The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast
The Audible-Ready Sales Podcast

Episode · 3 years ago

Effective Sales Planning

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

John Kaplan covers the mindset you need to have for effective sales planning.

Hello, my name is Rachel Club Miller. Welcome to the force management podcast. Today we are going to talk about planning and Driving Accountability in the sales planning process. John Kaplan joining me now. John, this is one of your favorite topics. Yeah, sure, is an especially at this time of year. Right. We beat this drum a lot at the end of the year and throughout the year and our audience is often interested in this topic as we near the end of a quarter or a fiscal year. It's driving accountability in that sales organization. Yeah, compability is the as the key word, and I think it's accountability at multiple levels. You know, the manager is accountable for providing a great opportunity for the Rep and the REP is accountable for making the most out of that opportunity. We have an earlier podcast on itunes and soundcloud that goes into this concept of the plan to make the plan. And the other concept that we teach around this topic is this idea of building a franchise mindset into your sales team, and that's that comes up is really...

...directly tied to that accountability topic that that you're talking about. Let's just start there and talk a little bit about what you mean about that franchise mindset? Yeah, I mean, when you think about a franchise you think about things like, you know, McDonald, Burger King or what have you. But, you know, let's break it down a little bit more. Business owners that buy into a franchise they leverage the power of the brand to make their business successful. So the franchise owners can leverage the company's National Marketing, advertising and brand recognition to drive revenue for their franchise. So the franchise model provides the benefits of small business ownership with the power of a national brand. So the franchise or won't be successful if it doesn't empower its franchises to leverage the brand. And you know, on the flip side, the individual franchise owners won't be successful if they don't do the work that's necessary to drive business at...

...their individual location. So it's the same thing in your sales organization. Your salespeople need to view their territories as their own franchises. They need to see what you know, in crude terms, their own piece of the dirt, as if it's their own business unit and, more importantly, understand that they're responsible for the units production and profitability right, their credibility, and what we're talking about here is really focusing on that big picture, the franchise and building pipeline at that territory level. Yeah, so, you know, most organization spend around ninety percent of their time operating around the opportunities rather than driving pipeline at the territory level, and that's a big mistake. When your sales team has a franchise mindset, the level of building pipeline gets elevated. Your question the reps is what is your franchise doing right now to generate pipeline? Working...

Smarter Means Your Reps Build pipeline at the territory level and you, as a sales leader, coach them to focus higher with top down opportunities. Okay, let's break down the how, at least at a high level and as a deep topic, right. But we do have a couple of concepts here. First, the plan to make the plan. I mentioned earlier podcast, but I'd I'd like to go through it here talk a little bit about that plan to make the plan concept. Yeah, I love that term, the plan to make the plan, because you know, as a sales leader, as a manager, you need to add value for your reps in this process. Encourage your sales people to do the following. You know, analyze the territory white space and the new accounts to be pursued, both users and non users. Analyze the untapped space within an account. Determine the areas of greatest opportunity to build the pipeline. Once you know the gaps, you know how to collaborate with the reps to move pipeline through sales process. If your sellers have...

...the franchise mindset, the planning process becomes a way for you to get the mind share of the sales rep and plug into their plan. Your reps own the plan, to make the plan. They own it. So they're committing pipeline activities with target specific accounts. You know. Here are the marketing activities I'm doing, here, the events I'm holding here's why I think these events will move these accounts into pipeline, etc. Because they're building pipeline at the territory level. They have a better understanding of what their franchises will produce and, as a result, they'll be able to better articulate their ask of the brand and as of you as a leader and other resources in the company. Right, because it's not just that use and manager. People have to bring another resources to move to move that deal forward. Yes, it's the also comes down to that predictability of revenue. You know what the plan to make a plan means. There is a planning and you're going to know what's what's ahead, and it removes the scrambling at the end of the corner. Yeah,...

...yeah, the scrambling. That's a that's a really, really nice way to say kind of throwing up in the trash can at the end of a quarter. For those of you on the for those of you on the line that you know one of the biggest reasons why we do that is is that most companies, what most companies do is they build pipeline at the forecast levels and so therefore, you know they're really what they're really doing is going into the thin pipeline at the end of a quarter, you know, to cover slipping deals. So what really happens is you go into this unqualified thin pipeline and try to pull a deal forward in the quarter, and that's when discounting gets out of control and really really unnatural things happen. So if you're at the end of the corner, you're running into the end of the fiscal year and you are struggling with your sales teams. Those problems can typically point back to pipeline. Yeah, it always points back to pipeline. It's always related to pipeline. So you know, most managers spend all their time on the current quarter forecast and very little time on the pipeline, and it's really a...

...huge mistake. So you need to take a look at how often your managers are spending time managing the forecast. And as a sales leader, you got to ask these questions about your organization, specifically as it relates to pipeline. So how to reps build pipeline? How to reps ensure that they achieve their quarterly and annual quota goals? How well are we covering our territories? How well are we covering our key accounts, both users and non users, and use these answers to determine where you can start to drive real change in your sales organization. So it's really accountability, building that franchise mindset, developing the plan and made the plan. Those great essential questions you just went over. What's the bottom line? Yeah, so, so the bottom line on this one. What are you doing to ensure that your reps are maximizing their assignment? And, as a wrap, are you really owning your assignment as if...

...it were your own business, your own franchise? And what's the operating rhythm between us, the REP and the manager? To stay focus on delivering the plan. Don't just put together a plan and then not look at it for the rest of the year. The greatest leaders, the greatest reps I've ever seen, or the ones that have an operating rhythm around looking at that all the time. At least they're updating and looking at it quarterly. And then every major problem that I've seen in a sales organization is always related to this topic. It's always related to the strength of a pipeline. So focus on it right. Thanks so much. Great topic here as we move into the end of the year. Thank you to all of you who continuely listen to these podcasts. I get a lot of emails from you, we get a lot of social media messages. Thanks so much for listening and if there's something that you want to hear us cover, let me know what we'll get it into the rotation. Thanks everybody.

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