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  • Jerry Phillips

Planning for the Future

Over the past several months I’ve been speaking with executives about what the planning process looks like for 2021 and how it will be different from last years exercise. There are many different schools of thought as you would expect. Most come in one of three categories:

  1. Business as usual

  2. New methods and use of technology

  3. Paralysis

Some are using this time to change their path. They are transforming their companies and the way they work with their customers and prospects. Some are planning as if the pandemic will be over by January, and it will not have an affect on their business. Some do not know what to do, or how to plan. All are valid reactions and I’m not judging.

This morning I spoke with a friend and his company is extremely proactive. They are hiring to fill key positions. They are leveraging their technology to make their team more effective. They are looking at key process and product training to differentiate their team and their solutions. It was refreshing to find someone with a clear understanding about where they are going and hearing the creative things, they are doing to keep themselves in front of the customer and prospects. They are balancing it with an eye on the bottom line. They are not just spending money, they are investing.

We don’t have a crystal ball to see the future, but we can plan for what it will look like through understanding what the last year has looked like. We know the worst-case scenario after locking down for three or more months. We know the potential of what the economy will look like if we continue the current path. We can plan for extremes or somewhere in the middle. The challenge is to have a plan flexible enough that you can measure the leading indicators and adjust as needed.

We believe in using a balance of “science with art”:

  1. Develop your strategy based on desired outcomes. What does success look like at the end of 2021?

  2. Create your strategy from the customer back instead of what you wish the customer would do.

  3. Do your resources match your strategy? Does your technology, your sales and marketing efforts and structure fit with the strategy you want executed?

  4. Are you making a bet on the strategy and then handing it over to the sales team to execute and looking at lagging indicators to determine if they are executing correctly? Or are you directing them on the actions to take and monitoring leading indicators (KPI’s) to determine proper execution?

  5. Do you have the proper dashboards to determine success? Are you humble enough to make course corrections in the strategy if the KPI’s are indicating a faulty strategy?

With Sales Science, we work to answer the questions and support profitable sales growth, balancing science, and art.

What are your thoughts?

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