Perhaps you have driven past the road signs for new developments proclaiming they are "Master-Planned". Maybe, you live in one. Master-Planned Communities usually incorporate extensive recreational amenities like lakes, golf courses, and expansive parks with bike paths, and jogging trails. The original planners may even incorporate office parks and hotels/motels into the community's plans. This balanced plan enhances the value of the properties and makes them more valuable and enjoyable to live and work in.
The Sales Planning Question
If you stepped back with me for a minute and took a bird's eye view of your sales plan, would it be considered a Master-Planned Sales Plan? Let's imagine that your original sales plan was to support 550 core customers. The strategy was to develop a community of customers that would increase your bank account and capitalize on the capabilities of your business. The balanced sales plan would include accounts that would preserve you from the rise and fall of individual markets and not rely on one single market sector. Your customers might have recurring needs for your services and they might be involved in a growing industry themselves.
Adjusting Your Sales Plan
If we stick to your sales plan you will certainly make adjustments along the way. After all, there isn't any plan that is perfect from the beginning and all plans need to be corrected based on changes in the environment and surroundings. One of the things that will happen to us in outside sales is that we get too close to the situation and it becomes difficult for us to see that change is needed. We must step back to gain perspective.
One question we should ask ourselves about our customers is, would they qualify as the ideal customer. This question is based on our original sales plan. If they qualify, they should be a thriving business using us for multiple lines of services. If we can't answer this, we should meet with our customers and learn how their business has changed to identify opportunity areas. The goal is to discover where some of our new services might support their needs in a more direct way.
The Challenge of Change
If you get bored with the same challenges everyday, you are probably missing something. Most industries embrace change and challenges us to find creative solutions our customer have. We can't say to someone "that isn't our problem" because they usually are. Change is part of what we live for. If we are performing our role in sales to its fullest we look for problems and changes in the markets.
Does your sales plan include changes in your market that are both positive and negative? In my neighborhood the driving time it takes to get somewhere by car takes longer than it did just a few months ago. Because of this people are embracing and discovering new ways to get business done rather than to drive to a place of business. This opens the door to digital communications and using improved delivery services. Is this something your business plan has adjusted for? If not, perhaps it should. The main point is to evaluate customers and ensure they are they type of clients you want for your sales Community of clients and adjust your sales plans to meet the changes in your area.
Steve Martinez is the founder and CSO (Chief Sales Officer) with Selling Magic. The Business Development company is sales oriented and a CRM pioneer in automating and customizing ACT or Outlook with the best practices of sales management for increased sales. http://www.sellingmagic.com