Most salespeople don’t do this – Strategy Conversation – they just don’t make the time!

I challenge you to look at your calendar – pick a date and then pick a great location other than your office or a hotel meeting room. We have done this for many years and find a quaint boutique hotel with a great suite outside of the city or near a winery to think differently about our business. Some years, we just head to our cottage to allow the lake to revitalize our strategy. We are amazed at how we think more creatively in a different setting.

This time of the year is the ideal time to have the Strategy Conversation to plan for your next sales year and more important to create your sales plan for the next three years! In speaking with many sales and business leaders, their goals are to double their sales in the next three years – that requires a work-smart strategy to accomplish that goal!

What’s your long-term sales strategy?

Without it, you’re failing to prepare –and we all know how that ends! Without a strategy, you’re stuck in a reactive mode. You’re less productive because you’re trying to cover too many bases at once. You’re working too hard because you’re not properly prioritizing your customers according to their value. And you’re less likely to hit your goals because you’re not controlling the customer conversations, you’re just responding to them.

Getting strategic lets you take control – of your calendar, your sales, and your career.

It puts you back in the driver’s seat and it makes you better at your job as a sales professional because now you’re serving your customers more proactively, anticipating their needs and solving their problems.

Strategy starts with a plan. Have a plan for every day, every week, each quarter and every year; work it, tweak it, and stick with it. Click To Tweet

How can you get strategic?

First, decide where do you want to be in three years. Starting at that point, begin to reverse-engineer the goals you need to hit to get there. What must you accomplish at the end of the third year, to set you up for success in this next year?

Thinking strategically helps you bring better value to your customers.

What’s most important to them? What bottlenecks or other issues are keeping them from being as productive as they’d like? What keeps them up at night? Ask – take careful note of their answers and come up with a strategy that lets you be their problem solver.

Strategy starts with a plan. Have a plan for every day, every week, each quarter and every year; work it, tweak it, and stick with it.

Here are the key elements to map out your Strategic Sales Plan:

• Better understand your company goals to effectively align and manage your territory, and allow each customer call to be more purposeful.

• Apply the concept of ROTI – Return on Time Invested – to analyze the number of hours you spend on each customer vs. the revenue/gross margin they generate.

• Map out your three year, one year and 90 days in alignment with your company goals in the different categories of sales, professional and personal goals, and then plan how you will celebrate your goal success.

• Update your SWOT analysis for your company, your competitor and your industry to identify the opportunities to grow your business and achieve your goals.

• Identify your customer’s perspective – what’s most important when they make buying decisions?

• Understand your Ideal Profitable Clients and their personas. Don’t try to sell to everyone. Get focused on your ideal customers and how to attract more of them!

• Create a Key Account Plan for your Top growing accounts to double their sales in the next three years.

Teneo Challenge: Take the time to realize what your goal is by the end of three years and then strategize the steps you need to take to reach that goal.