Sales: Running Your Territory Like a Business
5 Traditional Business Planning Steps That Drive a Success Mindset
“Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth.”Mike Tyson
Way back in the beginning of my career one of my key mentors told me: run your sales territory like your own personal business and you will succeed. I’ve kept this close to the heart throughout my career, and the attitude and approach has done me well. Essentially, each and every sales representative within an organization is running their own mini piece of the business. Would you run a business with no plan? Invest your own money and time and talent in something with no planned direction? These are some basic tips and focus areas that are key components to a business plan. And the absolute minimum to guide your success and give you a reference point for achieving your sales (business) goals.
Learn the marketplace and define clear KPIs. Understanding and defining your market is even necessary as a lone salesperson. Invest the time and effort, and use tools to understand the types of companies, the industries, the size’s and any nuances that might exist within your region or segment. Competition fully active in your territory? Or have they not yet entered the market or focused on your target? Understanding and recognizing the traits and characteristics can help you thrive.
Define personal key performance indicators. How will you judge a successful day of prospecting or selling? Some examples are number of net new touches, number of meetings, number of quotes or proposals sent out, and maybe conversations with existing customers. You know yourself, and these KPI’s can keep you honest and force you to do the work. Remember sales is purely a numbers game, put in the effort on a day-to-day basis and be smart and you will see results.
Draft a business plan. A man without a plan is someone who is working towards failure. Your business, or territory plan, is your guiding light for success. Essentially you take the first two bullets and put them either to paper, or in writing digitally. This plan can center you when you get off track and can be modified as market conditions change. But having no plan as a reference. will result in mediocre results. Once again put in the time and effort to plan up front and execute.
Set revenue and profitability goals. This step of typical business planning is something we’re quite used to in sales. For us it’s all about the quota and reaching your target number. I always like to reverse engineer my quota and work backwards. How many deals will I need at average sales price to meet my quota? How many qualified leads well I need to get that number of opportunities? And how many inbound or outbound leads well I need to have conversations with to achieve the qualified lead goal? Once again, it’s all about the number of this game.
Implement the right tools for your growth strategy. Today selling and marketing is all about using the right set of tools to be more efficient and productive. The smart wraps leverage technology as a catalyst or force multiplier, and to work smarter rather than harder. It’s amazing the impact a simple technology can have on your daily productivity. (you can read more about this in our sales tech tips). Little bits of sales helper technology that can ease up your workload and make your day more efficient.