You might be reading this in January, you might be reading this in May. Either way, now is always the right time to improve in the area of planning and company alignment. You can re-align anytime. Because the truth is: your ability and willingness to pivot quickly are what will keep you moving in sales.
If you’re a CEO or manager, you know how important time is. You can waste a quarter, half a year, a year, or more on the wrong goals. It’s all a learning process.
And today, I’d like to share more on how to ensure company alignment that will keep your team in action mode.
Company Alignment: 5 Steps to Keep Your Team (and Company) on Track
Is your team struggling to forecast properly? Do you find targets being missed consistently? Is your sales team frustrated? Are you?
Let’s get on track.
Can you be successful and disorganized? Sure! But it’s going to be a stressful road. You’ll probably want to rip your hair out on a weekly basis.
The first step to improvement is a focus on getting organized. What does it mean to “get organized?” To me it means:
- Sales management is aligned with the goals of the company and creates forecasts that are reflective of this alignment
- Sales managers work with sales reps to create a sales plan for each rep that is also reflective of the company’s goals
- Each sales rep understands how to create a sales plan to project their own personal goals that is broken down by quarter and further broken down by month using a Prospecting Action Plan
- Each sales rep understands how to efficiently manage their time by utilizing a time blocking method
If any of these bullets popped out at you, keep reading. I’ll be discussing each item in more detail below.
Company Goals & Forecast
All planning should start at an organizational level. It’s of utmost importance!
If you’re part of your organization’s executive team, be sure to keep an eye on this process.
Better yet, if you’re a sales manager, take ownership! Provide accurate projections for your department and team. And ensure that what you’re saying can be actually can be done. Don’t inflate. Avoid the temptation to over-project. Be real. Be accurate. Use past data to inform your future planning efforts. Your input is critical to achieving company alignment.
Need help? I’m happy to recommend a resource that was designed to create your overall company forecast, individual forecasts by rep, an overall sales team forecast, and a pipeline model. Click here or on the image below to download a copy of this complimentary tool.
Help Your Reps Plan
Even the most senior sales reps need a hand from time to time. Don’t assume that because team members have been selling for 5, 10, or 20 years that they don’t need help in this area.
Some red flags to look out for:
- All reps missing quota
- Some reps missing quota
- One rep missing quota consistently
If you see ANY of this, tap the brakes. What’s missing? Do team members have the tools they need?
If all your reps are missing quota, you’ll need to address the company forecast. You might be over-projecting.
If some reps are missing quota, pull their forecasts aside. Are they the same or different from other reps? If they’re the same and these reps just aren’t performing, take a look at their time management habits. Are they time blocking? Are they planning their time wisely?
If just ONE rep is missing quota consistently, you might have a training issue. And likely a time management issue too!
Help your reps create a sales plan that makes sense by allowing them to put some skin in the game. We recommend having your reps manage their own activities and goals using the UCAN method.
If you’d like to learn more about UCAN and how reps can create their own pipeline model, click here or on the image below.
Use Sales Prospecting Action Plans
Nothing will put your sales reps in action like Sales Prospecting Action Plans will!
Unfamiliar with this concept? Well, creating a Sales Prospecting Action Plan is all about smarter prospecting. When a salesperson creates an action plan for the month, they’re identifying where they will look to source new opportunities, who will buy, and how they will impact and meet with said prospects.
Using Sales Prospecting Action Plans will enable your team to focus their energy in the right place.
Want to learn more? Or better yet… want a free template? Click here or below!
Don’t Forget to Time Block!
I’ve mentioned it a few times throughout the article and I’ll say it again: time block!
As tempting as it is to go through the day without a plan, don’t do it! You’ll find yourself in email and on LinkedIn (or other social media portals) 80% more than you should be!
So close your email. Shut those social media tabs. And block out your day.
And if you want a head start on this too, I’ve got one last beautiful resource for you! It’s called Time Management: How to Time Block in 5 Simple Steps. Click here or below to grab your copy.
As you're focused on company alignment, I hope this article is helpful to you. Just remember to:
- Get organized, and re-adjust as needed
- Create and use company goals and forecasts – again, re-adjust when necessary
- Help your sales reps plan and create forecasts
- Utilize Prospecting Action Plans to keep the team on track
- Don't forget to time block!
And for good measure, I'd also like to share one last resource with you. It's our Sales Management Planning Checklists! This guide includes checklists for sales managers and salespeople. It has a lists to manage your day, week, month, quarter, and year! Click here or on the image below to download a copy.