It’s time to complete your sales and marketing plan for the year ahead and share it with your team.
Is it the absolute BEST it can be?
Here are ten questions you should ask yourself that will identify gaps in your plan AND find opportunities to take it to the ultimate level.
1. What’s your single biggest limitation?
Identify the top marketing or sales issue that’s keeping you from taking your business to the next level. Many organizations become so used to working within limits, they no longer see barriers to success and build plans around them. Honestly answering this question will help prevent this and put you on track toward a future without boundaries.
2. What are ten things you can do to break through the barrier that’s holding you back?
Don’t limit yourself to just one or two ideas. Brainstorming a broader list will free your thinking and help you come up with more novel and innovative solutions.
3. What are the things on your list that are cheap, easy to do and likely to succeed?
Go through your list of possible solutions and identify the ones that are “low hanging fruit”. Find things that are simple to implement, don’t cost much and could break down barriers without much effort. You should definitely include these as key initiatives in your plan for the year ahead.
4. Which solutions are home runs?
Go back through your list and find the one or two ideas that could be revolutionary and pay off BIG time. They’re things it could be worth investing time and money in during the upcoming year. Make them the central components of your marketing and sales plan.
5. Who are your top target buyers?
The biggest mistake many marketers and sales reps make is going after every possible prospective client. This waters down marketing and sales initiatives and makes them less effective.
Instead, figure out which buyer segments are most profitable to your business and likely to convert into customers. Make them the central focus of your plan for next year. It will pay off in improved results for less effort and more efficient budget spend.
6. What does your ideal business look like in five years?
For many organizations, annual planning is just that, a year-to-year endeavor. This approach is extremely limiting.
Take time to imagine your organization running on all cylinders five years in the future. Consider how your sales and marketing teams will support it. Having a clear picture of this will transform your plan for next year from a one-year roadmap into a three-dimensional blueprint for the future.
7. Who does what to support your plan?
Make sure your plan clearly articulates who will be doing what, by when and to what level to support it. Share this information with your human resources partners. Work together to find ways to hold employees responsible for playing their role in achieving marketing and sales goals and reward them for doing so. Clearly communicate expectations to the people on your sales and marketing teams.
8. What support will you need?
Make a list of all the backup you require to make your plan real. Include things like personnel, training, collateral, and technology. Mobile Locker’s sales enablement software is a great example of affordable and easy-to-use technology that will make it simple for your sales, marketing, and event planning teams to do everything possible to make your plan successful.
9. What are your top three priorities?
Your plan could include countless tactics and initiatives to support your goals. The reality is that few of the people will be able to understand — and remember — more than three. Finding a way to simplify your plan to a level your sales and marketing team members will comprehend makes it more likely to succeed.
10. Are your goals measurable?
In the end, the only way to know if your annual plan is successful is to base it on specific, clear and defined goals. Then you can measure progress toward them throughout the year, and make adjustments to your plan and tactics based on actual results. The good news: Proving positive results will help you earn the credibility you need to expand your plan — and earn increased marketing and sales budgets — next year.