What are you planning for tomorrow?

Planning-3Every day, every week, I work through a series of mini-plans at least in my head and most often in writing.

-Days start early before the sun and begin with a fountain pen and new yellow-ruled sheet of paper.

-I bullet down in a word or two the tasks needed for the company and for Tufts in two columns

  • I look at my combined online calendars for the day 7 days ahead
  • I do a quick review of birthdays/job changes in Linked In and send off a note

...and then I feel that I'm at least planned out a bit for the day ahead which more often than not doesn't end up exactly like I planned, but does make sure that at least the 10-12 appointments for the day get done on time.  

I'm a planning kind of guy, and enjoy the rhythms of organization, objective setting, time management and those special days like tomorrow's first day of spring that follow both the rhythms of the seasons of business and the seasons of the year.   I am so, so, so looking forward to this spring !

In Vermont, there are way too many seasons

  • The standard seasons of Spring, Summer, Fall & Winter, of course
  • The Wicked Cold season 
  • The seasons of Mud as in "a little", frozen, soupy and "damn near impassable"
  • The two Taint seasons as in right now..."Taint Spring" and the coming "Taint Summa'"
  • The one black fly season followed two months later by the mosquito season

In business, the rhythms of the seasons define how we work

  • The standard four seasons working quarterly results, of course
  • The budget and re-budgeting work and approval season of Oct-Dec.
  • and then, there's the critical sales season of Q2 

Q2: No excuses, just results!


no excusesFollowing the various sales kickoffs during January, the reviewing of new sales plans, new comp plans, new territory plans and new hiring and onboarding plans, everything settles down to a somewhat normalized pattern by the end of March. 

Q2 is when everything needs to perfectly come together like a well-oiled machine of people, fully detailed quarterly activity-level sales plans supported by bursting pipelines of lead gen.

And, in the reality of this particular April, there's absolutely no reason that this detailed definition of a Q2 sales plan should not happen.  Anything that now gets in the way of Q2 results, three months into this year, is an excuse and needs to be dealt with immediately since now having survived the unknowns of 2020, we've experienced the worst of the unknowns.  By comparison, Q2 2021 should be relatively direct...I purposefully did not say "easy".

Having completed the editing and republishing in February of our Writing the Winning Business Plan book, I'm now slowly inching along doing the same for our Writing the Winning Sales Plan book...much more difficult than I thought it would be.  The changes we're experiencing and working with during the first three months of this year are very significant in a period where the customer is in total control of the process through which they want to be marketed to and how they want to be sold.  The old rules of dusty product benefits, ROI calculations and the ancient 2019 product feature sets simply no longer apply.   

Celebrate Spring tomorrow

Once again, the overpaid weather forecasters relying on their massive supercomputers failed to predict the weather for today even 10  hours ahead of time.  These people would never make it in the real world of Sales!  The very good news this morning is no snow as predicted, and right now it's about 35 degrees here at the NH beach.  The weekend is going to be sunny and in the high 40s according to my very accurate WeatherBug app which costs me $20 a year.   

Get out there and celebrate the first day of spring taking a least some time this weekend to think through the quarter ahead!

Have a great day selling today!

Jack Derby, Professor & Sales Coach

A SOUNDING BOARD for your Q2 plans

If at any time, you have a need for a confidential sounding board for Sales or Marketing, just connect with me at any time.  www.derbymanagement.com 

Text or email me, and I'll quickly set up a call.  I'm a pretty good listener, and we can get deep into tactics if you want. 

Obviously, no cost for a call or two; just an opportunity to listen intently and make a few recommendations based on decades of experience.






Tags: Sales Optimization, sales effectiveness, sales planning, sales tools, closing sales, how to close sales, sales success, how to write a sales plan