermont, it's 34 degrees out by the barn this morning at 7:00.
Like you, I'm prepping for a busy day with two critical sales events on today's calendar to actually close deals I've been working on for two months. Just need to get to that high five twice before 5 tonight. Totally confident...almost
First, and most importantly this morning is to congratulate you on finishing the Q on plan!
I never use the word "hopefully on plan", since "hope" has no place in today's fast-paced environment of Sales or Marketing. It's always great, of course, to be "lucky" every once in a while, but that's like hitting Powerball last Wednesday night or hoping the Patriots win this Sunday, so I'm going to stick with congratulations for finishing the Q on plan!
This time of year, in between Zoom and Team calls, I've been ankle-deep in the dirt and last weekend's mud in the gardens in both NH and Vermont planting, cutting and weeding. It's good for the soul and my hyper-sense of organization to be able to dive into the deep end of the mud and "get er done" no matter what the weather...or the business...forecast is.
- Right here at the beginning of June, our Q2 business forecast is looking pretty good among all of our clients now working through the details to end with a robust close to the quarter. Concerns about supply lines and labor unknowns are obviously top of mind, but business forecasts in general seem to be solid for the next four weeks.
- When I got in the car last night to drive from Boston to Vermont for a day of morning meetings and garden work this afternoon, the weather forecast also looked pretty good, and I planned my calls and meetings for the day around that forecast. Early this AM, it's a raw 55 degrees and pouring rain, but somehow the outside work still needs to be completed between lawyer calls at 10, a weekly Team meeting at 11 and a F2F 3:00 new client meeting this afternoon.
Bottom line is that weather forecasts change all the time, and of course, we have zero control, but yet, the work still needs to be completed. Business plans and sales forecasts go through just as many variations as the unknowns of the weather, but at the end of a week like today and the end of the quarter in less than four weeks, sales quotas still need to be met and operating plans and product commitments completed just as we forecasted.
As anyone who has seen my Vermont woodlot, everything is "neat & tidy" especially in the spring and summa'. That organization allows me ready access to a season's worth of kindling and two of the four cords of wood I burn every winter.
Having everything organized and "in its place" is the way I work out in the woods and also in my management consulting work since that level of organization allows me to have "extra time" when the weather changes or in the case of work, unexpected client speed bumps occur.