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The Center for Sales Strategy Blog

The Most Important Planning Meeting You can Hold for 2015

important-planning-meetingIs it just me, or did anyone else notice that Movember seemed to really become a “thing” this year? In case you live in a cave, Movember is the movement that draws attention to men’s health issues by encouraging the growth of facial hair. We seemed to have reached a tipping point in 2014 and I believe this is likely to get even bigger in the years to come. 

This got me thinking about the history of shaving. Until the early 1900s, most men visited their neighborhood barber shop for a shave (or to have their straight edge razor sharpened). In 1901, Gillette invented the first safety razor, which was easier to control and had a replaceable blade. It’s hard to imagine not having easy access to a razor and I am thankful for this invention. However, think about the change this caused for barber shopssuddenly, an important part of their business was disrupted in a very big way. It didn’t put barber shops out of business, but it changed the services they could successfully sell. 

A big disruption like that may or may not be affecting your business right now, but smaller disruptions probably are. that’s just how it is in this fast-changing business environment. To help you stay on top of these changes, we suggest you hold a meeting between your Sales and Marketing departments. (I’m talking here about an annual planning meeting, but having a monthly sales and marketing alignment meeting is important as well.)

Here’s how you can get started with this sales and marketing planning meeting right away:

  • Create an agenda and stick to it.
  • Include all key players from your sales and marketing teams; encourage everyone to participate and provide feedback and ideas. If that’s just too many people, then hold multiple meetings or use technology to engage everyone.
  • Spend the first 20 minutes of the meeting covering the past year. This should be a prepared presentation that provides a summary of what your organization is selling more of, what you are selling less of, where new competitors are taking business from you, and what new needs customers are expressing.
  • Spend the next 20 minutes providing a summary of what Marketing has done over the last year… who they’ve been targeting, what campaigns they ran, how successful each one was, what was learned, and what Marketing is thinking about doing differently in the year ahead.
  • Allow for 40-60 minutes of brainstorming. Your problem statement might be something like: “In What Ways Might We take advantage of the new needs our customers have?” This segment should be collaborative and run with the intent of uncover possibilities not previously seen.
  • Spend the last 20 minutes selecting one or two of the ideas generated and starting to build out a plan that includes how Sales and Marketing can play a role, with the intent of uncovering possibilities.

Watch this prerecorded webinar detailing the 20 sales and marketing metrics every organization should track.

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