A Plan of Action for Sales Managers
Decide What You Want, Build a Plan, and You Can Bet on the Outcome
By David H. Sandler
To create a goals program for both yourself and your salespeople, start with this plan of action which contains these key elements: Starting point, Written goals, A plan, How to deal with roadblocks and setbacks, Checkpoints, Scorecard, Reward system, Review
Before deciding where you want to go, see where you are. Get yourself a three-ring binder, plenty of paper, a pencil and a large eraser. Find a quiet spot and write out a clear statement of where you are today. Take your time. You have been without a road map for this long, a little longer won't hurt.
Be as adult as you can. This is not a "make me proud of you" exercise nor is it a"kick-me" one. Be honest -- no one else has to see your plan unless you want to offer it up for scrutiny.
Writing crystallizes thought and thought motivates action! Begin to compile a list of what you would like to accomplish during the rest of your life. List both tangible (things) and intangible (identity) goals.
You may want to consider such areas of your life as:Professional, Social, Financial, Spiritual, Family, Health, Sports, and Educational.
After completing this list, go back and arrange them in order of their priority -- most important to least important. As you do this, be careful your priorities are not all coming from one area of your life. You don't want to be the richest person in the graveyard, or have the lowest handicap on the golf course, whileyour family is strewn on the beach. If you are like most people, you will probably find many of the things you thought you wanted are not as important when viewed in the big picture.
Now that you have prioritized your goals, why do you need a plan?
A. It will be easier to make things happen.
B. Knowing the big picture will allow you to make fewer and easier decisions. Soundplanning will not always make it clear what your current decision should be, but it will make your decision-making easier. Ask yourself: Will what I am about to do help me in the attainment of my goals? Planning will allow you to make the best possible decisions about what to do now!
C. You will control rather than be controlled.
D. Planning doesn't make the future predictable. It does, however,allow you to anticipate what is most likely to occur.
E. Planning is a continuous activity, not a periodic one.
F. You will better be able to translate general goals into specific, measurable objectives.
G. Planning will help you to identify what must be done to insure desired results. Henry David Thoreau said, "In the long run, men hit only what they aim at."
In your Plan-of-Actionnotebook, starting with Goal #1, begin to write out just how you plan to go about achieving your goals. It is OK to use your eraser and lots of paper.
How To Deal With Roadblocks And Setbacks
When you have done this for the high-priority goals, write next to each goal where the potential roadblocks and setbacks might occur. Then, assuming they will actually happen, how will you handle them?This may be the toughest part of the program, but I never said making your life happen would be easy. The only thing easy in life is running around shouting, "What happened?"
Decide upon a realistic "when" for each of your goals.
Once you have chosen a date to accomplish each of your goals, break each goal down into smaller segments of minor goals. Select date accomplished timesfor these shorter-range goals.
After all, if you were going to eat an elephant, you wouldn't gulp him down. You would eat him one slice at a time!
Using your plan and its checkpoints, act on it! You will begin to notice a new internal enthusiasm for life! What you have to do on a daily basis won't seem as painful and/or difficult, because you will know why you are doing...
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