Strategy and Sales Business Plans – Questioning the Reality
Strategy Overload, Strategy BS and Strategy Words Without Meaning!! I’ve seen it all over the last 4 months.
I spent three weeks in summer looking through some very ambitious sales strategy and business plans for a company that has huge ambition and even bigger potential.
Huge potential. In fact, off the scale potential.
Little competition. Great product. Demonstrable ability to deliver. Fabulous reputation. Outstanding service ethos.
Strategy – Why Bother?
As you would expect when the business needs to break through to the next level, then their senior business leaders put tremendous effort into pulling the business plans together.
That’s cost serious time and serious money.
We drafted, redrafted, discussed, argued, challenged, tested, refined, redesigned, road mapped, reflected, showcased and shredded…until the final business plan was alive and kicking.
At which point, the senior business leaders confirmed they’d all created a plan they knew they could achieve, something they could have faith in, fully recognising that if they didn’t take action now, then one of their hungry competitors would.
The value of a well designed sales strategy is not just making sure that it works on paper. That’s one aspect.
But it’s also about seeking alignment in the thinking of the key players.
It’s a chance for everyone to have their input into the sales strategy, everyone can say their piece, share their concerns before reaching a workable consensus.
So, by the time everyone has signed off on the sales strategy, you know everyone is on board.
That’s it. Committed to. In love with. Totally sold on what needs to be done…
Sales Strategy – That’s All?
None of that is as important as the bit that comes next.
This is the most important bit.
It’s this question.
One single question.
That question comes when it’s time for action.
Time to make the dreams come true.
This is when I know whether the senior business team are really in, or if they’re just saying they’re in.
At this stage boards will ask one of two questions:
How cheaply can we get this done?
How quickly can we get this done?
Two completely different mind sets and two completely different trajectories to success (or not).
Of course, the ideal sits somewhere in the middle of the extremes…well, you’d like to think that, in an ideal world.
Because this is the truth, if you’re wholeheartedly behind what you’re going to do and you’ve been sensible, realistic and conservative with your projections, transparent in your risk analysis and have a business model you truly believe in them money is rarely as big an issue as time is.
Either way – the point of this: are you asking yourself the right questions?
Because the best sales strategy in the world is pointless if you don’t believe in it enough to make it go as far and as fast as possible.
Action is key. Action drives everything else. Action matters when the words are just words.
Think about it next time you have to commit to business changing actions.
In the meantime:
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