You mean well. You want to do it better this year. But, somehow every year, it gets away from you.
We all have good intentions each year to do a better job planning, selling, and tracking all of the major sales opportunities for our organization. This is why you really need to start planning using a sales calendar.
What is a Sales Calendar?
A sales calendar is a centralized planning tool used by sales leaders to plan the "Big Rock" sales events each year.
It also allows you to prioritize your events and allocate your team's resources. "Big Rock" sales events are the major initiatives that your sales team will focus on throughout the year. We call them "Big Rocks" because if you don't start by placing the largest, most important elements of your sales plan in first, you will run out of "room" (time) to accomplish everything that you need to.
These "Big Rock" events are initiatives that can be any sales-focused projects that are important to your organization. In the media world, these might be major concerts, sporting events/seasons, festivals, or other event-oriented experiences. They can also be sales-specific activities, such as a Target Drive, Upfronts, or a sales contest.
How Sales Calendars Help You Achieve Goals
No matter what the "Big Rocks" are without a fully-functional and used sales calendar, you will be hard-pressed to focus on, much less accomplish your goals. The everyday challenges of your sales organization, sales team, salespeople, and the world around us will try to throw wrenches into your plan every chance they get.
Here are 3 reasons why you need a Sales Calendar and how it will help you achieve your goals this year and every year.
1. Better Visibility
Without good visibility, it's almost impossible to get where you need to be.
Too often, we begin the year with a general idea of where we need to end up (budget), but we don't have a map that provides directions (sales calendar). And when we don't have a map, we usually end up getting lost or meander along the way.
By creating a sales calendar and sticking with your calendar throughout the year, you'll have better visibility which leads to better results.
2. Better Allocation of Resources
Unless you work for Amazon, you probably have limited resources. Those resources are precious. And if you misallocate them too soon or to the wrong project, you'll run out of them long before the year is finished.
You'll miss the budget.
By creating a sales calendar, you'll have already prioritized your initiatives and thus you'll know which projects are the most important and allocated your resources properly. And just in case the idea of resources is a bit ambiguous, let me clarify.
Resources can be time, attention, people, money, and even your focus.
3. Better Focus
We have a saying here at CSS, "We can do anything, but we can't do everything".
And it is so true.
How often have you gotten excited about a new project or opportunity and just decided to go for it? And then found out half-way down the road that you didn't have the energy, resources, or people to get it done?
Yeah, me, too.
That's what happens when you don't have a solid sales calendar that guides your path to success. Without a sales calendar, you can get stuck on side projects or unimportant initiatives. With a strong sales calendar, you will be better focused on the most important projects and goals.
It is important to say that much like your daily calendar, you need to stay on track with your sales calendar. So, we recommend that you have monthly review meetings to see how you are progressing with your calendar and your goals.