Achieving Your Sales Plan

As a CEO, if it is your goal to achieve your sales plan and make your sales plan more predictable and easier to achieve, then here are 12 questions you need to ask yourself:

1. Who are the ideal customers that you want a lot more of?

This is not to suggest that one turn away other profitable customers, but if you target a lot more of the “ideal” clients, you can maximize your happiness and profit.

2. What is it that you can do for these special clients better than anyone else that would make them choose you over the competition?

You’d better have a compelling reason to explain to a potential customer why they should choose you over the competition. If you don’t, you are setting your salespeople up for failure.

3. How many clients/transactions do you need next year to achieve your plan?

Of that number, how many do you already have that you believe signed up for 2012, how many do you expect to lose in 2012, and how many new ones do you have to get to achieve your plan?

4. What is your tactical plan to achieve your goal?

For example, what is the number of phone calls to be made, number of customer visits, number of advertisements to be placed, number of tradeshows you must participate in, how many meetings must be attended, proposals presented, referrals given, free products given away, etc. to generate the number of clients/transactions you want.

5. How many salespeople and other employees do you need to generate the volume you want?

Are they already employed by you? If not, how long will it take you to hire the “right” employees, and how much growth will it cost you in the interim?

6. Do your current employees produce at the right level of productivity based on the last 90 days?

If not, what makes you think they are going to do it in the next 90 days? What are you going to do to help them change the trajectory, and what will you do if they don’t?

7. Do you have enough of the right products and services to support the demand you are looking to serve?

If not, how will that be solved?

8. How are your competitors going to respond to your moves in the marketplace?

What changes are they making? Will their changes affect your growth?

9. What is your marketing strategy to generate leads for your sales force?

Have you given it enough time to know if it works or not?

10. Do you have the right compensation programs to motivate your sales force properly?

How do you know?

11. Does your organizational atmosphere cause or allow too many distractions for salespeople?

How do you know?

12. Do you adequately hold people accountable, and is line of sight to goals clear enough?

Do your indicators make you aware that your individual salespeople need coaching, and where and in what parts of the sales process do they need that coaching?

If you need help achieving your sales plan, let us know.

Howard Shore is a business growth expert who works with companies that want to maximize their growth potential by improving strategy, enhancing their knowledge, and improving motivation. To learn more about him or his firm please contact Howard Shore at 305.722.7213 or