It is the time of the year for sales managers to finalize their business plans for the upcoming year. Plans will soon be approved by the cheese (boss) upstairs or the cheese (VP of Sales) in the tower miles away. Most agree that it’s smart to develop a business plan with details on how to exceed goals—some call them a roadmap to success.
By now, most business plans (encased in a binder) have made their way to a shelf, tucked away for safe keeping like a roadmap in a glove box. Roadmaps are pretty worthless these days, especially if they are tucked away in a glove box—kind of like a business plan in a binder on a shelf.
Travelers know there is a better way to keep from getting lost than a roadmap; it’s called a GPS. It’s about time managers figured out how to keep from getting lost by transforming their annual business plans from a roadmap to GPS. Following are 5 ways to help in this process...
1) Involve the people responsible for executing the plan in the development of the plan. If you did not do this, it is not too late to involve others and tweak your plan (especially if you are already feeling lost).
2) Give everyone involved in executing the plan a copy. Tell them to keep it on their desks and look at it often. Just use it!
3) Save the title page as a screen saver so you see it every time you look at your computer.
4) Develop dashboard metrics that are tied to the plan. Have someone in the organization email an updated dashboard to you monthly or quarterly for review.
5) Conduct a quarterly review session with the cheese or an outside source to review your dashboard, review your progress and get you back on track (if you need it).
As you move on down the road on your journey, keep your eyes open for bottlenecks or constraints (detours and delays) that may prevent you from arriving at your destination. When you encounter a bottleneck, address it. Don’t ignore it. And, apply the proper resources to resolve the bottleneck.
If you are lost, you can still take action! Transform your business plan from roadmap to GPS, and make sure you are moving down the road of success!